Get It Together Today: The Guide for a Better Tomorrow

BY Erin Behrens | January 12, 2024

In the midst of planning her wedding, Abby Schneiderman reveled in the resources at her fingertips, transforming the daunting tasks into an exciting journey towards her big day. Websites, guides, and videos gave her all the dos and don’ts and provided ample space for organization and management. But she found herself thinking: what’s next? Where are the resources to guide her through the rest of those big life moments?

She found information for many life stages, from having kids, to home buying, to retirement planning. But in her research, she discovered that these resources end at retirement. Who’s supporting people with what comes next? While not everyone gets married or has children, everyone encounters aging, estate planning, and death. So, why is there a gap in support? One reason may be that most people would rather not think about these later stages, but postponing such considerations can leave a person’s survivors in a difficult spot. Shocked by the lack of coverage, Schneiderman and business partner Adam Seifer co-founded Everplans, the first modern consumer brand in life and legacy planning.

From Day One interviewed Abby Schneiderman, co-founder and co-CEO of Everplans (company photo)

Schneiderman and Seifer recognized that the first step was to publish helpful planning advice and evaluate if there was an audience actively seeking it. “We started writing content. We wrote 500 original articles on everything like ‘How do you write a will?’ to ‘How do you name a power of attorney?’ to ‘What do you wear to a funeral?’” Schneiderman told From Day One. They posted the content as a blog and were inundated with readers. “This told us that not only was there a need for the content and the resources that we were putting out there, but that there was just a huge gap out there that nobody was helping people with,” she said.

Everplans evolved into a digital vault for storing, organizing, and updating all of the important plans and documents to guide the later stages of life–and afterwards. Shortly after launching, Schneiderman experienced a tragedy that changed the trajectory of everything. Her 51-year-old brother was killed in a car accident. He had life insurance, but Schneiderman’s family struggled to access his accounts, get policies and documents in place, and ultimately, make the decisions no one wants to make on behalf of their loved ones. The pain of losing her brother complicated the hardship of making these difficult decisions.

This tragedy led to the realization that in order to be effective, Everplans needed to reach people before they even started thinking about life and legacy planning. All too often people just begin planning when it’s overdue. “That’s my story, but everyone has a story,” Schneiderman said. And a common theme in these stories is disorganization: our stuff is everywhere.

The average person has hundreds of online accounts to keep track of, on top of sticky notes, notebooks, desk drawers, and other means of storing important information. “And when the time does come, family members should not have to go searching around frantically in the middle of a fog having to find important information,” said Schneiderman.

“Our mission is to help people get organized for themselves today, so that they can sleep better at night. In the event that their families need it, they have access to all the important information,” said Schneiderman. Everplans helps people organize, store, and securely share wills, life insurance policies, health care directives, online passwords, and even the small but important things like family recipes. “We cover all aspects of life, whether they be everyday practical pieces of information that you want to make sure don’t get lost, or extremely critical information that family members need to have access to.”

One of Schneiderman’s key goals is making life and legacy planning accessible to everyone, even folks who tend to be put off by legal, healthcare, and technological complexities. Everplans gives people the toolkits to make informed decisions and make these complicated topics less overwhelming. In addition to all of the content on their website, Schneiderman and Seifer co-authored In Case You Get Hit by a Bus: How to Organize Your Life Now for When You’re Not Around Later and started a podcast to give people the resources they need in a bite-sized, colloquial way.

The company’s founders see their platform as a great equalizer. “Everplans is really leveling the playing field for employees who may not have access to financial planners, accountants, or estate attorneys. It’s inherently educating all employees on the benefits of getting organized. The simple interface, easy-to-use platform, resources, and guidance engine will help get you organized for your family,” said Schneiderman. Everplans was available initially in a retail version as well as through financial services organizations. More recently, the platform became available as a benefit for employers to offer their workers.

This inclusive approach not only helps Everplans’ customers, but also appeals to employers interested in offering Everplans as an addition to their total-rewards programs. Schneiderman pointed to the recent development of a management toolkit, which serves as a “resource for employers, specifically leaders in the organization, on how to have conversations with employees during challenging or pivotal moments.” Many well-intentioned managers lack the necessary guidance to support their employees and navigate tough conversations about life-changing events. Companies run the risk of losing employees when support feels inauthentic. The management toolkit provides employers with culturally relevant guidance to authentically support their employees.

The benefits to employers don’t stop there, Schneiderman says. In a study conducted last year with 1,000 full-time U.S. employees, “we found a direct relationship between productivity and organization,” she said. “When my desk is messy, I’m less productive or when my closet is a mess, I’m frustrated. But also, when you don’t know where vital information is, you are more concerned and you’re less productive–there is this real relationship there.”

By getting people organized, Everplans has a direct impact on productivity, the company asserts. People that are more productive or less stressed generally feel a greater sense of control about their lives. “Over time, as more and more people started using Everplans, we realized the site wasn’t about death–it was about life. Because getting organized lets you live to the fullest, knowing you’re prepared for anything, having done your very best for those you love.”

Editor’s note: From Day One thanks our partner, Everplans, for supporting this sponsor spotlight.

Erin Behrens is an associate editor at From Day One.


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