Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Is It That Important?


Another guest post by Dana


There seems to be a bit of an odd theme going on here at Lynn's place - first there was my Ashes to Ashes post where I talked about creative funeral/cremation plans. Recently Lynn talked about how she wanted to be remembered at her funeral.

You'd think we were both over 40 and that feeling of invincibility was waning or something. Well yes, as a matter of fact ...

Here's a question for all of you though, have you considered what will happen to all of your online accounts? Your blog? Your twitter account? Facebook? What about all of the URL's and passwords for your banking/financial accounts??

Me? I'd never considered it until I received a BzzAgent invitation to explore Otrib's Final Wishes Service.

Otrib is an interesting (for lack of a better word) website. It allows you to add a facebook app that gives you a life status indicator on your profile, real-time death notification to all connections and a dedicated tribute page with memorial service, donation information and guestbook ... all for free.

With registration, and a few minutes of your time, you can name an heir for your digital assets, describe how your facebook account should be managed upon your death and help your next of kin save time and money by automatically sending out death notice to friends and family and creating a tribute page / interactive online obituary.

Hmmmm ... I'm not so sure I want my obituary broadcast on facebook ... but it's an interesting idea.

If you are concerned about more than your facebook account, you can explore Legacy Locker.

Legacy Locker offers a free basic plan (3 assets, 1 beneficiary and 1 "legacy letter") or annual ($29.99)/lifetime ($299.99) paid plan options that include unlimited assets, unlimited beneficiaries, unlimited legacy letters, enabled document backup and enabled video upload.

Honestly? I don't see a need for either of these. They seem somewhat self-important and self-absorbed. I can understand providing beneficiaries with URL's and passwords for banking/financial accounts (I'm fairly certain they could be included in a will), but a self-designed tribute page on facebook seems ... well ... *shakes head*

What do you think? Would you use either of these services?



Jess said...

I, personally, don't find it necessary to use those, but I can see how some people would. It is all about moving farther into the technological movement. They thought it was absurd, at one time, to have a radio in a car.

Mike said...

Are these sites going to exist in 5/10 years? And what happens to the info they've collected if they go out of business?

Knight said...

I'm disturbed by this whole thing. I understanding giving passwords to people so that they can inform your followers or whatever of what happened (Remember when REH just dissapeared?) but setting up a memorial page for yourself seems very odd. You don't need to mourn yourself. That's why other people do it.

Jay said...

I have a word document on my laptop with instructions. I have a person already designated to take care of all matters financial and personal and it's all pretty straight forward. Also, I have a goodbye post which I may or may not delete at some point.

Basically, in the event of my untimely passing, I am requesting that everyone take off their pants and enjoy a drink of their favorite beverage and think of me. ;-)

On a serious note, I highly recommend that EVERYONE have a living will and be very specific as to what you wishes are. Do not put your loved ones in position of having to make decisions that they may not be able to make or that they might question whether or not they're doing the right thing. Also, don't let "outsiders" make those decisions either.

SkylersDad said...

My wife informs me that I will be thrown out into the backyard and left for the dogs to roll on me.

I can just feel the love...

Dana said...

Jess, technological advances definitely play a huge role in this, but yeah ... not sure it is necessary for me.

Mike, I am not one who usually is overly worried about security issues, but I was quite disturbed when I clicked on the facebook app and saw what permissions I would need to give otrib to add the app. It's not going to happen.

Dana said...

Knight, I get that some of this is a courtesy move, but facebook thing really creeps me out too!

Jay, yours are words of wisdom ... and planning. Was I supposed to be waiting for you to die before taking of my pants, enjoying my favorite beverage and thinking of you? Oops!

Raquel's World said...

I just can't believe Jay has a "goodbye post" ready to go. How morbidly sad. How do you write that without crying?

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

Like Jay, I have all my passwords in one place and now Nancy has access to it. Prior to our marriage my best friend had the info.

I also had a final blogpost written, but deleted it as it was done prior to my getting married again, so some of it needs to be changed.

I did all this when I had my first kidney stone attack, alone in my apartment...and thinking, what if this were a heart attack instead?

I also have a living will which says "shot of gentleman jack for me...pulling the plug out of the wall is all you need to do!"

Dana said...

SkylersDad, the dogs could do worse to you!

Raquel, I'll be honest, I've thought about this many times. No one in my family is aware that I blog, and my blogging buddies would never know if I died. It's kind of odd when you think about it.

Vinny "Bond" Marini, I think I need to plan a little more. You and Jay are making me feel guilty ...

sam@otrib said...

Hi, I'm the founder of Otrib.com, the site which developed the Final Wishes service. I respect that some people don't want what we offer.

But, I'd like to address the question of "why create a tribute page" for yourself? The tribute page that gets created for a deceased Final Wishes user is analygous to an obituary notice in a newspaper. It's not about vanity. It's about saving your next-of-kin time and money. First, to clarify, the named heir has administrative control of your tribute page once your death is confirmed. In the physical world, a funeral home is going to ask if a newspaper death notice will be part of the funeral expenses. Depending on your city and the number of words in the death notice you could be paying $500+. If your next-of-kin already has an online tribute page which can be forwarded to friends and relatives - which is dynamic, can be modified continuously and includes information like where the memorial service will be held and if donations should go to a particular charity - that's a significant cost savings.

Moreover, if you define - while living - what you want to have happen to your digital assets after you pass away, your next-of-kin won't have to scour the web making requests of social media companies on top of planning a major event while dealing with the loss of a spouse or significant other. Nor will they have to guess what you would have wanted.

It's a good thing - not a head-shaker.

Dana said...

sam@otrib, thanks for offering your insight and intent with the otrib site. Your explanation makes it a bit more clear why some would choose this option. It's just not for me, but then I am not a power facebook user either.

Curvy Jones said...

How morbid.

My FB page will stay up. I have pictures and posts that I know my mom will want to go through. She's like that. My blogs and such will go away when I stop paying hosting for them. I also dont post my secrets online so... not much to worry about.

Real Live Lesbian said...

Good point, about nobody knowing where you went when you stop blogging. I've missed several people like Knight was saying...that just disappeared.

I'll tell my Love if anything happens, she MUST tell the virtual world. Although, many of you are also on my FB page now.

I'm constantly amazed at the ideas that people come up with!

Another Suburban Mom said...

I was atually Friended by someone on Facebook who I later learned was dead.

I have just told my brother which file to find with the financial and password stuff and then after that to bathe all the computers and not ask any questions.

Aging Tomboy said...

Wow, what will people come up with? I seriously, seriously doubt I'd ever use any of these services. Hell, people don't read my online crap while I'm alive!