Posted on: Jan 10, 2017
As our population ages, it is estimated that about 2.6 million die annually in the United States. While the death care industry has remained very traditional in terms of its operations and pricing, some new and innovative businesses are appearing in an attempt to break into the industry. The millennial generation is largely accustomed to doing everything online, from finding a job to shopping. Now, millennials also are looking to engage in end-of-life planning through online services.
For instance, a recent New York Times article tells of Parting, a Los Angeles start-up that offers an online directory of funeral homes that is searchable by zip code, so that users can compare prices, services, and locations. In a single year, the directory has grown to include 15,000 funeral homes. Although the funeral industry is slow to change, many funeral homes are now working with Parting to include their information in the site’s directory. Usage of the site is increasing at a rate of about 27% per month.
Another recent start-up is Grace, which is a website helps those who have recently lost a loved one or family member take on all of the issues that may arise when a death occurs. Unfortunately, there’s no rulebook or checklist about all of the steps that you should take when a loved one dies or is about to die. Grace’s staff members are also licensed funeral directors, and the site not only provides users with a checklist of important tasks but also directs users to important resources, such as hospice services, funeral homes, financial planners, caterers and even estate attorneys. Thus far, the site has raised two million dollars in seed money and its transactions are growing at a rate of 20% per month.
Although both of these end-of-life startups maintain an Internet presence, they also have professionals available to speak with users if necessary. The reality is that despite these innovations, there often is no substitute for one-on-one contact with professionals that can answer your questions and address your concerns. The same goes for legal professionals. Death often brings about a large number of legal issues, many of which only can be adequately addressed by an experienced Washington estate and probate lawyer. In fact, it is preferable that you consult with an elder law attorney who can assist a family’s needs prior to a death occurring. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your assets are distributed in a manner that is acceptable to you, as well as preserved for your surviving family members to the greatest extent possible.
With the numbers of older Americans steadily increasing, making end-of-life decisions has grown in importance. While most individuals would rather not think about feeding tubes and funeral plans, the knowledgeable attorneys at Elder Law Group PLLC know just how devastating it can be for surviving family members to be forced to make difficult decisions about a loved one’s care. As a result, we have worked with numerous clients to make decisions about their Estate Planning and end-of-life care in order to ensure that their wishes are carried out when the time comes. Simplify matters for your family by taking the steps necessary to plan for your future. Contact our office today and set up a consultation with one of our experienced Kennewick elder law attorneys.