I recently talked with Liz Eddy, Co-Founder and CEO at Lantern, an end of life and death planning platform. While she created her first estate plan at age 27, she continues to update certain parts of her plan regularly. Read on to hear more about her “real life” experience of getting her affairs in order.
Do you have all of your estate documents in place?
I do! I created most of them with an estate attorney and then store everything on Lantern. My estate attorney recommended all of these documents as a part of a package and also helped with navigating the terms for my business -- something every entrepreneur should do! I also did all of the "forgotten" planning -- organizing passwords, writing down letters to loved ones, writing down my wishes for a memorial service.
When did you first create them?
I created my first set of documents when I was 27. I've experienced a lot of loss in my life -- both expected and unexpected. I learned early on that it is never too early to get these documents in order and you don't need to have a lot of money to need an end-of-life plan. In fact, it's way easier when you don't have a diagnosis or sense of a near end while you do this work.
Did you get 'stuck' on any part of the process?
I had a hard time with the slow-moving nature of working with an attorney. I've experienced this in many parts of my life and it can be hard to keep momentum and interest with weeks between each touchpoint. I found myself having to really push the lawyers to move quickly and wrap it up so it didn't take an exorbitant amount of time. I also found it incredibly challenging to determine which items to leave to specific people. I feared (and still fear) I forgot someone or someone will feel left out.
Another example: I initially created a will online and had it on the desktop of my computer for years without being notarized. Getting something notarized is so simple yet it feels like a task that's easy to delay and then forget about. I am so glad digital notaries are becoming legalized!
Which document have you updated most recently?
I update some of the more personal elements of my end-of-life plan on a regular basis -- things like memories in the legacy section of my Lantern plan, a few new passwords and subscriptions, a change to my life insurance, something fun I want for my memorial service. That's the value of having everything in one account -- it takes two minutes to update. I haven't touched the legal documents since I created them -- mostly because of the time and expense. I will update them when I have kids.
Which of the decisions did you find it hardest to make?
Determining my POA. I've learned through working in the industry that your POA isn't necessarily the person you are closest to, and probably shouldn't be. I had to think less about who would expect to be it and more about who will be able to handle hard, quick decisions in a thoughtful, non-emotional way.
Life in Motion Guide is a Lantern affiliate, which means if you use their end-of-life planning tools, I’ll get a small commission.
I chose to be an affiliate because Lantern has taken a thoughtful, user-focused approach to end-of-life planning. Their platform is easy to use, they have great educational content, and it's easy to get started with a free plan. I also like that their "premium membership" pricing is affordable and not a subscription -- they have a "pay once, access forever" model.