Thursday, July 23, 2020
New York Times, Boom Time for Death Planning:
The coronavirus pandemic has drawn new business to start-ups that provide end-of-life services, from estate planning to a final tweet. ...
Before the pandemic, end-of-life start-ups — companies that help clients plan funerals, dispose of remains and process grief — had experienced steady to moderate growth. Their founders were mostly women who hoped a mix of technology, customization and fresh thinking could take on the fusty and predominantly male funeral and estate-planning industries.
Still, selling death to people in their 20s and 30s wasn’t easy. ... Since Covid-19, this has changed. Millennials are newly anxious about their mortality, increasingly comfortable talking about it and more likely to be grieving or know someone who is. ...
All these founders stress they’re not trying to capitalize on the coronavirus. But this hasn’t stopped anyone from pivoting hard toward Covid-19. The companies have created new forums and content on how to plan for death, honor the newly dead and grieve virtually. They have initiatives with major health care providers to disseminate their products more widely and formed new partnerships with influencers. The start-ups have even begun to coordinate with one another, sharing tips in a cross-company Slack channel called “Death & Co.”
They are all hoping the pandemic will be the event that turns end-of-life planning — from designing a funeral to writing a will and final tweet — into a common part of adulthood.
(Hat Tip: Mark Bade)