Based in London, UK with dedicated development centre in Jodhpur India, mission of Planned Departure is to
Provide a safe and secure electronic vault to manage and transfer digital assets after user pass away or become critically ill.
Planned Departure was founded by Anand Ramdeo and Komal Joshi to address the growing complexities of increasingly mobile population and digital life. Anand and Komal realized that in the digital age, accounts such as email, facebook, twitter, domains, and virtual trading accounts are as important as physical assets. There was no easy way to ensure that these digital assets are transferred to the right people and not deleted, locked or abused after user is deceased.
Even in the physical world, complexities have increased. In many families and businesses, few individuals have most of the information and access needed to run the household or business smoothly. If these key members pass away suddenly, it becomes extremely difficult for the people who are left behind to get their life on track. Managing simple things such as utility services or finding out all the debtor and creditor could be daunting task and involve trawling throw the heap of documents to find these simple thing. Planned Departure makes all of these extremely easy and provides a simple mechanism to transfer all the key information people need to know when user pass away or become critically ill.
Questions and Answers with the founders
Why did you launch Planned Departure?
After few sudden deaths in my close family, I realized that death is the only certainty of life. That got me thinking what if I die now? How it will impact my family, friend and business? It did not take long to realize that insurance is not enough. Monetary support provided by insurance is essential, but different people need me for different things. There was no way for me to leave instructions or information to people who are close to my heart or business.
On top of that major chunk of our life is online. My thoughts are in my blog and emails, personal network is in facebook and twitter, business network is managed in twitter and linked-in, images in Picasa and active accounts in PayPal, Amazon, eNom, GoDaddy and eBay to name a few. These accounts are as valuable to me as my physical assets.
There was no mechanism for me to decide which accounts should be transferred and which accounts should be deleted. I wanted to be in-charge of my digital assets and transfer key information to people I love and care.
What do you mean by digital assets and why it is important to worry about these after a user pass away?
In my opinion, information is asset and any information stored digitally is essentially digital asset. A photograph you want to leave for your loved ones or important contacts you want to distribute to key people in your family and business are some example of digital assets.
We believe that something can be treated as asset, if it is useful for people who are receiving them. Instruction on how to manage different utility services could be an important digital asset for someone. It is important to think about digital assets because they have real sentimental or economical value. There are billions of dollar in unclaimed assets around the world because people do not have information about those assets. These unclaimed assets are in the form of bank accounts, properties, dividends, unclaimed insurance claims and so on.
Ensuring that key information is stored in the electronic vault and transferred to right people can ensure that your assets do not contribute in the continuously growing unclaimed assets.
What sort of reaction you get from people when you talk about these products?
We get extreme reaction ranging from Why would I care about it? to Why would I live without it? Most of the people understand the concepts and benefits straight away but some people need a little bit education on the subject. Discussing death is still considered taboo and people get a bit uncomfortable with the discussions around death.
But good thing is that, after they open up and start discussion, it becomes obvious for people to manage their digital assets and ensure that they are handled in the way they want.