New Online Planning Tool Helps Families Get Digital Houses in Order
My Life & Wishes, A Digital End-of-life Road Map, Leads Survivors to Loved One’s Most Important Information
MADISON, Wisc. (May 4, 2016)— Finding banking information, insurance policies, Wills and last wishes, even advanced healthcare directives, or gaining access to credit card information or social media accounts of a loved one after they are gone or incapacitated, is significantly more complicated in today’s digital age. A new planning, education and storage hub, My Life & Wishes, simplifies the process for huge numbers of aging Americans, especially, whose personal and financial assets straddle the paper and digital worlds. Created by husband and wife team Jon and Michelle Braddock after a nearly yearlong nightmare following the passing of a parent, this new site is an easy tool for all adults to get their end-of-life houses in order.
Creating an online hub that’s accessible to designated family members or friends is a gift one can give to his/her family, according to Jon Braddock. “End-of-life planning gives the people left behind peace of mind,” says Jon Braddock. “The most pressing group is the Baby Boomer generation, since many are dealing with planning for aging parents, as well as for themselves. Creating an account on My Life & Wishes gives anyone you designate access to however much information you want – from care planning to placing names of the insurance and banking information to more complete information you may not even have thought about. You control the site, the content and access by family members or non-family advisors.”
Often surviving family members struggle with care decisions and then have to untangle the mess left behind by aging parents who die before they get their digital houses in order. Gone are the days of simply grabbing the file box of information. Today, financial, insurance, even social media information is scattered among websites, locked with passwords, or hidden in dusty file boxes leaving loved ones to scramble.
In a recently conducted nationwide survey* of 1,000 people age 40+, researchers found that a majority recognized the need for end-of-life planning and the industry is finding traction as 43 percent of those who do not have a plan say they will create one in the next 3 years.
My Life & Wishes, as an online tool that the account holder manages, makes this planning accessible to everyone. “The wealthy hire experts to handle this. This is a luxury for the 99 percent — basically all the rest of us— who cannot afford to pay lawyers and estate planners to manage and update this information on a regular basis for us. My Life & Wishes is the cost of a couple cups of coffee a month and helps anyone organize information in one place that your family can access after your passing,” says Braddock. “A digital road map is essential in today’s digital age.”
Account holders can add as much or as little information as they want and at their own pace. “Start an account and add a few things; then when you have time, continue to add items. You don’t need to do it all at once,” he adds. The site is fully secure; tapping into the same level of security used by the online banking industry and only the account holder controls access to that information and can make changes and updates.
About My Life & Wishes
My Life & Wishes is a new website and online planning tool that simplifies a wide range of end-of-life planning considerations, including healthcare directives, funeral direction as well as last wish instructions, wills, insurance papers, banking information and all critical information needed to sort out estate settlements. The online step-by-step end-of-life planning guide, education hub and document storage site was created by long time retirement planning consultants, Jon and Michelle Braddock, after Michelle’s 88-year-old father unexpectedly died leaving no end-of-life plan behind for his family. It took the family nearly a year to untangle his finances, find and access online accounts without a list of passwords, trace safety deposit box keys, bank accounts, life insurance policies, and more. This nightmare story is told at https://vimeo.com/152296272.
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*National survey information conducted by Toluna on behalf of My Life & Wishes is available by contacting Jennifer Bebon, firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-913-2384 or Cheryl Engstrom, email@example.com, 425-417-1395.
My Life & Wishes Plans Include the following categories of life planning:
Financial: When a loved one dies, settling finances can be a difficult process. Here’s what you need to do to ensure your retirement savings, investments, and other bank accounts are distributed how you wish.
Funeral & Memorials: Recording your wishes and pre-planning your funeral ensures your family can grieve your loss when you pass, not scramble to make arrangements. Get started today with these helpful resources.
Health Care Decisions: Does your family know your wishes in the event of an emergency? Have you made eldercare decisions? Learn about the critical choices everyone needs to make about their health care.
Insurance & Legal Documents: Don’t leave your family with disorganized paperwork. Learn what to do to get your documents in order and make sure your family is protected with wills, trusts, and more.
Personal Assets: End-of-life plans include deciding how valued belongings are cared for, from cherished heirlooms to beloved pets. These resources help you make a plan for your personal assets.