Technology allows for family members who have passed on to share videos with loved ones. Technology allows for family members who have passed on to share videos with loved ones. Technology allows for family members who have passed on to share videos with loved ones. (Photo: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock)

How to send messages to your loved ones from beyond the grave

A new free service allows users to send posthumous videos, images or messages to a friend or family member.

The only thing that’s certain in life is death, and for some of us that may come sooner than we’d like. Now there’s SafeBeyond, a digital inheritance platform built by a startup company in Tel Aviv, Israel. This new tool allows users to record or upload videos, images or messages to loved ones after you’re gone.

There are quite a few companies that can help you manage your assets in a digital safety box, but what makes SafeBeyond unique is the ability to send messages to loved ones at a specific time, date, place or even an event – for example, to a daughter on her wedding day, or to your spouse on your anniversary.

“There are so many things we don't plan for in life, and things we don't think to discuss with our loved ones while we are with them – SafeBeyond will change that,” said founder and CEO Moran Zur.

When Zur was in his 20s, his father passed away and he always wished he could have had one more conversation with him. Later, after nearly losing his wife to cancer, Zur came up with a way to ensure that his son wouldn’t have to face the same issues he had to face.

“Think of Superman in the Fortress of Solitude and his father Jor-El delivering timely and wisdom-filled advice through his hologram,” Jeffrey Gardere, a New York psychologist, told U.S. News & World Report in a story about SafeBeyond. “Like [Superman], one can learn about their past … and the past of the person sending the message.”

Here's how the platform works: Users designate a trustee (you need to have at least one) and heirs. The trustee is responsible for notifying SafeBeyond of a user’s death, tracking down the emails and phone numbers of friends and family should they change by the time the messages are sent and sending any messages that weren’t saved with automatic release triggers.

While the idea for SafeBeyond focuses on emotional closure, users can also upload digital documents, which are stored in the cloud, as well as passwords to social media, email, or online bank accounts and instructions as to how heirs and trustees should proceed.

SafeBeyond assures users that information stored through the site is as secure as if it were in a safe deposit box, and only intended heirs or trustees will be able to access the material left for them. They also promise to update the site as technology changes to ensure that files stored there will be accessible and viewable, no matter how far into the future.

“I look at it as emotional life insurance,” Zur told the New York Times. “We allow you to decide how you’ll be remembered."


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