Final wishes move online

No one wants to be a bother to their nearest and dearest, especially after they’ve gone. Getting things organised ahead of time can go a long way to making life simpler for friends and family and throughout history, people have left instructions to be used after their passing.

In the past that meant writing out your final wishes and locking various documents away somewhere safe until they were needed, but books and films are littered with the dramatic fallout caused by lost documents, from Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries to Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Golden Charter’s Will writing service includes safe storage of your documents.

In a bid to banish the desperate search for documents after a death, several companies in the United States are developing websites and apps that let people upload and store digital copies of their Wills, leave instructions about their funerals or even nominate someone to look after their cat.

As with anything death or dying related, people are not always keen to take the time to outline their final wishes. People don’t really want to think about it, there’s no immediate imperative and so it's easy to avoid. These new websites, often tied into employee benefits packages or insurance services in the United States, try to overcome our natural reticence by making the process as user friendly as possible.

One service, Everplans, allows people to upload important financial and insurance information, but also give them the opportunity to leave letters for their loved ones. They even have a facility to store passwords for email and social media accounts.

Another, Everest, lets people write out their funeral wishes or upload photos, along with their Will and the other legal and financial documents that will be required to settle their affairs.

My Life & Wishes was launched by the Braddocks, a husband and wife team, after they had to deal with the death of the wife’s father, ‘scrambling to piece together his financial life’. My Life & Wishes started as a printed workbook, but quickly moved online once the founders realised how often and how quickly people’s circumstances changed.

Digital record-keeping solutions allow frequent updates, almost unlimited storage space and instant access to anyone with the correct authorisation, but they aren’t perfect. As with everything online, security is a real concern and as digital-only start-up companies sometimes fail, there is always the possibility that service providers could disappear before their services are required.

If moving your final wishes online isn’t for you just yet, Golden Charter still offers a more traditional approach. For £149 you can get a Will professionally drafted by a specialist Will writer with free annual updates and storage for five years. For just £50 extra you can have a mirror Will for your partner or spouse. Visit Golden Charter's Will writing services page to find out more or click here for our funeral plans click here or call free on 0800 111 4514.