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

Have you ever looked at a life insurance policy and thought "va-va-va-voom!" Us too, which is why we compiled the most scintillating, steamy policies ever to grace paper. So strap in and hold on to your riders as we reveal the 7 sexiest life insurance policies ever!!!

7. ING's Assignment of Life Insurace Policy As Collateral

We kick off the list with some flair. Just look at those orange highlights. What a delightful tease!

6. AXA Equitable

This is symmetrical, but still quite shapely. Well played, AXA Equitable. Well played, indeed.

5. MDA Insurance

A seductive green logo and the word "insurance" in come-hither purple? Simply naughty!

4. Old School AIG Life Insurance Policy

This old school AIG policy doesn't need to be fancy. It knows what you want...and it knows how to deliver. Raar!

3. SBI Life Insurance

If you like your forms with gray highlights, then SBI has a treat for you.

2. Liberty Bankers Life Insurance / The Capitol Life Insurance Company

Marvel at the majestic blue flag logo, experience new heights of ecstasy by the dashing red X above the owner's signature. (Or, as we like to say, "Red X-tasy.")

1. Classic Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York

Like a fine wine, this classic policy only gets better with age. C'est magnifique!


Click to learn all you need to know about Life Insurance. It's a real article with useful info. We promise!

Everplans has qualified as "news that's fit to print." 

The paper of record ran the most flattering story about us on their site, which also appeared in the Saturday March 29th edition of the paper. The New York Times article titled "Navigating the Logistics of Death Ahead of Time" tells the story of our Co-Founders Abby and Adam and their personal mission to make sure everyone can get an Everplan in place. It nails the essence of what we're starting to accomplish and we're so happy they're helping spread the word. Plus they created a really cool cartoon to go along with the story.

While we encourage everyone to read the story, here's an excerpt that made us especially proud:

Everplans The site, which is easy to use, is surely one of the most comprehensive. [Everplans ed. note: In comparison to other sites that cover the same space.] When you set up an account, you start by taking a short assessment to see how much planning you’ve already done, and why you’re there. Recently have a child? Caring for an aging parent? Based on that information, the service creates a to-do checklist, and tells you how to prioritize. It might suggest filling out vital personal information first, then creating a will and naming a health care power of attorney. (The site links to the relevant medical forms in each state.)

While we'd love to run the whole article we'll control ourselves and quit tootin' our own horn. Plus, we've got to get back to work and make sure our platform, content and resources are in tip-top shape to take the mystery, confusion and frustration out of planning so you can actually get it done.

Via The New York Times

We came across this clever alteration of a Game of Thrones' billboard in a New York City subway station. Rather than walking by the original billboard and going "GAAAH!" commuters will be going "AWWWW!" Season four of the ultra-violent and highly addictive show premieres on HBO in April, promising lots of action, deception and death, as evidenced by the non-altered "All Men Must Die" ad campaign:

It's amazing how a few pieces of paper can transform something so scary into something so hopeful. Fear not, die hard GoT fans, we're sure this will have no effect on the upcoming season.