Worried about your family’s ongoing coverage? Your access to specialty care? Experimental treatments? Luckily, these 35 movies can help you through it all.


The debate over health care has been at a fever pitch around the country since The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) became law in 2010 and went into full effect in 2015. Rather than argue its merits, let’s all take a collective deep breath and allow movies to solve all our problems.

Note: If you’re actually in need of medical attention, please see a doctor! Even if you’re completely healthy, you should still create an Advance Directive so you have control over the treatments you want. Also, the open enrollment period for health care coverage comes to an end on 2/15/15. Don't go uncovered!

Okay, enough serious talk. We identified a number of health care concerns and how popular movies dealt with the problem in their own magical (and completely unrealistic) ways. Let’s get on with the fun.

1. Rambo (Yes, all of them)

The Health Care Crisis: Lack of coverage will cause a reversion back to primitive medical practices.
The Diagnosis: That wound won’t stitch or cauterize itself. Bite the bullet and DIY. Plus, if you’re interested in fresher skin, Rambo also recommends regular mud baths. [Photo Source: Lions Gate]

2. The Doctor

The Health Care Crisis: Patients have growing concerns that doctors have lost all sense of empathy and compassion.
The Diagnosis: Doctors themselves must become gravely ill to learn that patients are more than just notes on a medical chart. [Photo Source: Touchstone Pictures]

3. The Hunger Games

The Health Care Crisis: Government subsidies will no longer be available to those who can’t afford medication or treatment.
The Diagnosis: The less fortunate will have to use their wits, wiles, and marksmanship to earn funding from wealthy sponsors. It also helps to have Woody Harrelson on your side. May the odds be ever in your favor. [Photo Source: Lions Gate]

Tags:

No one can guarantee a peaceful death, but an undisturbed funeral should be a given. Here are a few things to keep in mind to assure the final farewell is dignified.

According to a recent CNN report, the family of the late Vanessa Collier was extremely upset when the church hosting her funeral refused to show a tribute video depicting images of Vanessa kissing her female partner. Since the family wouldn’t change the video, the service was abruptly relocated to a much smaller venue across the street after attendees had already been seated.

Now imagine this happening to you. It’s the last time you get to say goodbye to someone you loved and the place you’re holding the ceremony has a fundamental problem with how you want to honor the deceased, forcing you to either alter the ceremony or find another place. It’s a terrible situation, and something that can be avoided.

No Judgements

We’re not here to condemn the church, or say that we as a society need to be more accepting. People have the choice to believe what they believe, so we need to either learn how to best work together, or accept each other’s differences and not work together at all.

It’s obvious that funerals are an incredibly emotional time for friends and family members. For others involved, it’s a business or based strongly in belief. While businesses have one set of goals (make money, provide a service that keeps customers coming back for more), beliefs are often ironclad, and won’t change to accommodate even those who are grieving.

This is why funeral directors are the liaisons who make sure any possible issue is addressed well before people arrive at the funeral. Typically, a professional and knowledgeable funeral director will speak with the family or loved ones, find out what type of service they want, and identify possible issues right off the bat. It’s much like a wedding planner in that regard, where the job is to know the vendors (or in the case of death, surrounding places of worship and cemeteries), figure out a solution, and guide the family in the right direction.

If you’re not using a funeral director, then it’s up to the person planning the funeral to call possible locations beforehand and make sure they’re accepting. If they’re not you can always voice your displeasure or stage a protest later, but right now the most important thing is to find a venue so the funeral proceeds peacefully.

We’ve come up with a list of possible situations below, but the overarching solution is quite simple: Always ask in advance.

Funeral Service Issues

What if a place of worship isn’t tolerant of people who are gay, lesbian, or transgender, or won't recognize same sex couples or marriage? It’s best to find a place that will honor your loved one rather than judge him or her for living a life they think was wrong. The right venue will also benefit the attendees, who probably accepted the deceased's lifestyle and will be quickly angered by those who don't. 

Even though the Catholic Church has accepted cremation since 1963, some priests still feel the body should remain intact for the afterlife. Some places may protest if you forgo a traditional funeral service and only want to bring cremated remains into the church for a memorial service. (Note: A memorial service is held after the cremation has taken place, whereas a funeral has the body present.) 

If you’re having a funeral in a temple, be aware that traditional Jewish rituals push for simplicity; the body should be placed in a plain pine box and adorning it with flowers is not considered appropriate. If you would like to stray from tradition, be sure to check with the Rabbi first.

Some spaces don’t only judge how people lived, but also how they died. Unfortunately, certain locations will not be willing to hold a service for someone who committed suicide.

Burial Issues

A cemetery is another place where modern and traditional beliefs could clash.

If the deceased is a different religion or race than the rest of the family, don’t assume the cemetery will be as accepting as you are. Most cemeteries try to keep families together, but again, please check in advance.

Although you may not be bothered by the deceased’s tattoos, certain religious cemeteries do not approve.

If you’re planning to take advantage of military veteran benefits, you need to be sure that you can prove that the deceased was honorably discharged. You need to fill out the DD-214 form to obtain the plot in the cemetery, as well as receive other veteran benefits. Don’t forget, this is applicable to the spouses and minor children of the veteran as well. If the deceased was dishonorably discharged then there are no benefits available.

Other Thoughts About Death And Lifestyle

Not all funerals are traditional. Some people treat them like parties, which could be disruptive for some venues. While it’s impossible to come up with every situation, here are a few to get your mind thinking:

If the deceased was in a gang, or had criminal or controversial dealings that lead to their death, a venue owner may pass.

If the deceased rode motorcycles, the place might not want a bunch of loud bikes zooming through the parking lot.

Then there are interesting lifestyle choices where it’s up to the family to use their judgement and common sense. If the deceased was a nudist and requested that some of his buddies show up in the buff, or if they really loved smoking pot and wanted people to get high during the ceremony, you’re probably not going to find many places willing to accommodate. Also, this is what a post-funeral receptions back at home are meant for. (We’re not here to judge. We just want to give you some options...and keep you out of jail.)

Final Thoughts

It’s understandable for a person to get upset and angry if someone judges you or your loved ones, especially in death. It hurts and can make the grieving process that much harder. But when it comes to honoring the deceased it’s best to try to work together and get through it with as little friction as possible.

The Wall Street Journal recently cited Everplans as the go-to resource for estate planning in an article titled The Best Online Tools For Navigating Retirement.

The story lists a bunch of very useful apps and Websites to help get your planning underway. Here’s an excerpt of what they had to say about us:

Estate Planning

A handful of sites offer a blueprint for estate planning, including a list of the documents that are generally needed in addition to a will.

One of the most comprehensive, Everplans.com, explains how to complete documents such as health-care proxies and powers of attorney that appoint people to make medical and financial decisions on behalf of someone who becomes incapacitated. It has links to standard versions of these documents for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and discusses living wills, do-not-resuscitate orders and some types of trusts. The site also sends emails to urge users to take specific steps, such as uploading or completing documents.

For $75 a year, users receive five gigabytes of storage for documents on the site. Users frequently upload copies of items their beneficiaries will need, including insurance policies, Social Security cards, bank account numbers, online usernames and passwords, and contracts with funeral homes and cemeteries. Some users even include explanations of their wills, says Abby Schneiderman, the site’s co-founder.

The site requires users to name deputies to receive access to the information. It also recommends companies that provide wills and life insurance, although it currently receives no payment from those companies, says Ms. Schneiderman.


Read the full story here.

Finally, an end-of-year list that has nothing to do with Ebola.

It’s been an eventful year so take some time to reflect with some helpful, instructional, and just downright fun Everplans stories from 2014.

1. Shhhh...It’s A Secret

How To Eliminate All The Skeletons In Your Closet After You Die

Questionable browser history, racy photographs, and private health conditions are just a few posthumous scandals you might want to avoid. What secrets do you want to take to the grave?

Related: Checklist: How To Identify Skeletons In Your Closet

2. A Treat Almost As Good As Bacon

How To Make Sure Your Pets Are Taken Care Of After You’re Gone

America is approaching a belly rub crisis. Or, in the case of cats, that spot right above their tail that makes them like you for a few minutes.

Only 9-percent of people with Wills have made provisions for their pets. Even though it’s incredibly sad to think of our pets without us, it’s time to do something about it. Here’s how to keep tails waggin’ and kitties purring after you’re gone.

Related: The 10 Biggest Inheritances Ever Left to Pets | Puppy Dogs and Kitty-Cats Promise More Cuddles If You Include Them In Your Will

Perhaps you already saw our 2014 Completely Responsible (Yet Still Very Fun) Holiday Gift Guide, which offered a bunch of options for what you should buy for your family, friends, and other gift-worthy people in your life. But what did the Everplans staff give each other?

We recently held our second annual “yankee swap." We’re still not 100-percent solid on all the rules and regulations, but it’s like a Secret Santa -- except you can steal other people’s gifts. Or something. Rather than give you a play-by-play of who ended up with what, let’s just say it was a lot of fun. Here’s a rundown of all the awesome $25-and-under presents along with the person who bought it.

A recent episode of Hawaii Five-0 went beyond the call of planning duty and covered all of these things:

Plus, it brought back Carol Burnett as Lt. Steve McGarrett’s Aunt Deb, who this time last year had given up a fight against a brain tumor [Check it out here: Hawaii Five-0 Gave Carol Burnett A Brain Tumor for Thanksgiving]. We’re happy to say she opted for chemo and is keeping the fight alive...and now she’s getting married!

All of this info was packed into a tropical cornucopia of action and lush Hawaiian landscapes.

We're pleased to announce we've been selected to join the highly competitive Aging2.0 Academy program. The only program of its kind in the world, the Academy is designed to connect, support and accelerate the top startups in aging and long-term care. The yearlong program commences November 20, 2014 in San Francisco.

The full press release is after the jump.

Our Co-Founder Abby Schneiderman was gloriously profiled by The Huffington Post. In the interview she talks about what it's like being a woman in the tech industry, balancing family and running a business, and why Everplans is the greatest thing in the world.

Okay, perhaps we're being biased about that last part, but she said such nice things about us we couldn't help but return the favor. Here's a choice selection:

Everplans is a website that helps people become heroes to their families. I'm really proud of what we have accomplished so far. We have an incredible team of people with a lot of experience and expertise working together to create Everplans. We're actually trying to do something that no one has done before. Though many companies exist to help with bits and pieces of this planning (online legal forms companies, financial services, healthcare companies, etc), no one has knit the whole thing together. Why not? They come at it from their business perspective and haven't thought about it from a 'whole life' perspective...A major highlight, has been launching our product into the marketplace and hearing from our users on a daily basis thanking us for building Everplans.

Head on over to The Huffington Post to read the full story.

Tags:

Attention California residents: It's time to discard your old Physicians Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms and start using the new one, which went into effect on October 1, 2014.

For those unfamiliar with a POLST, think of it as a more customized DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) for people with advanced illnesses. While you can obtain a copy of the form here or in our State-By-State POLST Forms section, for it to be official you must fill it out with a doctor.

According to the official site, here are the main changes to the form:

--In order to be consistent with Section A, treatment choices for Sections B and C have been switched in their order, and each section begins with the most aggressive and invasive treatment choices.

--In Section B, the choice of “Limited Additional Interventions” has been renamed to “Selective Treatment,” and the choice of “Comfort Measures Only” has been renamed to “Comfort-Focused Treatment.”

--Goal statements have been added for each treatment choice in Section B. These descriptions help patients understand the goals of care within each option, and aim to promote quality conversations with a patient and/or legally recognized decisionmaker. The goal statements are as follows:

  • Full Treatment – primary goal of prolonging life by all medically effective means.
  • Selective Treatment – goal of treating medical conditions while avoiding burdensome measures.
  • Comfort-Focused Treatment – primary goal of maximizing comfort.

--In Section B, the Full Treatment option features a box which can be marked to indicate: “Trial Period of Full Treatment.” This option is beneficial for patients who want to try short-term ventilatory support but do not want prolonged life support.

--“Address” was clarified and now reads as “Mailing Address.”

--The new “Office Use Only” box is in place for internal use only.

Via CAPolst.org

Big thanks to Lifehacker for covering our How To Close Digital Accounts And Services When Someone Dies feature:

We all have tons of digital accounts—email, social media, shopping, cable services, and so on. If you ever need to close one of these accounts—for yourself or, perhaps, a loved one who has passed away, Everplans offers a comprehensive guide to doing so.

For those interested in this topic we have some good news: We plan on adding a lot more online accounts and services to the already massive list in the near future so stay tuned.

Via Lifehacker