A Tour of History's Smart Graveyards

A Tour of History’s Smart Graveyards

Johannesburg has a grave downside: individuals preserve stealing tombstones. While the lifeless definitely don’t care, grieving households do, and so a non-public firm has stepped up and provided microchips as a possible answer.

Microchips may supply a deterrent to tombstone thefts, or a minimum of an opportunity to catch the culprits at a time when round 20 tombstones are being stolen per 30 days in South Africa’s largest metropolis. Once the microchip is put in throughout the tombstone, the Associated Press reports, it takes two types of motion if a grave marker is disturbed. First, it can sound an alarm inside the cemetery itself, in hopes of interrupting the crime. Second, it would ship textual content messages to dwelling relations, letting them know one thing has gone down.

These “good” tombstones are neither the primary nor the final try to combine expertise into graveyards. Throughout historical past, we have now seemed for methods to make use of our data and the most recent instruments to not solely rethink what cemeteries are and how they work, however to increase our very notions of life and dying.


The Premature Burial by Antoine Wiertz depicts the restoration of supposed cholera victims, and is credited with popularizing the security coffin. Via Wikimedia Commons.

An early advance in graveyard tech was the safety coffin. Back within the 18th and nineteenth centuries, individuals feared being buried alive. The concern was so palpable that it drove a quantity of artistic, albeit considerably weird and hilarious options for burying the downside if and when it arose. Of the accessible choices, essentially the most well-known instance was the bell setup whereby a chord connected to a bell was prolonged into the coffin. Should a corpse not likely be a corpse and get up within the nightmarish state of affairs of being buried alive, the non-deceased might ring the bell to draw consideration and be launched. Alternatives to the bell included flags, fireworks, and vaults.

A variation on this was the “moveable dying chamber,” a physique field with a viewing window by way of which a crew of screens might really make sure that an individual was decaying. As described within the guide Buried Alive: The Terrifying History of Our Most Primal Fear, “If there have been clear indicators of putrefaction, a trapdoor within the backside of the loss of life chamber can be triggered, and the corpse would fall down right into a beforehand dug grave beneath it.”


New applied sciences to retailer data, photographs, and different varieties of information have begun to make the standard tombstone inscription look as archaic because the floppy disk. No longer are individuals restricted to their identify, date of demise, and a contrived phrase; their total life histories can now be queued up by way of smartphone.

Much like the protection coffin, there are quite a few iterations of this theme. Earlier makes an attempt to combine information storage with tombstones as a type of memorial have been laughable—clunky iPad-esque screens garishly connected to a love one’s marker. But now now we have sleeker alternate options. When scanned, QR codes, connected through sticker or by itself tiny separate stone, whisk cemetery guests to a memorial web site full with, effectively, actually no matter you need. Another possibility is the E-TOMB, which retains your social media presence alive lengthy after you stop to be. There’s additionally Neshama, the so-known as Facebook for dead people.


In Japan, burials are costly. A few years in the past, Tokyo noticed plots going for $100,000 a head. And provided that a big share of Japanese are cremated upon demise, such bills appear superfluous.

Enter the urn warehouse. Instead of spending large cash to bury family members beneath the bottom, some grieving households in Japan have as a substitute interred their relations’ stays in technologically-superior warehouses. Should they want to pay their respects, a certified member of the family scans an figuring out card. Once their card is acknowledged, a robo-arm finds and grabs the suitable urn from storage and brings it to a particular mourning room. In a approach, it’s type of like a merchandising machine for the useless.

These options will not be applicable to you (I doubt you want a “moveable demise chamber”) or they merely might not attraction (I definitely don’t need my some of my extra egregious tweets being obtainable to anybody who occurs to stroll by my future grave). But these and extra choices are on the market, which says extra about our relationship to our personal mortality than it does about our private preferences.

Funerals and Instagram: A look at the funeral hashtags

Will Your Small Business Survive Your Death?

Many small enterprise homeowners have did not implement property planning for his or her enterprise.  The proprietor might really feel that it’s pointless, too pricey too create or as one thing that may be delayed till later.  Unfortunately, your failure to plan might end result within the failure of the enterprise, lack of its revenue for your loved ones, and lack of a job to your staff.

By creating an property plan for your corporation, you may guarantee issues are set in place to permit your small business to outlive even after your demise.  If you might have a partner or a particular youngster you wish to take over the enterprise, you possibly can dictate your needs in your planning and know they are going to be carried out.  Or, when you have a enterprise companion, you may implement a purchase-promote settlement to allow him to buy your portion of the enterprise for a beforehand agreed upon value.

If you don’t create an property plan for your corporation, it could doubtless must undergo probate after your demise.  This can shut down the enterprise for a time and might be very expensive.  Also, if there are conflicts over the possession or the way forward for the corporate, it might delay issues even additional, doubtlessly destroying the very firm you’ve put a lot effort into creating.

Do not threat the downfall of your organization.  Ensure that you simply plan appropriately for your online business to make sure that your legacy continues even after you go away.

Morris, Hall & Kinghorn Can Protect You in Today’s Litigious Society: We stay in a litigious society, the place over M million lawsuits are filed yearly in America alone.  Financial predators are in search of methods to take funds from others and sometimes use litigation as their means to take action.

Controlling your digital legacy

The State of Elder Law Scholarship: SSRN Articles


  • Memento Mori: Death and Wills by Karen S. Sneddon Abstract: Death. The mere point out of the phrase sends shivers down the backbone or provokes a nervous giggle. Modern reactions to loss of life vary from avoidance, as proven by the abundance of dying euphemisms, to fascination, as proven by the quantity of films and tv exhibits centered on dying, together with Twilight’s vampires and The Walking Dead’s zombies. Estate planning is the authorized surroundings wherein an individual confronts his or her mortality and participates within the formulation of his or her legacy. Contextualizing the expertise as a memento mori expertise promotes the perform of the property planning course of, particularly the drafting of the Will. The Will is the doc that nominates the consultant of the testator and the guardians of the testator’s minor youngsters. The Will offers cherished mementos of a life lived. “Remember you have to die” prompts reflection and contemplation.
  • Health Care Spending and Financial Security after the Affordable Care Act by Allison T. Hoffman Abstract: Health insurance coverage has fallen notoriously quick of defending Americans from monetary insecurity attributable to well being care spending. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) tried to ameliorate this shortcoming by regulating medical insurance. The ACA provides a brand new coverage imaginative and prescient of how medical insurance will (and maybe ought to) serve to advertise monetary safety within the face of well being care spending. Yet, the ACA’s coverage imaginative and prescient applies in a different way amongst insured, primarily based on the sort of insurance coverage they’ve, leading to inconsistent varieties and ranges of monetary safety amongst Americans. To look at this image of inconsistent monetary safety, this Article affords a taxonomy to explain methods wherein medical health insurance regulation can promote monetary safety. It then makes use of this taxonomy to map the impact the ACA may have on the monetary safety of numerous insured populations. Specifically, it analyzes how a lot an individual ill would possibly spend out of pocket on well being care in three eventualities: an individual with common protection by a person-market medical insurance trade, a employee with employer-sponsored insurance coverage, and a retiree with Medicare and a supplemental insurance coverage plan. This evaluation reveals two results. First, the ACA alleviates monetary danger from well being care spending to some extent in all three eventualities. But, secondly, the ACA preserves (and will even exacerbate) variability within the diploma and kind of monetary threat remaining throughout the three eventualities. In impact, the ACA asserts and affirms totally different visions of the function of medical health insurance in selling monetary safety for various individuals. This inconsistency leaves some insured particularly susceptible to spending and creates complexity that will impede insured from comprehending these factors of vulnerability.
  • Contemporary Trusts and Estates – An Experiential Approach by Jerome Borison, Naomi Cahn, Susan N. Gary, & Paula A. Monopoli Abstract: In this essay in a particular challenge devoted to educating trusts and estates, the co-authors of Contemporary Trusts & Estates: An Experiential Approach (2nd. ed. Aspen 2014) mirror on how the instructing of trusts and estates can combine coverage, apply, doctrine, and centuries of custom. They describe the genesis of their downside-based mostly casebook and the affect of the Carnegie Report on their alternative of pedagogic framework. Each of the co-authors embraced the elemental rules advocated by the Carnegie Report, which counsels that authorized schooling ought to combine “theoretical and sensible authorized data and professional identification.” This essay goes on to stipulate how the guide incorporates an issue-primarily based methodology in addition to an progressive selection of ordering the chapters that tracks the chronological path of property planning, addressing the lifetime use of trusts first, adopted by points of will validity and interpretation. Drafting workout routines complement the issues in addition to conventional instances that illuminate concept and follow. With chapters on planning for incapacity, the federal property and present tax, property administration and charitable trusts in addition to primary doctrine on intestacy, wills and trusts, the ebook displays the up to date challenges addressed by trusts and estates attorneys. The co-authors have discovered that the guide’s modern strategy engages college students in a means that makes the research of trusts and estates related and college students observe-conscious.
  • Viable Solutions to the Digital Estate Planning Dilemma by Jamie Patrick Hopkins & Ilya A. Lipin Abstract: Countless persons are dying with out correct digital estate plans in place, leaving billions of dollars of belongings unaccounted for within the digital world. This is happening partially as a result of people are sometimes unaware that conventional property planning instruments and methods, comparable to wills, are ailing-geared up to deal with the distinctive challenges of digital estate planning. As a consequence, the bulk of Americans are vastly unprepared for his or her digital afterlife, unintentionally foregoing digital estate planning altogether and leaving their belongings trapped in a digital purgatory. With the continuing progress in our reliance on know-how, interplay by way of social media, digitization of particular person’s property, and additional development of new Internet applied sciences, the quantity and worth of our digital belongings are rising exponentially. In response to this instant want for digital estate planning and administration of digital belongings, some companies started to supply their customers the flexibility to plan for the disposition of their digital property upon their dying. However, as a result of novelty of this space of regulation, the enterprise options at present afforded typically go away extra questions than solutions about what occurs to the person’s digital property, increase considerations about privateness and safety, and increase disputes over their total effectiveness within the property plan. This Essay examines the significance and growing prevalence of digital property, discusses the challenges going through conventional property planning within the rising world of digital belongings, and suggests a workable technique for the creation of a properly-developed and manageable digital estate plan.
  • Who Said Learning Trusts & Estates Can’t Be Fun? by Gerry W. Beyer Abstract: From even earlier than their first day of regulation faculty, Texas Tech University School of Law college students have the chance to understand the significance of the property planning space and to know that it may be each an pleasing and rewarding space of regulation wherein to follow. During orientation, which takes place the week earlier than lessons begin, new college students take part in full-day applications centered on a selected space of observe both of their very own selecting or assigned by the administration. For the 2013 coming into class, I was in cost of two full-day Estate Planning Tracks with a complete of roughly thirty-5 getting into college students. As their authorized training continues, college students have further publicity, some necessary and a few non-compulsory, to property planning matters. In my first yr required Property course, I spend a number of days reviewing the fundamental rules of intestate succession and wills. Texas Tech then requires all college students to finish a 4-credit score introductory course entitled Wills and Trusts as a situation of commencement throughout their second or third yr. Students needing a extra subtle therapy might take programs equivalent to Estate Planning, Texas Estate Administration, Guardianship, Estate and Gift Tax, Elder Law, and Marital Property. Students can also compete for a coveted place as an editor for the Estate Planning and Community Property Law Journal that Texas Tech publishes. This Article reveals my fundamental instructing philosophy and the final pedagogical methods I make use of to make Trusts and Estates subjects each enjoyable and related. I will then share with you the precise instruments I use when educating the introductory course in addition to the superior programs comparable to Estate Planning and Texas Estate Administration. It is my hope that you simply could possibly achieve perception from my strategy to reinforce your individual instructing and the expertise you present to your college students.
  • Older Persons and Compromised Decisional Capacity: The Role of Public Policy in Defining and Developing Core Professional Competencies by Marshall S. Kapp Abstract: Issues regularly come up regarding the cognitive and emotional potential of older people to make sure legally important selections. In confronting these points, the skilled involvement of each attorneys and physicians (and different well being care professionals), performing each individually and collaboratively, is fascinating. This article describes the doable contributions of public coverage in growing, by fostering improvements in medical and authorized training, core competencies for physicians and attorneys which can be important to enhancing interprofessional collaboration on behalf of older people suspected of being compromised of their capacity to make sure important choices. Additionally, concepts are urged to handle sure points of the present coverage surroundings which will inhibit attorneys and physicians from optimum interprofessional interplay on this sphere.