Like the old saying goes, you can’t choose your family. But if you’re an animal your family can sure as heck choose you, which is probably why many of the world’s mega-rich have chosen to bequeath more of their inheritance to their loyal pets than to their often spoiled kids.

Once a novelty, it’s now become expected for the unimaginably wealthy to leave millions to their surviving pets to ensure there’s no disruption in their spa treatments and fancy feasts.

If you thought the amounts of money lavished on human heirs of the rich and famous were obscene, wait till you see the millions rained on these one percenters of the animal kingdom. [For those people without Scrooge McDuck money, here’s how you can make sure your pets are taken care of after you’re gone.]

10. Pet: Bubbles (chimpanzee)

Owner: Michael Jackson
Bequest: $2 million
Long before it became a reality, Jackson left his chimp Bubbles $2 million payable upon his death. However, fears that the chimp’s increasing aggression might be a danger to Jackson’s newborn son forced the preemptive relocation of Bubbles to an animal sanctuary, where he lives to this day. Which is probably a healthier environment than life in the Jackson family anyway.

9. Pets: Unspecified number of dogs

Owner: Majel Barrett-Roddenberry
Bequest: $4 million
After dying in 2009 at the age of 76, the widow of Star Trek creator Gene set up a $4 million trust for their dogs, plus an additional $1 million for a domestic employee to care for them.

8. Pet: Gigoo (hen)

Owner: Miles Blackwell
Bequest: $10 million
Blackwell and his wife had a track record of caring for animals, having established the Tubney Charitable Trust in 1997 to protect farm critters. After she died in 2001, the childless publishing magnate left Gigoo 10 extra-large then died unexpectedly three weeks later at age 56.

Everplans provides guides, resources and a platform to help you create a plan that contains
everything your loved ones will need if something happens to you.

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With so much craftsmanship on display with your average coffin or casket, it’s almost a shame to bury them in the earth for of all eternity. So while it may be a tad morbid, there are some ways to celebrate the aesthetic beauty of a coffin and take advantage of their practical side without the attendant mood killers like death. Enjoy these creative takes on the typical coffin…

Rest In Peace

Of course, the most obvious place to start is the coffin as bed. If you want to do it in style, however, you should book a trip to Germany. The Propeller Island City Lodge in Berlin offers a theme room where guests can get cozy in casket. It is unsettling? Sure, but what else would you expect from a country that actually coined a term for the pleasure you get in seeing other people struggle? Just go with the Teutonic flow… [Source: Propeller Island]

Bed, Bath And The Great Beyond

Medieval scholars often kept skulls on their desks to serve as “Memento Mori,” or reminders of our mortality. But why stop there? A company called “Coffin It Up” can literally refurnish your entire home in coffin-shaped cabinets, end tables, mirror, sinks and anything else. Nothing says “I never outgrew my Goth phase” better than a death-obsessed linen closet, so if you’re willing to stare the Grim Reaper in the face every single day, they have everything you need. [Source: Coffin It Up]

An article about Everplans is currently feature in the May, 2014 issue of the AARP Bulletin. Titled "Online Help to Plan Your Exit Strategy," the monthly magazine does a great job informing their millions of members about our new way of getting a plan in place. Here's the full, glorious page:

Automatic payments make life so much easier. As long as you keep money in your bank account and pay the credit card associated with the utilities and services, everything is paid on time and late fees are a thing of the past. On the negative side, it can also mask your death.

Here's a sad story that happened a few months ago. A woman named Pia Farrenkopf from Pontiac, Michigan had been dead for five years...and no one noticed. Her neighbors thought she was traveling and mowed the lawn to keep things looking tidy. The Post Office collected all her mail so nothing piled up. Even when her bank account, which was being used to auto-pay her bills, ran out of money she still went undiscovered. The bank foreclosed on the house and still nothing. Then a contractor, who was sent to repair the roof, found her mummified body in the backseat of her car.

We're not here to rehash the entire story, which does have a few odd twists and turns. If you're interested it was widely reported by CNN, The New Yorker and USA Today. There's even a Facebook memorial page called "Mummified in Michigan," which was set up by her 19-year-old niece to honor her life and try and get answers.

There were a lot of extenuating circumstances as to why Farrenkopf went undiscovered. She lived alone, she recently left a job, she had lots of money in her bank account, Michigan has had so much economic turmoil that abandoned houses are quite common, etc... But it begs the question: If you died alone, how long would it take someone to find you?

If you're married or live with someone, probably not very long. But what if you live alone? What if you don't work a regular job? What if you go long stretches without talking to your family or close friends on a regular basis? And what if all the payments in your life are automated? It's as if you can live on forever...until a credit card expires or the money runs out.

This is why it's important to check on older or sick neighbors if you haven't seen them in a few weeks or during extreme weather. Same goes for people who have gone through a major life event (death, divorce, recent or long-term unemployment). Because while many people might have someone to be there for them, there are too many out there who don't.

Everplans provides guides, resources and a platform to help you create a plan that contains
everything your loved ones will need if something happens to you.

Create your FREE Everplan

There’s no such thing as a simple goodbye for superheroes…

Recently, Marvel announced they’re killing off one of their most popular characters…X-Men’s age-defying, claw-bearing Wolverine! While this may come as a shock to some, to many who follow comics and comic-based movies it’s just another iconic superhero flirting with the great beyond.

The world of super-powered crime-fighters is fraught with peril, and sometimes even the most powerful succumb to the dangers and fall in a valiant effort to save the world, right a wrong...or, not to be too cynical, boost sales and garner media attention.

Just like soap operas, nothing in the world of costumed crusaders is ever simple, so it’s no surprise that even superhero funerals often serve as more than just opportunities for friends and family to say their goodbyes. Here are some ways in which memorials are manipulated…

The Funeral As A Classic “This Isn’t Goodbye, It’s See You Later”

There used to be a joke among comic book fans that “nobody stays dead except Bucky” (a reference to Captain America’s old Robin-esque sidekick who actually remained dead for many, many years before, yes, eventually being resurrected, too). So funerals are often time-delayed plot bombs – the ticker is set, and we count down to that character’s inevitably explosive, emotional return. (Photo Source: Marvel)

The X-Men universe has their “Death of Jean Grey” storyline, where original X-Team member Jean Grey (known as “Marvel Girl” and then later the aptly-named “Phoenix”) sacrificed herself in order to stop her increasingly out-of-control and genocidal powers. It’s one of the most powerful deaths in comics, with a whole issue dedicated to her funeral. Of course, Jean would return to rock the X-universe many times over since. Will the same fate await Wolverine in the upcoming “Death of Wolverine” series. Probably. (Photo Source: Marvel)

Hey Everfans, be sure to stop by the Everplans booth at the New York Tech Day expo in New York tomorrow. We'll be at our booth in full regalia offering demos, discounts, and pens. Lots of pens. Hope to see you tomorrow, April 24th at Pier 92 in NYC. It is a free event and Everplans will be among hundreds of other (less cool) startups from the New York area. Register to attend here!

Everplans provides guides, resources and a platform to help you create a plan that contains
everything your loved ones will need if something happens to you.

Create your FREE Everplan

What if you were facing certain death and only had one minute to express everything to all your loved ones? One minute...GO! Would you be able to convey everything you needed to? How to access all your important information? How you felt about each person in your life? Basic instructions on what you want done with your body? It's almost panic attack inducing, right?

This simple workshop exercise, and the unsatisfying letter he wrote, was a wake-up call for writer/actor/creativity coach Steve Harper:

"That awkward letter was a wake-up call. I wanted to leave clear instructions behind. I needed to create a will. 

What a drag. I’d rather put it off. I’d rather not think about my own death."

But Harper persevered and he eloquently detailed his experience, which perfectly (and succinctly) explains why a healthy guy felt the need to create a Will, Trust and Advance Directive. He also had conversations with friends and loved ones when it came to naming a Health Care Proxy, Power of Attorney, and Executor.

The good news is, most of us will never be in a situation where we only have one minute to complete all our Planning. The bad news is half of us die without leaving a Will or any instructions behind. Harper admits it was difficult to face his own mortality, but in the end "pushing through the denial and the awkwardness will make my passing a little more manageable for those I leave behind."

Via The Good Men Project

Everplans provides guides, resources and a platform to help you create a plan that contains
everything your loved ones will need if something happens to you.

Create your FREE Everplan

You've probably heard by now about a major Internet security flaw that has the potential to affect virtually every site on the Internet.  

The nature of the flaw was such that some data that was sent encrypted from you to a website could be read by an attacker. Note that this doesn't mean that it did happen, only that it was a risk. 

Monday when the problem was first announced, sites that send encrypted data (including Everplans) have been working to eliminate this vulnerability.  

Security is at the core of what we do here at Everplans and the team has been working around the clock to make sure we are not vulnerable.  

For any site addressing this problem there is a 3-step process:

  • First, update the vulnerable software on all affected servers
  • Second, replace the secret keys used to encrypt secure web traffic
  • And the final step is up to you: For your security, you should consider changing your website passwords. Everplans has completed the first two steps and is recommending that members change their Everplans password. 

How To Change Your Password

1. Click This Link.

2. You will be asked to sign into your account.

3. After signing in you'll be on your "Account" page.  Select "User Info" on the left side of the page.

4. Follow the instructions on this page to change your password.

Please Note: This is a precaution. We have no reason to believe any Everplans accounts were compromised.

And, because this was a flaw that affected most all sites on the Internet, it would be a good idea to take this moment to change your passwords across the board for any other sites you use that may contain sensitive information. 

If you'd like to learn more about this flaw (called, poetically, Heartbleed), you can read these articles:

New York Times Coverage

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to send us a note at


Abby Schneiderman and Adam Seifer

Channing Tatum, seen here in Magic Mike, probably wouldn't garner many complaints if he danced at a nursing home.
Source: Warner Home Video

Typical amenities at a nursing home: meals, housekeeping, 24-hour emergency medical services, and lapdances?

A Long Island nursing home is under fire for providing male strippers to its residents, according to The New York Post. While other nursing homes have more conventional activities like bingo night or watching Cocoon, the folks here were permitted to make it rain dollar bills over adult performers. Here's a choice selection from the story:

The son of one resident, 85-year-old Bernice Youngblood, was shocked when he showed up for a visit and found a picture of his mom stuffing dollar bills — which are supposed to be locked away in her commissary account — into a dancer’s briefs.

After expressing his displeasure to the staff he filed a lawsuit, claiming his mom “...was placed in apprehension of imminent, offensive, physical harm, as she was confused and bewildered as to why a muscular, almost nude man, was approaching her and placing his body and limbs, over [her].”

This apparently wasn't the first time residents at East Neck Nursing Center in West Babylon were treated to a "low-rent Chippendale’s striptease," and a nurse told the family that this was simply an "entertainment event."

Via The New York Post

Most people in America don't have alligators in their backyard. If you live in the south, particularly Florida, it's not uncommon. What is uncommon, and extremely reckless, is feeding them...and that's exactly what this woman who lives in a Port St. Lucie senior living complex did on a regular basis.

According to a news report from NBC 5 in Chicago (complete with video), the woman is seen attempting to feed the alligator like she's in a petting zoo. Her neighbors were quoted as saying that they've seen her do this "over and over again." When the gator got fresh the woman reared back and started kicking her legs:

Oddly enough, this leg-flailing technique proved quite effective and the alligator didn't eat her. Still, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission doesn't approve of this behavior and noted that it's illegal in Florida to feed alligators, mainly because these massive beasts can and will kill you. Plus, feeding stray animals means they'll come back for more. Unlike a sad-eyed dog or kitty-cat, alligators can't be tamed and according to the story "the gator was so used to getting fed, it would chase people with steaks."

To be fair, we've been guilty of chasing people who are carrying around steaks as well. They're delicious no matter what species you are.

Via NBC Chicago