Most Americans avoid planning for death, maybe because it’s not that fun to think about. Roughly 30 percent of us younger than 34 have a last will and testament, and the percentages among Baby Boomers aren’t much better.
So there’s definitely need for an app like Cake to help prepare for the inevitable. Cake will quiz users on questions from the practical to the emotional (“Is there someone you need to forgive?”) and then is intended you figure out how you’d like to be remembered after you’re gone.
Do you want friends to commemorate you with a stiff drink on the anniversary of death?
Want a dress code at your funeral?
Want your digital ghost to stay on Facebook?
All of these are things Cake (i.e., a piece of) will help you figure out and, for an annual $99 charge, pass on to a personal consultant.
The app now in beta is the brainchild of former health consultant Suelin Chen and palliative care specialist Mark Zang in partnership with Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“100% of people die, but three out of four of us do not plan for it, which can lead to emotional, physical, and financial suffering,” the company writes in its elevator pitch.
“Our first-in-class, mobile-friendly web app helps users discover their end-of-life preferences and store and share them online. In addition to the free app, we offer personalized concierge services with end-of-life planning experts. CAKE empowers and simplifies. CAKE used to be called My Exit Strategy.”
As with the totality of human experience, death has been disrupted by a burgeoning app market in recent years. LivesOn will let you keep tweeting from beyond by scanning your previous posts to find subjects that would interest you and If I Die lets you prepare messages in the event of your demise. Cake seems like it would be a welcome and useful addition to the market — although the $99 price point feels a bit high. Why is it that much? We reached out to Cake representatives to find out and will update you when we hear back.
Until CRISPR rewrites our genomes and maybe makes dying obsolete, Cake seems like it could fill a niche.