Boom Time for Death Planning

"The coronavirus pandemic has drawn new business start-ups that provide end-of-life service, from estate planning to a final tweet."

One day in April, Isabelle Rodriguez, a 24-year-old from New York City, composed a tweet "from the grave" as the coronavirus took its hold of NYC. 

She wasn't dying, nor was she sick, as her chances of contracting Covid-19 significantly decreased after she was furloughed from her job. However, when she stumbled upon the poem "Lady Lazarus" by Sylvia Path, Ms. Rodriguez knew she had found the perfect words to "mark her digital legacy."

The excerpt from the poem read:

Herr God, Herr Lucifer



Ms. Rodriguez logged on to Cake, a free service that catalogues users' end-of-life wishes, instructions and documents, and specified she wanted the verse posted on her twitter account upon her death. Ms. Rodriguez asserted that the excerpt was the best was to put her personality out there one last time. 

Ms. Rodriguez also appointed her younger sister to call the shots (if she were to end up capacitated) through a form that Cake offers called an"trusted decision maker" form. 

Other decisions included, whether she should be buried or cremated; and if she were cremated, if her ashes would be dispersed or pressurized into a diamond. Also, what music would be played at her funeral?

Ms. Rodriguez admitted that all of this may sound weird given her youthfulness and great potential for life, however, young people all over the world were getting "incredibly sick, incredibly fast."

Due to the pandemic, end-of-life start-ups have become increasingly popular and has created a "boom" in business. 

See Jennifer Miller, Boom Time for Death Planning, N.Y. Times Magazine, July 21, 2020.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.), Mark J. Bade (CPA, GCMA, St. Louis, Missouri & Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention. 

This article originally appeared on Wills, Trusts, & Estates Prof Blog.


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