Money at 30: Everplans Review
As I’ve detailed many times before, I have a metric ton of bank accounts these days thanks to my duties as a FinTech reviewer. Because of this, every so often, my wife will see a new debit card come in the mail and half-jokingly ask, “So, how am I supposed to find all of these accounts if you die?” That’s actually a really good question — and one I’d honestly thought about a lot over the years (among other post-life details). Cut to a few weeks ago when I reviewed the book Stacked by Joe Saul-Sehy and Emily Guy Birken. In it, the authors mention a site called Everplans where you can store all sorts of information that might be relevant to your loved ones should you, ya know, die. Soon after finishing the audiobook, I went ahead and opened up an Everplans account for myself and have been exploring it as part of a free trial.
So how does Everplans work and is it a reasonable solution to a very real problem? Let’s take a look at some of what the platform has to offer and my experience with it so far.
What is Everplans and How Does it Work?
Creating an Everplans account is actually a remarkably easy process. First, you’ll need to enter your email address and create a password. Then, after confirming your email address, you’ll just need to enter some other basic info, such as your name, birthdate, etc. You can also turn on two-factor authentication to help keep your account secure. Plus, you can also opt into notifications that will remind you of things while you’re alive, such as when your ID is expiring. With these steps checked off, you’ll be ready to dive in.
Pricing and free trial
When you sign up for Everplans, you’ll enjoy a 60-day free trial. During this time, you’ll have full access to the site so you can see exactly what it has to offer. What’s also nice is that you won’t need to enter a credit card to get started, so there’s no risk of accidentally getting charged.
Should you decide to continue on with Everplans, the service currently costs $75 a year. As far as I can tell, this is paid upfront with no monthly plan option at this time.
With your account set up, Everplans will walk you through some prompts that will invite you to enter information that may be useful to your loved ones in your absence. While some of these pieces of info may be obvious — such as your will — others are things you might not have necessarily considered. For example, does your significant other know the PIN to your phone or where to find your account passwords?
Elsewhere in Everplans, you’ll be able to store information about your home and property, health (including policies and directives), and more. There’s also a “When I’m Gone” section where you can keep letters you want your loved ones to receive, while also noting specific directions for funeral services, etc. You can even upload or write out family recipes you want to pass down and ensure they aren’t lost.
One section I’ve used a lot (as you may have expected given my intro) is the Financial one. Here, you’ll be able to either manually enter information for various banking and brokerage accounts you have or choose to link them via Plaid. With the latter option, while you/your loved ones won’t see the balance in the account, you will see the institution’s name and at least the last four digits of the account number.
One “fine print” detail to note is that, while you’ll be able to store a number of documents on Everplans, it does say “maximum of 5 GB”. I’m not exactly sure if this is a cap on the size of a single document or your total allotment. Furthermore, Looking around the site, I don’t see anything noting the size of the data you’re storing. Still, it’s something to keep an eye out for.
There’s definitely no shortage of sections and topics covered in Everplans. Because of this, it can definitely take some time to go through everything and enter your information. Similarly, not every section will apply to you just yet. That said, the platform can also serve as a nice reminder to consider some further planning and getting your affairs in order (as they say).
Adding deputies and activation options
Considering that the main point of Everplans is to pass information to those survived by you in death, it should come as no surprise that there’s a mechanism by which you can give them access. Everyplans refers to these people that you will eventually share your info with as Deputies and gives you plenty of options as far as adding them. To get started, you’ll want to select the Deputies section and then tap Add. Then, you can enter their name, email, and relation to you.
Next, you’ll be able to choose exactly what information each of your deputies will be able to see. In each category, you can select to grant them access now, upon death, or never. Again, this can be customized for each Deputy you add. At the end of the process, you’ll be invited to add a personalized message to your invitation before it’s sent to your proposed Deputy. Once they accept your invitation and create an account, you’ll be informed. By the way, there’s no fee for Deputy accounts as it’s already included in your annual fee.
Lastly, you can also choose which of your Deputies will have the ability to unlock your “After Death” section. Should you enable a person to do this, you’ll then have additional options to consider. Basically, once your permitted Deputy logs into their account and informs Everplans of your passing and requests an unlock, the platform will attempt to contact you — then fulfilling the unlock request should they not hear from you. To either speed up the process or avoid mistaken unlocks, Everplans allows you to select how many hours to wait for a response before going forward with unlocking your info. This period can be as short as three hours and as long as 30 days.
Is this whole process a bit inelegant? Sure — but I can’t exactly think of a better solution. Plus, I appreciate how much thought and customization Everplans has put into the process. By the way, it goes without saying, but you can revoke Deputy access at any time if needed.
Finally, seeing as Everplans will be holding a lot of personal information, you may be wondering about the security the site employs. According to the company, all the info in your account is encrypted using the most modern standards. They also note, “We are governed and audited under the same security and privacy frameworks — HIPAA and SOC2 — used by major financial institutions and healthcare providers. I’m not going to pretend to know what all of that means but, hopefully, it means that all of your data is as safe as possible.
Final Thoughts on Everplans
Overall, I think Everplans is a great idea that’s well-executed. Even beyond the core intention of passing this info to a partner upon death, I’ve also found the platform to be useful just for keeping myself organized while alive. As a result, with my free trial coming to an end, I do plan on keeping the service. On that note, I do think that the $75 a year fee is fairly reasonable and is low enough that I don’t have many qualms about paying it.
In terms of downsides, the only concern I have is about what happens if the company doesn’t last and/or what will happen as technology evolves. That said, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue as, while I’m alive, I can keep up to date on the service, download my info, and move things if needed. Plus, if nothing else, it’s nice that Everplans at least gets you thinking about these details that you might want to flesh out elsewhere in the future.
Whether you’re married, dating, single, or whatever else, I do think that Everplans is a useful tool that can help you easily communicate important info and wishes to your loved ones should anything happen to you. Therefore, while it facing your own mortality can be difficult, I personally believe Everplans makes the topic easier to approach. In turn, the platform is worth trying out for yourself.
Also published on Medium.