Funeral Planning In A Digital Age.

Posted on April 2, 2015 by American Heritage under Plan Ahead
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We live our lives online.

Baby photos are uploaded, homework is emailed in, long lost friends are found, and we even meet our future significant others through online services. But what happens to our digital footprints after we are gone? There was a time when the keys to safety deposit boxes were left behind, or maybe even the combination to a safe, but what instructions would you leave regarding your e-mail, drop-box or Google-drive accounts? I have a close friend who keeps her digital diary in the cloud. Would you want your children to have access to this after your gone?

What about your, Facebook, or Linked-in profiles? We are raising a generation that has never known a world without social-media. From birth all the way to death we will be able to track a person’s mile-stones via their online accounts. As time moves forward however, today’s generation will be part of a mass online cemetery. Would you want your account to be deleted, or continued to float out in cyber-space with no activity like a “ghost-account”? There is a likely chance social-media companies dealing with this issue will have to memorialize these accounts – if for no other reason than to preserve the history! Perhaps you’d prefer to hand over access to a friend or loved-one to monitor or respond to the bereaved as appropriate.

No matter what we decide to do with our digital lives after we are gone, it’s worth having a plan. Like all funeral arrangements, leaving no communication behind for those we care about is like leaving in the middle of a conversation. It breeds anxiety and complicates grief.

We’ve put together an online resource that allows you to create an account and record some of your final wishes. This free service can be accessed via this link. (Just be sure to leave the user-name and password in a place where someone can find it!)

As always, if you have additional questions about funding funeral arrangements please contact us and we will gladly answer them to the best of our ability.