“If I Die”
Updating your Facebook status or sending a Tweet should be the last thing on your mind in your final moments. A morbid new service promises to take care of that for you so you can focus on the more important things when death catches up with you. (Video)
The free Facebook app If I Die gives people a chance to write their messages or record their videos well before the end arrives. Upon death, three “trustees” — friends that you assign — must verify your death, at which point your updates will be released to the public.
Messages can be released either all at once or on a predetermined schedule — meaning your words can go on, and on, and on … online that is.
But if you’re thinking of changing your will “from beyond the grave,” think again, said Steven M. Fox, a member of the Tax and Estate Planning practice group at law firm Buchalter Nemer. If I Die messages may hold meaning but they won’t hold legal water.
“They would have no legal bearing,” Nemer told FoxNews.com. “So if anyone contests the trusteeship appointment the deceased made on his or her Facebook page, that appointment will not hold water.”
The problem, Nemer said, is in accountability. If I Die messages have more holes than a ghost mask, from a legal perspective.
“It’s too easily forged and cannot be proven to be the intent of the deceased, so [If I Die messages are] not valid,” he said.
The Israeli startup that developed the app, Willook (which specializes in “time capsule” services) suggests instead leaving behind a final farewell, a long-held secret, or even one final insult.
Morbid, certainly — but also potentially useful.
“We all have things to say and don’t necessarily have the audience with the patience to hear us,” co-founder and CEO Eran Alfonta told Mashable.com. “Actually, we all want to leave something behind, we all want to leave a stamp behind us.”
Alfonta got the idea after a near fatal car crash with family and friends while traveling in Italy. After the incident, Alfonta’s friends implored him to create a service “where they could record something secret to their kids that would only be sent if they died,” Mashable reported.
The app can also bring peace of mind to those with terminal illnesses and are looking to get their things in order in the era of Facebook.