It's traditional to have a funeral or memorial service when someone dies. But why? What purpose does a funeral serve? Check out my top 4 reasons for why we have funerals.

Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, has been sitting with his mother in a hospital Intensive Care Unit during her final days. He's been chronicling their time together on his Twitter feed with grace, humor, and heartbreaking honesty.

via Metafilter

It's official: Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge (aka Kate Middleton) has given birth to her internationally anticipated baby. And it's a boy, delivered at 4:24 GMT.

Considering how buttoned-up everything is at Buckingham Palace, it's likely that new parents Kate and William won't dawdle in completing all the New Parent Estate Planning Taskswriting a willpurchasing life insurancesetting up trusts, and naming a power of attorney. And if you're a new parent (or a not-so-new parent who just hasn't gotten around to it yet), we'd like to encourage you to get your estate plan in order, too. Cheerio!

via HuffPost Royal Baby

Marcus Daly is a former wooden boat builder who took his skills and became a casket maker. Daly crafts exceptionally personalized and beautiful caskets, but what separates them most from others is the love and respect that he puts into each and every casket he makes.

This soft-spoken craftsman preaches the importance of carrying the casket and physically “shouldering the burden.” He feels that by making burial “too convenient...we’re depriving ourselves of a chance to get stronger so that we can carry on.” Daly notes that by physically holding the deceased and committing them to the ground you are not only offering a final helping hand to the person who died, but also helping yourself to move past the loss.

My takeaway from this video, and a strong belief that I've held for years, is that we as a culture should take a more active role in funeral rites and rituals. I agree with Marcus Daly: by bringing ourselves closer to the people we love who've died we may find inner peace and strength.

via The Awesomer

A viewer of my videos wrote in: "I'm going to a Catholic wake for the first time. Will there be an open casket? What if I'm too nervous to look at the body?"

More and more, we (as a culture) are concerned with the impact that we (as individuals) have on the earth. We're trading in SUVs for hybrid cars, eating organic and locally produced foods, and turning off our air conditioning in favor of fans (or at least we're trying to). And so it's only natural that these values for how we live life would carry over into the choices we make for how we want to be in death.

The green burial movement has been active for some time now, and people are interested in green burial and green funerals for a variety of reasons:

  • Green funerals and green burials can be a final eco-friendly act, one last effort to lessen our impact on the earth and reduce our carbon footprint.
  • Green burial can be seen as the traditional way of being buried—a return to the way people were buried before the industrialization and commercialization of funerals.
  • For people observing religious traditions—specifically Jewish funeral traditions or Muslim funeral traditions—green burial can be a way to honor those customs.

Everplans has a suite of articles and tools to help you learn about green funerals and green burial, and to help you find all the green resources you'll need:

We hope that these articles and tools help you learn about green burial and provide you with the resources you need to plan a green burial, if you're so inclined. If you have any feedback, suggestions, or comments, get in touch with us here.

“How would you define a ‘successful’ life? Have you achieved it? Does ‘success’ even matter?”

This was a question posed on the question-and-answer website Quora. And I think it's a great question. If we accept that each day might be our last, how does that change the way we view our lives?

Here are some of my favorite answers, which illustrate the range of responses to the question:

What do you think? If you died today, would you die happy? We’d love to hear your response in the comments section below.

Twice in one week! Everplans got another awesome press mention this week from

Everplans is named as "one of a handful of relatively new startups trying to use technology to help patients think through and share their end of life decisions...[with a] focus on medical planning services, along with a wider range of financial and legacy planning options."

To check out all the great press we've received, head over to our Media Center.

Everplans has been featured on, in a piece exploring the importance of planning ahead for your family.

The piece specifically focuses on the necessity for planning for those in the so-called "Sandwich Generation": people who are at once caring for aging parents and young or teenaged children.

From the piece:

Proper planning can make you the hero to your spouse, children, and even your parents. Not only does planning provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind, but a recent study from the Personality and Social Psychology Review showed that it may also actually give you a mental health boost.

Abby Schneiderman and Adam Seifer, co-founders of Everplans, are trying to change the way that people plan. Through their first-of-its-kind free website,, they are providing people with comprehensive information and tools so they can make informed decisions for themselves and their families, around life planning, end-of-life planning, even dealing with death.