Send E-Mail After You Die

tombstones Do you want to send a farewell message to a loved one after you die?  Perhaps you live alone, and want to make sure someone finds you if you die?  Death Switch might be what you need. Death Switch is a simple site.  After you register, Death Switch will start sending you e-mail messages (at a frequency of your choosing).  If you don’t respond to one of those messages, Death Switch assumes that you’re dead, and sends out an email message that you’ve created, to an email address of your choosing.

You also tell Death Switch how frequently to check in with you to make sure that you’re alive (from 1 day, to 240 days), and how long Death Switch should give you to respond before it sends out your email from beyond the grave, or goes into "Worry Mode."  With "Worry Mode," you specify how often and with what frequency Death Switch should re-prompt you.  In the Worry Mode settings, you can also enter a secondary email address, and the email of a trusted friend to contact if you don’t respond.  You "deathswitch" email then will be sent at the end of the worry period.

The obvious concern over a service like this has to do with using it to transmit personal information, such as account passwords or details (if, for example, you wanted to give someone else access to accounts after you die).  You could get around this, I suppose, by describing the password in a way that only the recipient would understand, such as "my password to the safe filled with $1 million is the name of that slope where we skied off the cliff, followed by the number of the interstate we took to get there."

The basic version of Death Switch is free, and allows you to create one message to be emailed to one recipient when you die.  A premium subscription costs $19.95 per year, and allows you to send 30 messages, with up to 10 recipients for each message, with file attachments.

Can you think of how you might use a service like Death Switch?

Evan Kline

Hello, I'm Evan. I write about tech from my perspective – that of the average 40-something tech geek. You can also find me on Twitter and at my real-life job as a lawyer.    MORE ABOUT ME.


  1. Wow.

    (I can’t think of any other response to this service)

    Anthony Russo
    Skype: anth.russo
    Twitter: @AnthonyRusso

    • Pretty wild, huh? My other fear is that my spam filters would catch the messages to me, and my wife would get a goodbye email from me, when I’m fine.

      • Evan,

        You should be able to fix settings in you email program to allow the site to be a “trusted” site, and send the stuff to the inbox. Or set it up, check ALL folders for a while, and if one gets in Spam, mark it as “NOT SPAM”. That should fix it.

      • Good point, Larry. That should work pretty well in most services (and especially Gmail, which I use).

  2. Oddly, I’ve thought of this sort of thing before.

    Don’t some email systems allow you to schedule an email to be delivered at a later date? You could just keep bumping the date back.

    I guess I’m not sure why someone would pay for this, although I can understand why someone would use it.
    .-= kosmo @ The Casual Observer´s last blog ..The Long Con =-.

    • There probably are email systems that would do that, I imagine. I can’t see myself using anything aside from the one free email (and even that I have deactivated for now, for fear of giving my wife a scare if I screw up). I guess if someone knew death were imminent, it might be a nice touch to send out some messages.

      • If this type of service had been around years ago, it could have helped my grandfather. True, it was before widespread internet, computers and such. And he wouldn’t have been into computers and email.

        BUT one winter he fell, breaking his hip. He couldn’t get up, and only barely managed to pull himself farther into the house to a furnace grate. Living alone, it was only neighbors who checked on him as they hadn’t seen him in several DAYS. I believe this resulted in his death. If he had been found earlier, who knows.

        I like the idea of this service for several reasons

      • That’s a sad story, Larry. It sounds like this service might have made a difference.

  3. Pingback: What would happen to your online accounts if you died tomorrow? | Tech and life

  4. I was reading this thread a few months back. Looks like a solution is here.


  5. there is another page that offers the same service, I discovered a couple of days ago, The difference is that you can synchronize it with social networking accounts.
    I also heard of a facebook application to make a video, I think his name is ifidie, but I’m not sure.

  6. I find this intriguing in a macabre sort of way. Let’s say you have a friend who always said they were a friend, but never really showed up when you really needed them. So, 1 year after “the big one” (sans Red Fox), so-called friend gets an email fully knowing of your demise. EEEEEKKK. Sweet victory.

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