Adam and I started Everplans because we thought there was a need for a website that could help people prepare for and deal with a death.
The first kernel of the idea came to us in the spring of 2010. I was planning my wedding and soon thereafter was pregnant with my first child. For both of these major life events I used a handful of amazingly helpful online resources. As I was being guided through these very happy life changes, I wondered: What resources are there for the “unhappy” life events? What exists to hold people’s hands through death and dying?
I shared my thoughts with my colleague, Adam Seifer, who has a lot of experience building helpful, life-changing tools for communities around the world. (If anyone could help me on this mission, it would be Adam.) Together, we started looking into what resources were out there, but we couldn’t find anything that offered us what we wanted: clear, unbiased information; a modern, technology-driven experience; and a process that could help us (and people like us) get a handle on everything we’d someday have to deal with. If we could make the process easier, we hoped we might be able to make a real impact on people's lives. And so we started building Everplans.
Sometimes the universe acts in ways that don’t make any sense. In the summer of 2012, my family experienced a tragedy that not only profoundly affected me, but had an impact on the whole Everplans team. Two years after we’d begun working on Everplans, when my days were filled with thinking about how to improve people’s experience around a death, my brother was killed in a car crash. Needless to say, everything changed for me and my family that day. And everything changed for Everplans. The urgency of our project became real.
I experienced firsthand what it’s like to plan a funeral. I experienced firsthand what it’s like to witness the aftermath of someone dying who didn’t expect to die. I experienced grief and I also experienced what it’s like to be a young person dealing with a death—none of my friends knew how to react.
This experience made me and Adam realize: we’d set out trying to build a site for people who were dealing with death—hypothetical people. But death isn't hypothetical. Eventually it impacts all of us. We don't know when or how, but we do know that we can do a few things to prepare. We do know we can do a few things now that will save our families a huge amount of stress later on. I know that most people are terrified to think about death; I know that we are, too. And Adam and I know that Everplans can't make a death less awful, but we truly hope that we can help make things a little less complicated. We started Everplans because we thought there was a need. After the past three years of building Everplans, talking daily to people who have experienced loss, and experiencing loss ourselves, we now know there is a need.
Abby (and Adam)
Dealing with death is hard. Thinking about end-of-life wishes and making plans is uncomfortable, so most of us put it off until it's too late. And after a death, our families are usually left with the burden of stressful, often expensive decisions in a very short period of time, making the death even harder.
Given how important this topic is, we think end-of-life deserves the attention that people give to other important life events like marriage, birth, and career change. Even though there are resources available for many of the bits and pieces of this process, there’s nothing out there that knits it all together into a single, clear end-to-end view of what needs to get done.
Our mission is twofold:
1. To empower you to make confident decisions about how you want to be treated at the end of your life
2. To encourage more advance planning to help you and your family avoid having to make stressful, expensive decisions under pressure
We believe that by helping people to understand the totality of the decisions they need to make, and by breaking it all down into a step-by-step process, we can make end-of-life planning, dealing with a death, and supporting someone through their loss less confusing, more manageable, and easier to work through.
The Everplans website, articles, and tools can help you learn about your options, make the best decisions for you and your family, and take care of key tasks, all in one place, no matter your situation. And because death affects everyone—from the person approaching death, to those left behind, to those offering support—we offer advice for a variety of different types of people.
Death will always be hard. But Everplans’ new approach can help make it less overwhelming.
If you’ve found Everplans to be useful, or you think it could be beneficial to someone you know, please help us by spreading the word. Send your friends a link to our site, post a link to your social media profiles, or tell your doctor or social worker about Everplans.
If you have ideas for how we can improve Everplans, we’d like to hear from you. From new content to new tools, we’re always adding to our offerings, and we want to know how we can serve you better.
Lastly, if anything on Everplans has helped you through a tough situation we’d love for you to consider writing a testimonial for us, so please let us know! We look forward to hearing from you.