Would your clients like to speak to future generations from beyond the grave? There’s a growing trend of using QR codes to tell life stories on memorial markers.
QR codes are those checkered boxes you see on packages, newspaper and magazine ads, posters and flyers. Ordinarily, you use your smart phone to access online information through a QR code.
If you don’t have a QR code reader application on your smart phone, they are free for download. Here’s how it works. You tap the icon on the screen to launch the app, which uses the built-in camera to capture the image of the code.
Once it has read the code, a special web site immediately pops up in the Internet browser on your phone. It can be additional information about a product, a special web page that’s readable on smart phones, it can be a video, or a whole range of information.
The cool thing about QR codes on headstones is that you can scan the code and immediately learn more about the person than simply their date of birth and death. You can see a video of the person while they were alive, maybe dispensing words of wisdom. You can see photos, read or hear stories, and list the family tree. Just about anything you can put on a website can be incorporated into a site associated with a unique QR code. This is storytelling from beyond the grave.
The family is put in charge of putting the content onto these sites. One person is made the administrator, and given an access code to make the additions and changes. Many companies offer the web hosting and direct customer support for the QR code programs they provide.
One provider has a long history in the monument business. Jack Katzman was a pioneering Minneapolis-based headstone maker who started his business in 1935. With no one in the family interested in taking over, he closed shop in 1981 and died a few years later.
Last year, his grandsons Norm and Loren Taple reopened the monument business using an online portal to service clients all across North America. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently did a story about how the Katzman Monument Company is bringing headstones into the 21st Century with the addition of QR codes.
The Doyenne of Death™ Gail Rubin is a Certified Celebrant who brings light to a dark subject and helps get funeral planning conversations started. She looks forward to presenting “Laughing in the Face of Death: Funny Films for Funeral Planning” at the 2012 AAEPA Fall Summit in San Diego. Her website is www.AGoodGoodbye.com.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
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Phone: (800) 846-1555
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