Creator of Digital Last Will and Testament ‘Lastmessage’ Discusses Reason Behind Development of Web App | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Creator of Digital Last Will and Testament ‘Lastmessage’ Discusses Reason Behind Development of Web App

With the shift to DX, it is now possible to leave a last will and testament via a web app if you have a smartphone or a PC. We take a closer look at the content of the service and the reality of its users.

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In line with the “end-of-life” boom of the past few years, it is said that wills are also becoming more DX-oriented. One service that is attracting particular attention is “lastmessage,” a digital will and testament service. This service makes it easy for anyone to leave a last will and testament with just a smartphone.

We interviewed the developer of “lastmessage,” Yukihiro Yamamura, CEO of Puzzle Ring Inc.


“The reason I created lastmessage was because my former teacher was diagnosed with cancer. By the time I was able to visit him, his condition had progressed considerably. He was unable to speak fluently and was trying to tell me something, but I couldn’t understand him.”

“I realized that the most difficult thing is for those who are left behind. Based on this experience, I thought that if the words of those who have passed away could be left behind, it would be an encouragement and healing for those who continue to live,” he said.


Courtesy of Yukihiro Yamamura, President of Puzzle Ring Co.

Currently, there are about 13,000 registered users nationwide. Surprisingly, about half of the users are in their 30s and 40s, a much younger demographic than I had imagined. This is an age when people are more likely to experience marriage, the birth of a child, or the death of a close relative. Such life events are likely to trigger their use of the service.


The two main functions of the service are leaving messages to those left behind and creating a notarized will, which is legally effective. The fee is 110 yen per month (including tax), and up to one message can be created for free.

Among the functions for leaving messages is a “secret box,” which allows users to leave their own data and send it to a specified recipient in case of emergency. This feature is used to store a variety of things, such as photos, recipes for home cooking, or addresses for virtual currency. Regardless of which function you choose, if you can use LINE, you should be able to operate it without difficulty.

*There is a separate fee for notarized wills. The conventional price is 14850 yen (including tax). Currently offered at 6930 yen (including tax) until noon on January 10, 2024.

Lastmessage, a will web app. With a smartphone or computer, even a layman can easily create a legally effective will. Courtesy of Puzzle Ring Inc.
Japan’s will creation rate is considerably lower at 9.89% compared to 83% in the U.K. and 55% in the U.S. (according to Puzzle Ring Inc.) Courtesy of / Puzzle Ring Inc. 

So how exactly does one confirm that a person has died?

“We have our own process for confirming death, and we decide in advance who will make the final determination of death. We call that person the “trustee” in lastmessage. Next, we confirm the survival of users who have not logged in for a certain period of time by e-mail or phone call. Finally, only those users who cannot be contacted at all are contacted by the trustee to confirm their existence.”


Trustees are usually the people closest to them, such as family members, former teachers, and dating partners, and these are often the people to whom messages are sent.

Another function, the notarized will function, allows the user to complete a draft, which would be difficult for a layperson to create alone, simply by watching the video commentary and following the guide. Specifically, the family tree, executor, distribution of property, and appendices are set up. The application can then be filed by taking it to the local government office. There is also an optional service that allows individual consultation with lawyers, tax accountants, and judicial scriveners, providing peace of mind even in the case of complex events.

According to Mr. Yamamura, this kind of will service could be a deterrent to the problem of vacant houses, which is increasing due to dementia.

On the other hand, the ease of digital wills and the ability to send wills to individual testamentary beneficiaries, as compared to paper-based wills, seem to have different demographics.


“The LBGTQ is no exception. We believe that in the future, we will be able to serve an even wider target audience, including those who have been in such circumstances in the past.”

“Also, a will, as it is commonly referred to, is a will left by a man to his family. However, lastmessage has many young female users, and I think the image of the word “will” has changed.”

In other words, in the days when men were the head of the household and the primary breadwinner, “wills” were usually left by them for their families. However, as working styles have changed and the number of female heads of households has increased in recent years, it can be said that the gender gap between users who leave wills has been disappearing.

“In the end, it is those who are left behind who suffer the most. It is difficult to cancel a single cell phone or check the bank account of the deceased. If the deceased had organized his or her affairs properly before his or her death, there would be less trouble among the bereaved family members.”

“Lastmessage is currently operating a service that allows users to write down their “wish lists” and make them public on a trial basis, and in the future we would like to add more functions that will allow users to enjoy their remaining time. Specifically, we would like to connect users who have unfinished business in their lives so that they can enjoy the rest of their lives together. We are currently exploring such a service. From the user’s point of view, even if you leave a will at the age of 70, you still have 30 years left to live at this age of 100 years.”

Users can make a list of their unfinished business and connect with other users who share their interests.
Some users are looking for Dracula Walking buddies or want to form a band.

The issue of wills is one that is more difficult to discuss when one is in good health. Instead of just waiting to die, people can enjoy the rest of their lives to the fullest once they have made preparations to quickly leave this world. This may be the new form of life after death in the age of 100 years of life.

  • Interview and text Miho Homma

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