WOULD YOU LEAVE A POSTHUMOUS MESSAGE?

Do you think there are any set of circumstances in which you would like to leave someone a message  after you (sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly.) The web site If I Die.org lets you do just that.  If I Die.org gives you a way to write notes that will only be delivered when you die.  The service is free, easy to use and completely secure.  (Check it out yourself.)  You can use this website to leave ie preparednstructions for what to do with your pets and diaries, to write letters to the people you care about, or for anything else you want. The site points out that it’s not as morbid or as scary as you think; it’s an easy way to be prepared in case something totally unexpected happens.

Would you see this service as helping the grieving process.

A doctoral student at the University of Toronto points out that we have long used the Net to announce births and plan weddings and now that is slowly turning to end-of-life issues.

Could you envisage yourself using a service of this kind?

Would you leave a posthumous message at If I Die.org?

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13 Comments »

  1. 1

    I have an up-to-date will, living will & powers of attorney in place, and I have notes in a file to help the survivors navigate the paperwork as well as any final instructions.
    I can not direct from the grave, although it’s tempting, isn’t it?
    I don’t think I need to leave any messages, but it’s nice that there is a place to do that if it helps the living or the dying.
    I wonder if there is anything legal about it…would it replace a will?

    PS: I tell my family that I love them every single day…just in case.

  2. 2
    Jim Says:

    My message would be, “I’d rather be in Philadelphia.”

  3. 3
    Neil McKenty Says:

    No, I am sure it won’t replace a will but you could write a short letter to one of your children with instructions to send it to him or her on their birthday.

  4. 4

    Why wouldn’t you just include this “short letter” in your will?

    I don’t see the need for this service at all, I can’t imagine why anyone would have a problem leaving personal messages with their will or with their family to be distributed after their death (that’s what my mom has done).

  5. 5

    Everything you do and say online is already permanently etched in the ether (so to speak). I don’t have any objections to the website, but it’s unnecessary.

  6. 6

    Joe:the reason why I think this idea will catch on is that to amend a will or trust usually requires involving an attorney or other formal,written procedure that many will find time consuming and/or costly which will discourage such “minor” and non-binding additions such as are made available on this website。

    I think it’s a really cool idea! And demonstrates yet another wonderful application of the internet!

  7. 7

    If you want to make a statement,leave something worthwhile behind,such as a college fund for somebody , Tell people want you want them to hear before it`s too late.

    If you really want to make a statement,cut somebody out of the will altogether. They`ll remember that,for sure.

  8. 8

    @Tony:

    You could do it without lawyers… this isn’t a legal document – just some final words. My mother gave me an envelope I keep at home to be opened after her death – I’ve had it for years (she changed it once).

    I don’t think there is anything “wrong” with this service – I just think it’s unnecessary. Although it’s a “free” service somebody is making money off this (ads to the website?) – why make somebody else rich when you can accomplish it all on your own and in private? It doesn’t make sense to me…

  9. 9

    My comment was unclear about something… I understand a “will” is a legal document which requires a lawyer to ammend in most cases – but a note to loved ones wouldn’t need a lawyer to write/change.

  10. 10
    Jim Says:

    About the college fund, be very careful as federal income tax attribution rules may apply. Also in Quebec, if you have a notarized will, you don’t have to go through the courts to promulgate it, saving yourself more money than the cost of making making a will.
    If I were to write a note it would go somewhat like this, “Honey, we had a fabulous ride together didn’t we? Au Revoir” On the other hand I wouldn’t want the note to make her feel sad. So…..

  11. 11

    Hi Neil You say…you could write a note and have it delivered on their birthday.
    Right! That’s what I would want on my birthday…a note from dead nanny! eeeooo.:-)

  12. 12

    Joe: I think many would prefer the format of the internet over a letter because — and I say this without having yet visited the site — I assume the format will include different variables to be included in said note that the writer may otherwise not remember or think of.

    A template specifically geared towards this sort of thing will help the writer include things that will make it a more complete document representing what the writer wants to say/communicate.

    And if it makes the creator of the website rich, hey,why not? They deserve it!

  13. 13
    Chad Says:

    As someone who has built a similar service, I definitely like the idea.

    One day it hit me that if I were to die that day, my (very young) kids would never really have my help or encouragement throughout life. I decided I wanted to write them each a letter that would allow me to do just this.

    In addition for my own peace of mind that they’ll have these letters, I think it will help them cope with my death as well.

    As a young father, I certainly hope I don’t pass away anytime soon. If I do though, I think I’ll die a little more peacefully knowing my family will receive these letters.


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