How will people know you're dead?

  • Thread starter BobG
  • Start date
  • #1
BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
185
81
Hmmm, an interesting new problem created by bill pay.

Used to be, if you failed to pay your rent, your landlord would come to your house/apartment to complain and she'd probably notice you were dead.

But now, my bills are electronic and go out automatically and I have direct deposit. Work would eventually notice I hadn't been into work for quite a while and stop paying me, but I have some income that would continue to come in via direct deposit even if I quit working. That additional income is less than my monthly expenses, even accounting for the fact that my grocery bill would suddenly be much lower, but it would definitely slow the draining of my bank account, so it would be quite a while before my rent stopped being paid.

I think people that live alone need a way to ensure they're found before their dogs get hungry.

Something like:

Wear a redundant number of heath monitors that periodically notify a server via a wireless connection that you are alive.
When a health signal fails to be received by the server, the deadman's switch will be activated:

Temporarily Hosts an "I'm Dead or Missing" webpage (D.o.M.)
E-mail notifications are sent to relevant individuals.
Instead of an "xxxx is out of the office" reply, your e-mail will send out a "xxxx is dead" reply
Script that writes a post on various forums, linking to D.o.M. Page

And, finally, a wipe command will be sent to your computer 24 hours after the cease of health signals

And, it has to be reliable. If it's wiping my hard drive once a week, I'm going to get very irate.

(I totally stole this idea from another forum, by the way, but it actually would be a good idea.)
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Evo
Mentor
23,163
2,862
LOL. I read recently about a guy that had never been hired by a compnay, but got on their payroll system in error, he cashed paychecks equal to a quarter million dollars annually for years before someone noticed he never actually worked there (this was because he filed for extra benefits).

Anyway, I think a death monitor that would send signals that you were dead would be a good idea. As long as you had no loved ones. Of course, there have been a number of recent articles of loved ones hiding the mumified deceased in order to continue collecting disabilty payments.

Ain't life great?
 
  • #3
BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
185
81
As long as you had no loved ones.
I have loved ones. I talk to them on Facebook or e-mail them.
 
  • #4
Evo
Mentor
23,163
2,862
I have loved ones. I talk to them on Facebook or e-mail them.
Oh no.
 
  • #5
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
46
When I can't sign my SS disability checks, they will know that I'm dead. My nieces, nephews, and grand-kids will know when I stop sending gifts. I'd like to think that I have a larger impact when I am dead though that is doubtful.
 
  • #6
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,230
210
Not sure if I'm dead or missing, but it seems that I will be out of the office indefinitely.

Please leave a message anyway. You probably won't notice the difference.
 
  • #7
378
2
Why would someone care if you are dead when you are lonely? I don't know if I want to die lonely; days before the death are more of concern than after.
 
  • #8
Evo
Mentor
23,163
2,862
I have 2 people that say they will miss me if I die.
 
  • #9
918
16
I figure if I'm wearing a tux and riding around in a Cadillac while all my friends come to see me and I can lie down and relax while everyone else does all the work, then I'm probably dead.
 
  • #10
medgar
I figure if I'm wearing a tux and riding around in a Cadillac while all my friends come to see me and I can lie down and relax while everyone else does all the work, then I'm probably dead.
:rofl:

my wife likely won't notice. when she does she'll run the "mummified" scam til my work does. then she'll cash the jackpot life insurance and be living on the Riviera. I won't mind, I'll be trippin.
 
  • #11
18,264
7,947
I have 2 people that say they will miss me if I die.
I'd say you have at least 100k times that ;)
 
Last edited:
  • #13
67
165
Most larger companies now have life insurance (dead peasant) policies on their current and former employees. They use a government provided service to know when it is time to collect on former employees.

http://www.ntis.gov/products/ssa-quarterly.aspx [Broken]

I doubt if they go out and check on your welfare when the quarterly disc reports you as being deceased.:eek:

I seem to remember about a woman who was declared dead by SS. She had a hell of a time getting her checks started again.

Personally my children are faithful about stopping by to check on my wallet.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #14
BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
185
81
Personally my children are faithful about stopping by to check on my wallet.
Being needed is usually a good thing.

I babysit my grandson once a week, so I actually wouldn't go more than a week without being missed. Plus, my work would probably miss me if they remembered which location I was working at (I tend to split my time between two different locations, so they might not notice as soon as one would think).

Still, it's just one of the things that you wonder about when the last kid is out of the house and you're finally living alone for the first time in decades.
 
  • #15
Evo
Mentor
23,163
2,862
We hadn't heard from a co-corker for a couple of days (we worked our of our homes, so not too unusual except that he wasn't answering calls or e-mails). Then when he didn't show up for our group meeting Tuesday our Boss was so angry, we all said if he wasn't dead, he was going to wish he was.

Well, he was, in fact dead. He had fallen down the stairs in his home and broken his neck. They found him Saturday.
 
  • #16
BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
185
81
As automated as you can make everything nowadays, I wonder how long a retired person could go undiscovered, though.

Their retirement & social security pay would continue to be put into their account via direct deposit. They can receive their bills electronically, reducing the amount of mail they get. Their bills/rent/mortgage would continue to be paid by bill pay or automatic debit. Once in a while, Jehovah Witnesses would knock on your door, so it would like you were still getting visitors.

Theoretically, a person could go for years as an electronic zombie.
 
  • #17
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
18,929
2,245
I have 2 people that say they will miss me if I die.
I agree with Greg. There are a lot more than two who will miss you.

The title made me think of the ongoing scandal in Japan.

Grisly find in search for Japanese centenarians
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100820/wl_asia_afp/japanelderlymissingfraud [Broken]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #18
Borg
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,885
2,394
We hadn't heard from a co-corker for a couple of days (we worked our of our homes, so not too unusual except that he wasn't answering calls or e-mails). Then when he didn't show up for our group meeting Tuesday our Boss was so angry, we all said if he wasn't dead, he was going to wish he was.

Well, he was, in fact dead. He had fallen down the stairs in his home and broken his neck. They found him Saturday.
Classic. Open mouth, insert foot. :rolleyes:
 
  • #19
55
9
I would have thought the smell would give it away.
 
  • #20
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
46
When nobody tills and plants my garden, I am dead. When nobody splits and stacks firewood, I am dead. When nobody prunes the fruit trees, I am dead. I think the neighbors will know the signs, though my wife would let the nicer neighbors know, anyway. I used to think that when I no longer owned a Harley cruiser, I'd be dead, so maybe I'm part dead already.

I sold off the last Harley because one of my riding buddies built a huge house and is trying to finish it off himself, another bought a rough fixer-upper and is always too busy, and the other got liver cancer and is really dead. No point in riding alone - it's not all that fun.
 
  • #21
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,490
52
Ha ha! My mom asks me the same question when she calls me once every 6 months or so to remind me I haven't cashed a check she sent as a Christmas or birthday present (she's the only one who doesn't do direct deposit :redface:).

About the only one who would be immediately impacted if I dropped dead would be my cat. She'd probably notice the missing meals pretty quickly. Work would notice I was missing if it was during the regular semester when I was scheduled to lecture, but doesn't notice if I'm there or not if I'm not lecturing or scheduled to attend meetings (I often work from home those days).

My boyfriend would notice and worry too, but he'd probably leave two days of messages first, asking if I was okay and wanting to know what I was doing that I wasn't answering the phone.

In the summer, the neighbors would probably notice the lawn wasn't being mowed after a few weeks. In the winter, the postal carrier flags mailboxes if the mail isn't collected and the driveway not shoveled of snow for a few days after snow storms (as I learned when I decided to escape the state between snow storms last winter and didn't expect to be gone long enough to worry about having someone else collect the mail)...I don't know how long they leave the blinky light on the mailbox before they send someone to check the house for dead people, but I was highly irritated by it since it was a big beacon for burglars too.

Am I worried about it? No. If I'm already dead, I don't care when they find me. I'm more concerned about someone finding me if I'm somehow incapacitated but not dead yet.
 
  • #22
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
46
My father helps a neighbor who has a wife with MS. I'd know very quickly if he was dead because they are in frequent contact. If my wife died, and I was left alone, the first sign that I had died too would be that Duke is not getting his frequent walks up and down the road.

Actually, my niece is the rural mail-carrier in this area, so she'd probably break in to check on me if the mail didn't get collected for a couple of days and my vehicles were here.
 
  • #23
FrancisZ
My boss would probably call up my house to complain that I'm dead. Every job I get seems to have that impossible to please person in charge.
 
  • #24
320
1
I like the OP's automated system idea. I live alone, but a couple of people would notice that I wasn't around fairly quickly. And I've made sure that a couple of people have keys to my place in case of emergency. I've deliberately set up stuff in case something goes awry and so that my cat doesn't have to eat my eyes so she doesn't starve.

I do, however, know more than one person who, if the dropped dead in their home tomorrow, no one would realise anything was amiss for a quite a while.
 
  • #25
2,985
15
I think a lot of people would be happy :D
 

Related Threads on How will people know you're dead?

Replies
13
Views
3K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
40
Views
3K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
49
Views
11K
Replies
9
Views
4K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
56
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
17
Views
4K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
25
Views
3K
Replies
8
Views
5K
Replies
28
Views
3K
Top