The best intentions don't always translate into action when it comes to end-of-life planning according to research released today by Everplans.

We conducted two independent studies throughout the course of June 2014 using Harris Poll and market research firm Ask Your Target Market to learn as much as we could about people's views towards getting a plan in place for themselves and their families. In total, 2,500 people were surveyed. The research suggests the biggest barrier to action isn’t consumer awareness of the importance of these plans, but rather, the lack of access to a simple, easy way to put all these plans in place. Everplans, which is the leading online service that gives financial professionals the tools they need to help their clients organize, store, and securely share all their legal, financial, healthcare, personal, and digital estate planning, is working to change that.

People Not Confident In Their Planning

When asked how well they handled or were prepared for making end-of-life plans – such as creating a Will, naming guardians, or having Life Insurance – consumers felt this is where they lagged the most when compared with all other household duties. More than one-fourth (27 percent) of those responsible for making end-of-life plans said they are not doing a good job at planning for the unexpected. And among those not already responsible for end-of-life planning, more than half (52 percent) feel like it would be a struggle to put those important documents in place. Other findings:

  • Eighty-seven percent of parents surveyed said it was important to speak to their children about their end-of-life plans.
  • 69 percent of respondents say they have considered creating a Will, only 34 percent surveyed have actually done so.
  • Only one out of four have made eldercare arrangements or completing an Advance Directive.

Gap In Consumer Intent Vs. Action

With the notable exception of Life Insurance, there's a significant gap between the plans people know they need versus the plans they actually implement. Creating a Will, one of the most important and commonly completed documents, was what consumers most often cited when asked about which documents they have seriously considered creating. However, only half of those respondents who considered creating a Living Will, a Healthcare Proxy, or a funeral plan actually went on to do so.  Beyond legal documents, people are starting to consider how their online accounts and services such banking, utilities, and insurance – as well as social media profiles and online photo libraries – will be accessed after their death. Forty percent of consumers have "seriously considered" documenting account details; only 22 percent have actually done so.

"Every one of my clients say they have a "general idea" of what they need to do but many just don't know where to start," said Bruce Bendell, managing member, Transitions Wealth Management, LLC. "Having a step-by-step action plan laid out in a person's Everplan is a huge wake up call for most of my clients because they really see what they still need to do. Everplans empowers my clients to make those decisions – and if they are unsure how to proceed, I am right there to help them work through the process as their trusted advisor."

Consumers Recognize Importance Of Seeking Assistance

While many people have trouble putting a plan in place, most feel it's important to talk about their wishes. More than 80 percent of those surveyed agreed that it's important to share their information across generations. Only 18 percent said these concerns were depressing or something they didn't want to deal with, dispelling the notion that end-of-life and legacy discussions are something people want to ignore or avoid.

The numbers skyrocketed when asked about wanting assistance creating an end-of-life plan. Over 95 percent of respondents agreed that some type of help would be valuable in creating such documents. Another area in which nearly everyone surveyed agreed (97 percent) is the importance of storing these important documents in a safe and easily accessible location where their loved ones could find them if they needed them.

"Trusted financial advisors, estate planners, CPAs, and insurance professionals are often the first point of contact on this complex issue for many consumers," said our co-founder/co-CEO Abby Schneiderman. "The research shows how important it is for investment professionals to engage with their clients on this topic. With Everplans Professional, advisors can turn clients' best intentions into action."

Resources: Read the full press release on PR Newswire | Advisors: Schedule a one-on-one demo here! | Consumers: Get started on your Everplan now

Financial advisors, insurance agents, estate planning attorneys and CPAs have a new tool to share with their clients. Today we announced the launch of Everplans Professional, which gives financial professionals the additional tools they need to help their clients organize, store and share all their legal, financial, healthcare, personal and digital information – all in one, convenient place.

Advisors also have access to a personalized dashboard to track the progress and completion of their client's Everplan.

everplans professional dashboard

Here's the full release with all the details:

Everplans just became even more secure.

The security standard sweeping the Internet is now part of Everplans.

What is it?

It’s a two-step process to make sure your Everplan is always secure.

Why is it important?

Most people use the same password for multiple sites. Let’s say a hacker obtains your Amazon password. If you use that same password for other popular sites like Google, Facebook, or Dropbox, that hacker now has the proverbial keys to the kingdom.

Once you enable two-step verification (a.k.a. two-factor authentication), when someone tries to access your account from an unfamiliar device (phone, tablet, computer), there’s a safety measure in place to thwart the attack.

How do I set it up?

Here’s how to enable two-step verification for your Everplans account:

Step 1

two step verification step 1

Head to your Account Settings page (via your name) and click “Manage.”

Everplans has gotten an overhaul!

Our entire team has been holed up in an undisclosed location researching, refining, and building an entirely new Everplans experience for our users. We listened carefully to hundreds of customers who offered us brilliant feedback and incorporated many of those suggestions into the new Everplan. We think you’ll like what you see. But don't believe us. Just believe your own eyes.

When you log in you'll see quite a few changes. We've created new sections, renamed others, and moved things around to make it a better experience. Of the dozens of enhancements, here are 10 of the biggest ones we want to point out:

1. A Clean And Crisp "My Everplan" Page

With cleaner design and a more intuitive interface, we’ve made it much easier to manage your Everplan. This benefits not only you, but your Deputies as well. So pretty!

2. Work It

You can now include extensive details about your employer, your business, and other occupational income sources. Each employment status selection displays a different set of options allowing you to share this vital info with your Deputies.

3. There's No Place Like Homes & Real Estate

We supersized the Homes & Real Estate section, giving you the the ability to add everything anyone would need to know about your home in one place. This includes ownership, utilities, security, and more. You can also add multiple residencies and other types of real estate you may own as well.

Bringing the topic of Advance Directives, Living Wills, and Health Care Proxies to a younger generation.

The popular and stylish Refinery29 wrote an insightful and compelling article on why everyone needs a Living Will (a.k.a. Advance Directive), which was aptly titled "The Critical Decision You Haven't Made — But Should."

And we're not just gushing over this because Everplans was mentioned in the article. Seriously! We're excited when anyone writes or speaks about the importance of this document. (You can download yours here: State-By-State Advance Directive Forms.) Refinery29 cites a number of statistics (example: "82% of people think it’s 'important' to record their [medical] wishes in writing, but only 23% have done so") and explains how an Advance Directive details the treatments you either want or don't want when you're unable to communicate your decisions due to a serious illness or injury.

refinery29 graphic regarding living wills

Here's a highlight of their interview with our co-founder Abby Schneiderman about the issue:

While planning her wedding in 2010, Schneiderman began to wonder whether there were similar services available to people preparing for a different milestone: death. Today, Everplans’ vast library of articles addresses questions from what to wear to a funeral to how to write a living will. As Schneiderman describes, “We created a platform that helps people create and store and share all of the important information that their family needs in case something happens to them — wills, life insurance policies, healthcare proxies, advance directives, even burial wishes and online accounts.”

Read the rest of this compelling article on Refinery29.

OK, the term crash is a bit of an overstatement...

We were invited to attend but we like to dramatize our headlines. Everplans brought a spark to the NFP conference in Orlando this week, handing out phone chargers and chatting up some of the best advisors from across the country. Our team took this opportunity to get feedback from the experts who live in the trenches of the financial world, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. As we launch our professional platform it's especially heartening to know that our message resonates with the very experts to whom we seek to provide services. 

Abby Schneiderman Working The Room At NFP
A candid shot of Everplans Co-founder Abby Schneiderman offering up professional planning solutions

A big Everplans thanks goes out to the world-class team at NFP for hosting us. Also thanks to Orlando for being warmer than New York, even though we never had a chance to go outdoors.

Everplans has been Minted.

Our co-founder Abby Schneiderman was recently interviewed by the personal financial management service regarding end-of-life planning. Here are some highlights:

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing individuals making end-of-life plans?

For so many people, this can be an overwhelming process, so we see the biggest challenge is quite simply just finding a place to start. As such, Everplans offers so many different entry points.

Why do you think many of us avoid making these plans?

People avoid planning because it's often perceived as either too complicated or depressing. We're here to debunk both of those myths.

What's the fallout of not having plans in place?

What many people don't realize is that if you don't plan or share any of your decisions, then there actually is a plan in place for you. But rather than it reflecting your personal wishes, all the decisions will be by default by strangers - namely, doctors, courts and the government.

What do you think are the most common oversights we make in end-of-life planning?

The most common oversight is believing you have everything completely under control because you completed a few planning components...What you don't realize is how much you may be forgetting.

Mint also asked Abby about the minimum amount of planning everyone should do, when you should enlist the help of a professional, how often plans should be updated, and her favorite resources (apart from Everplans of course) for managing end-of-life-related decisions.

Head over to and read the full interview. While you're there you might also want to set up an account since it's an easy and effective way to manage all your finanical information in one place. And we're not just saying this because they ran this exceptionally informative interview about us. It's a really useful digital tool, and the app is cool too.

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,, 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.