End-of-life planning app helps you prepare for mortality

By taking control of your death today, you can ease the burden on your loved ones tomorrow.

End-of-life planning can help you take control of your death — and make it easier for your loved ones to focus on grieving, and not logistical tasks, after you pass. 

But planning can seem scary, daunting, and overwhelming — that’s where a new app comes in.

The challenge: The idea of dying can be terrifying. We all know it’s going to happen one day, but that doesn’t make death any easier to think about — and as a result, many of us try not to think or talk about it at all.

“I’ve seen with my own eyes the toll an unprepared death takes on the people left behind.”

Izumi Inoue

That might help us cope with our own deaths, but it can leave our loved ones in a terrible situation right after our passing — they’re dealing with the logistics of life insurance, funeral planning, and more at a time when emotions can be high.

“I’ve lost both of my grandparents and have seen with my own eyes the toll an unprepared death takes on the people left behind,” Izumi Inoue, founder of the end-of-life planning app Bereev, told CNET

“It causes friction, additional trauma, and it tears families apart.” 

The idea: Bereev guides you through the process of end-of-life planning, helping you get all of your affairs in order so that those you leave behind can focus on grieving.

After signing up for the web app, you’ll be given the opportunity to upload important documents (a will, banking information, etc.) to a secure cloud vault.

You’ll also be able to leave instructions — such as what type of funeral you want or who should care for your pets and how — and create text, audio, or video messages that will be sent to specific friends and family members after you die.

Once everything is ready, you’ll designate one or more “sidekicks” for your account. These people will be responsible for letting Bereev know of your death, and once it’s confirmed, Bereev will grant them access to the specific instructions or documents you want them to see.

The app has a scaled-down free version as well as a paid option that allows you to create more messages, designate more sidekicks, and store more documents. 

Zooming out: End-of-life planning is a growing tech space — in addition to Bereev, there are other startups that help with everything from creating a will to ensuring your Netflix subscription is canceled after you pass.

For those times when an app isn’t enough, though, many companies also offer person-to-person support through chat or phone to help with the process.

“With tech, we have this desire to say we don’t need humans anymore. This can fully be solved by software,” Liz Eddy, co-founder of the end-of-life planning website Lantern, told WIRED. “The reality is, the combination of technology and humans is where you really find power.”

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