New Service Will Send Email From Beyond the Grave

'Yahoo Ending' will delete documents, deactivate accounts, more

By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 27, 2014 7:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – With a quarter of Japan's population already 65 and older, a new service from Yahoo Japan called Yahoo Ending aims to help people plan for their own afterlives, including the digital details. For $1.80 a month, subscribers can plan their funerals, manage their posthumous online content, and create a "memorial space" where loved ones leave messages for the dearly departed. The subscribers can also compose their own farewell thoughts, to be emailed to loved ones from beyond the grave. Users can pre-arrange for accounts to be deactivated, subscriptions to be canceled, and certain online content to be deleted after their death. How does Yahoo Ending know you've died? You have to give a booking number to someone in advance, and that person calls the service after your death and provides said number, setting the pre-arranged plan into motion.

"Yahoo Japan’s job has been to solve social problems through the power of the Internet and to provide services from the cradle to the grave," a Yahoo Japan spokeswoman tells the Washington Post. “We had services for the cradle part but not the grave part.” Thanks to a partnership with funeral services company Kamakura Shinsho, Yahoo Japan will also help with even more end-of-life planning—known in Japan as "shukatsu." Users can get advice about graves and wills, and even plan their funerals—which, in Japan, often means a wake, a Buddhist service, cremation rites, and burial of ashes, all for an average of $18,000, reports PC World. As part of a Yahoo Ending plan, a user's funeral preferences can be shared with loved ones after death. (Check out another arena Yahoo is trying to conquer.)

  (Shutterstock)
In this Feb. 27, 2013 photo illustration, hands type on a computer keyboard in Los Angeles.
In this Feb. 27, 2013 photo illustration, hands type on a computer keyboard in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
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