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Going Digital… Into Eternity

The latest trend in gravestones is to change “here lies” to “here links.” Barcodes much like the ones being slapped on advertisements and billboards are being affixed to headstones to provide mourners ways to connect with the dead online. Forget-me-nots and pansies may wilt, but websites live forever.

When we think about how technology is changing us, we generally think of all the new things in our day-to-day lives (unless you happen to have read too much from Ray Kurzwiel). Now, it seems, technology may soon changing our ideas about death and grieving, too.

Most of us have seen QR codes. You know, those funny arrangements of pixilated black boxes within a square. They are everywhere it seems, from placards in windows of shops to restaurants downtown. And, if you have the right smart phones, you can scan them to see the website or Facebook page of the company. However, the next time you see a QR code might be on a tombstone rather than a company website.

That’s right, the most recent technological change, as SmartMoney points out, is the QR barcode on gravesites.

So, expect to start seeing the QR code bring up a website tribute in memory of a lost loved one, or even the link to a last farewell online. You may even see the deceased speak back when they are visited. It’s a strange concept to many, but quickly embraced by some.

QR codes might continue in popularity and usefulness, and they might just as easily go extinct, taking the bar-coded tombstone with them. You have to admit, though, it’s certainly novel.

The real question this raises is, “How are you going to think of your digital self?” We increasingly exist in a digital world as much as we do in the physical. Nevertheless, we don’t yet plan for the digital world in quite the same way; do we?

As far as “speaking from beyond the grave,” it’s not an entirely new concept. In fact, the “video will” has been around for some time. However, new changes (and human creativity) are beginning to weave together an entire profile to exist indefinitely and speak on many levels.

Will this continue? It’s food for thought, or at least an interesting curiosity. If you’re interested,  SmartMoney has more information on bar-coded tombstones.

You can learn more about estate and elder law planning on our website. Be sure to sign up for our free e-newsletter to stay abreast of issues like these that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.

Reference: SmartMoney (October 20, 2011) “With A Gravestone Barcode, Tomorrow Never Dies

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
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Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.