Business & Investment

Here’s how the app can help when someone dies

Prior to the pandemic, entrepreneurs Liz Eddy and Alyssa Ruderman struggled to get venture capitalists to invest in the end-of-life planning app Lantern. Potential business partners were also skeptical.

“You’ll hear,’Oh, this is a really niche problem.’ I think it’s pretty hilarious,” says Eddie. “Death is literally the only thing on earth that affects everyone.”

The last two years have highlighted the importance of such preparation, even for young people. Abigail Henson, a 31-year-old college professor in Phoenix, said he planned a funeral with a lantern about 18 months ago, told the executor where the password was, and explained what he wanted to do with his social media account. say.

“I’m a planner and I have control issues, so the idea of ​​being able to say what would happen after my death was fascinating,” says Henson.

Planning death and navigating life after loss can be difficult, complex, and sometimes costly. However, we promise that some apps such as Lantern, Cake, Empathy and Everplans will help.

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How the death plan app works

Death planning apps usually have free tools for consumers, and most apps have additional premium services available for a fee.

For example, Empathy’s free offering includes checklists, articles, and collaboration tools for families dealing with death. Those who pay a monthly subscription fee of $ 8.99 or an annual subscription fee of $ 64.99 can access the document vault and automation tools to close their account. Subscribers also have 24-hour access to “care specialists” who can answer questions and search for professional advisors such as lawyers and tax professionals.

Everplans, a document storage site and app, offers a free trial followed by a $ 75 annual subscription fee.

Lantern’s free offering includes basic pre-planning tools, post-loss checklists, document storage, and collaboration tools. The one-time $ 149 fee provides access to more resources and the ability to create additional plans.

Cake’s free features include end-of-life planning, online monuments, lost checklists, and document storage. Cake co-founder Suelin Chen can purchase unlimited storage, legitimate online will, and one-on-one consultations with the app’s support team for an annual subscription of $ 96.

Some apps partner with employers, insurance companies, banks and other companies to offer app functionality to employees and customers as a benefit. The app may also earn referral fees to connect users and service providers. For example, the lantern has a “funeral home” tool for searching for funeral homes, and Cake is affiliated with Eterneva, which turns cremated remains into diamonds.

Related: Six important real estate planning documents that every adult needs

Plan at your own pace

Henson says he chose the lantern because he needed a digital solution that he could complete pre-planning tasks at his own pace and share online with trusted people.He felt easier to handle than tackle Real estate planning According to Henson, all the documents were stored in a locked filing cabinet at once, which the mother did.

“It can be really overwhelming to think about it all at once, but the idea of ​​occasionally stopping by and adding more is useful,” says Henson.

Carolyn McLanahhan, a certified financial planner and doctor in Jacksonville, Florida, says you shouldn’t rely on the app for all your real estate planning. Will and trustFor example, she says drafting requires caution and is best done by an experienced lawyer.

However, McClanahan likes apps that help with tasks such as funeral instructions, advanced care instructions, pet care plans, and obituary drafts.

“Anything that people can start thinking about plans for the end of life is fine,” says McClanahan.

read: What dogs tell us about life and death

Think about your heritage

Planning your death is a tremendous gift to those you leave behind and can prevent them from being confused and stressed. However, dealing with the aftermath of death is still a heavy burden and can be further complicated by grief.

Ron Gura, co-founder and CEO of Empathy, often spends thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on post-mortem work. These chores include funeral arrangements, real estate investigations, account closures, service cancellations, and transactions with various government agencies such as social security and the IRS. The app allows people to answer a few questions and get personalized advice.

“We can only show you what you have to do now and tell you what you can wait for,” Gra says.

The Death Planning app focuses primarily on practicality such as completing tasks and uploading important documents. However, many encourage users to think about their heritage.

For example, Everplans has worksheets to help people create ethical wills, their values, life lessons, and documents that convey their most important experiences. Everplans also has templates and guidance for writing letters and creating videos with legacy messages.

Related: “Who will take care of you when you get older?” Child-free retirement plans answer the questions we all have to ask.

Cake’s Chen says people often ask if running a death-planning app seems depressing. The exact opposite, she says. Thinking about what we value and how we want to be remembered is an important part of life, not just the death planning process, says Chen.

“It’s at the heart of what really makes life meaningful,” she says. “Every day I am encouraged to make the most of my time.”

Details of Nerd Wallet

Liz Weston, CFP® writes to the Nerd Wallet. Email: lweston@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lizweston.

Here’s how the app can help when someone dies

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