A NEW website set up by a Scottish entrepreneur aims to be a ‘Mumsnet of the dying.’
Finalfling.com, set up by former civil servant Barbara Chalmers, allows people to make a will for as little at £50 and store posthumous video messageas for loved ones.
The site aims to be a one-stop-shop for death planning.
Birth certificates and insurance papers can also be uploaded to avirtual ‘safe deposit box.’
Chalmers came up with the idea after attending several ‘bad’ funerals where the deceased had not left detailed plans.
The site provides a 10-step guide to planning a funeral, starting with notifications and ending with paperwork after the ceremony.
About 70% of the British population die intestate, and Chalmers says this can cause rifts between families after the passing of a loved one.
She hopes the site will rival Mumsnet in popularity, a hugely successful website for new and expecting parents which receives 5million visits a month.
Chalmers, who also helps to run a music venue in Glasgow, said: “Finalfling.com is more than just an online funeral planner. We hope it will be to death what Mumsnet is to birth, a place to come if you find yourself in new territory, unsure.
“Most of us are in denial about ageing and dying. About 70% of us don’t have a will and 90% of us don’t have a funeral plan.
“This causes family fallouts trying to sort out affairs.
“We have an ageing and growing population. The state will struggle to provide for us all.
“We need to take more responsibility for ourselves, our care, our financial affairs.”
Wills ensure there is financial provision for children, and specifies who should take care of them.
Without a will, the deceased’s belonging are distributed according to the rules of intestacy, which means partners can miss out on significant parts of the estate.
In Scotland, this means a surviving spouse or civil partner has a right to the deceased’s house if it is up to a value of £473,000.
Last year about £17 million of assets were given to the Crown due to Britons dying intestate.
Celebrated Swedish author Stieg Larsson died intestate in 2004, which caused a protracted dispute over his estate.
The long-term girlfriend of the author of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo inherited none of his estate, but his estranged family inherited everything.
Finalfling.com also provides links to ‘death doulas’, who help families through relative’s death.
Death doulas can also act as companions in the final days of the increasing numbers of people who are living alone.