Families want to know that their hard-earned savings and property will be enjoyed by their family and friends after their death. By simplifying the process of estate planning, we allow our clients to focus on enjoying life while knowing that their wishes regarding their estate are fully documented.
To assure that our client’s hard-earned assets will be enjoyed by the people they choose.
Goodbye World is an online estate planning tool and mobile application that helps people who want to create an estate plan by educating them and simplifying the process. The app gamifies data entry and rewards clients who complete various sections by unlocking fun bonus features. Using a series of visual tools, the app presents the entered data in different ways to ensure accuracy and completeness. The data provided by clients is used to auto fill estate planning documents that our attorneys then review.
Goodbye World is a technology tool developed for Reid Law LLC.
Table of Contents
In Caring.com’s 2020 Estate Planning and Wills Study, 60 percent of people surveyed believed that estate planning is very or somewhat important. Yet, only 32% of people have any kind of estate planning document such as a will.
Estate planning is an uncomfortable topic for many people. For this reason alone, people tend to procrastinate on dealing with the matter. Other reasons people give for not creating wills are lack of education, cost, difficult subject matter, and disagreement over plans or people. When people do take steps to settle their estate plan, the hoops that they are forced to navigate by law firms sometimes cause them to not complete the process. The will formalities required by law also tend to complicate the process. Sadly, these problems mean that more people are dying intestate. This means that their hard-earned estate is lessened by the problems dying intestate creates such as higher costs and longer times for asset distribution.
Seeing these difficulties, we wanted to break down the barriers to estate creation and make it easier to complete. We also wanted to simplify the process and reduce errors on the back end. With Goodbye World, we have made it easy to create an estate plan.
The app allows users to choose the level of assistance needed. As they learn more, they are able to move between levels. Having access to live chat allows users to clarify any issues.
The functionality of the app means that it is easy for users to complete their documents. The digital binders and records allow users to save their records for easy access.
The educational tools built into the app ensure that the user is getting the documents that they need to create an estate plan that clarifies their wishes for disposal of their estate after they die.
The clarity on services and pricing and the ability to change levels allows users to choose the services that best fit their needs.
Goodbye World is an app for clients that gathers the information needed to create estate planning documents. The app is designed to be user friendly and information may be entered by voice command or using a keyboard. As the client answers questions, the app distributes the data to various components of the system. Clients may view the various components in order to visualize the information in a different manner. For example, family information is used to populate a family tree which makes it easier to visualize the different branches of the family.
As the client answers questions, the data also is filtered into various documents based on the answers the client has given. For example, if they respond that they wish to create a will, the app prepopulates related sections of a basic will. System prompts allow the client to verify the data entered.
The app has basic features available at no charge. Based on various subscription levels, users can choose from a range of options starting with DIY wills and spanning to attorney assisted full estate plans.
Goodbye World is a mobile app that provides information, do it yourself forms, and document preparation assistance. Having witnessed a decline in the number of people who are planning for the distribution of their assets after death, we
We believe that there is a desire for estate planning. The surveys showing a dwindling number of people with wills is an indicator that the process is broken.
Goodbye World, the app, shows that new ways of doing age old processes are possible. By gamifying estate planning, we will attract users who would not normally consider estate planning until much later in life.
We believe that Goodbye World will become a success. Ongoing expenses will be minimal and there is room for expansion as we build the network of attorneys.
In a traditional estate planning practice, creating an estate plan often requires a client to make multiple visits to the attorney’s office. Clients frequently arrive at the attorney’s office for the initial meeting with little to no understanding of what documents they need or want. Although many clients make a valiant effort to bring relevant documents, it is not uncommon for important documents or information to be inadvertently left at home.
During the client meetings, a staff member generally writes the client’s responses to questions down. Because the client does not see what has been written, they cannot correct name misspellings or other errors during the meeting. When the answers are later entered into a computer program, typing errors add to the problem. Additional follow up is often required to gather information the client cannot recall during the meeting. This multi-step process is thus prone to errors that will require corrections when a client is given a document to sign. If the error is not caught, the client’s wishes may be thwarted after their death. During the process, frustration levels rise on both sides due to miscommunication or differing expectations. Even after multiple visits, the resulting documents may fail to accomplish the goals of the client.
Over the past few years, we noticed the proliferation of do it yourself solutions on the internet. We believe this shows the desire that the public has to create an estate plan of some sort. It also shows the willingness of clients to enter the information into a system themselves if given a way to do so. Consequently, we have come to the realization that there is no good reason that the client must come to the office to answer general family or property questions. In addition, we feel that clients have more access to their personal and financial records while they are in their home. This could make the data entry more accurate and complete than if the data is collected in office. A benefit for firms to this process is a reduction in time spent collecting and processing the data.
We began considering this information and brainstorming how these observations could be incorporated into our practice. We also wanted to find a way to attract a broader client base. We knew that the solution must utilize resources that are readily available to the public. From tracking website traffic, we knew that our blog posts on estate planning received the most attention. After mulling things over, we concluded that a mobile application (app) would be an innovative way to address the problem. Thus, Goodbye World was born.
Goodbye World is a mobile app designed to educate, collect data, and assist clients with estate planning. The app can function as a stand-alone platform or as a portal to our practice. Users have the option to use the free basic features or select various subscription-based features. The subscription levels range from DIY form creation to lawyer assisted document creation or full attorney representation with professionally created documents.
Using a subscription system, allows clients to select the level of service that best fits their needs. Clients will have the opportunity to “try before they buy” by selecting the free option that will give them access to our library of information. Service levels include a basic will; a will and power of attorney; a will, trust and power of attorney; or a complete estate plan. All options allow for easy upgrades if the client decides they would like more assistance. If a client starts at one level but then decides they need additional services, they will be able to “bump up” to the next level by paying the difference. In addition, customers can purchase a subscription for a biennial review and update of their documents, or they can opt for a discount on future services.
With the Goodbye World app, answers are entered directly into the system from the comfort of the client’s home. The app has the ability to allow clients to enter the information by keyboard or by voice. The questions are divided into segments that are designed to be quick and easy to complete. Segments include Family, Finances, Fears…
Answers entered into one segment automatically are transferred to related sections. Prompts allow the client to confirm the answer as they complete other sections. Any changes to an answer are also tied back to related answers. If conflicting information in entered, the client must confirm. If the client overrides an answer, a prompt is generated so that the information can be confirmed by staff if needed.
Much as a video game does, Goodbye World has a series of bonus levels built in. For example, in the family section, as family information is entered, it is used to populate a family tree. This tree helps the client visualize the relationships in a different way which can ensure accuracy. As an incentive to completing the entire questionnaire, a special keepsake version of the family tree (suitable for framing) is unlocked and can be printed when the section is complete.
Throughout the app, a series of prompts reminds the client to verify vital information such as the spelling of names, addresses, and relationships. By allowing the client to view the information in different ways, the client is given multiple opportunities to confirm that the information is accurate. In addition, clients are encouraged to use the camera function of the app to input scans of the related document. These scans are searchable through optical character recognition (OCR). The documents are compiled by the app into a printable digital portfolio.
Data from the app is stored locally on the user’s device and not on Goodbye World’s servers unless the user chooses a subscription level that allows attorney review. Simple backup of input data occurs automatically unless the user opts out. Users have the option to create a full backup and automation with directions is provided. Users also have the ability to create a digital binder of their important documents that they can save to a storage device or provide to a family member. The digital binder also contains information on where the original documents can be found.
In order to provide assistance to users throughout the process, the app has a chatbot function that can assist with many issues. A user’s forum is also available which allows users to exchange ideas. We will also draw from the forum as we develop and refine the app and new features.
Looking behind the scenes, Reid Law LLC will provide the support needed for the attorney assisted subscription pieces. Initially, due to practice restrictions, the subscription model will be limited to users within the state of Virginia. Our long-term goal is to build a network of affiliates in order to open the subscription to all users and provide assistance across the nation.
When a user indicates that they wish to subscribe to the attorney assistance levels of the app, a minimal amount of data is transferred to our conflict check program at Reid Law LLC. If the user passes the conflict check, they are notified and given access to the correct level in the app.
A progress tracking checklist in the app clearly indicates the steps to move forward and where they currently are in the process. As a full-service user reaches various stages of completion, the app interfaces with the scheduling program at Reid Law LLC and makes appointments for an attorney to meet the user via a web conference. These appointments allow both sides to ask questions and clarify goals.
The services offered by Goodbye World span the entire range of life assistance to end of life needs. By using online questionnaires, we eliminate multiple office making the process more efficient. The app is designed to be friendly and fun making this uncomfortable subject more approachable.
Goodbye World was created after a brainstorming session at Reid Law LLC. A simple form of the basic app has been developed as a minimum viable product and is ready for testing. Goodbye World will seek an affiliation with a Montessori school, a local chamber of commerce, and an active living 55+ community in order to receive feedback from users. These options were chosen because they would allow us to interact with people from several age groups: young parents, mid-career professionals, and empty nesters.
In exchange for estate planning workshops, we will engage the participants to test our system. Those who complete the testing and provide feedback will receive their choice of a simple will or advanced directive at no charge or a discount on more extensive estate plans.
The first stage of testing will be a survey to determine what has prevented them from creating an estate plan previously. With information from the survey, we will compare the user results to the thesis pains and gains previously mapped on the Business Model Canvas. Adjustments to the canvas will be used as we refine the app.
The second stage of testing will be to have users test Goodbye World. By testing the design early in the process, we will be able to change course as needed to meet the needs of our prospective clients. We will take the feedback from the testing and consider what changes may need to be made to the app.
The third round of testing will investigate the kinds of estate planning documents that users need or want at different stages of their lives. This round will help build the questions and guidance in the app in order to meet the needs of future users.
Once the app has been updated with the information found during testing, it will be launched through each of the mobile app stores.
In today’s world, companies can no longer rely on traditional modes of advertising. The public quickly tires of one medium and moves to another as tastes and trends shift. Even the way consumers search for businesses has shifted. For example, a recent survey by Brandify found that 77% of today’s consumers use a map application instead of a search engine to search for businesses. As a result, Goodbye World will eschew traditional marketing schemes and rely heavily on social media outlets for marketing.
As busy attorneys, it is of utmost importance that time spent on content creation will have a good return on investment. By planning for use on multiple platforms before creating the content, we will maximize that return. We will also utilize a good “content recycling” plan to update and utilize previous content. By changing the date on the content with each update, this strategy can be effective since Google results skew to new content.
We will also consult with other technology companies to see what has been successful for them. We will consider their lessons learned in developing our strategy.
- App build and maintenance-$10,0000-$15,000
- User experience consultant-$2000
- Chatbot programmer-$3000
- Social Media consultant-$2500
- Videographer for educational and marketing videos-$5000
- Project Manager on Reid Law LLC staff-$40,000
The chart below shows the projected revenue, expenses, and net income for the first three years the company will be in operation.
|Item||1st year||2nd year||3rd year|
Because Goodbye World is a mobile application, a majority of the technology needs will be the consultants and contractors to develop and maintain the apps function.
- App build and maintenance
- User experience consultant
- Chatbot programmer
- Social Media consultant
- Videographer for educational and marketing videos
- Project Manager on Reid Law LLC staff
We will utilize standard office equipment already owned by Reid Law LLC
As on online entity, Goodbye World requires reliable cloud services:
- Dedicated domain and hosting service for app website
- Dedicated server
Key Performance Indicators
As a way to maintain accountability with our goals, we have created some key performance indicators. These were developed with an eye toward client satisfaction.
- Project success rate-how many clients complete the process
- Profitability-the difference between revenue generated by a project and the cost of delivering the work
- Referral rate-how many clients are generated using the referral codes provided to former/current clients
- Incentives that cost little but are valuable to client
- Family tree printed on laser printer
- Free notary
We built the app as a result of the incremental innovation process used in the firm. In examining the normal will creation method, we realized how inefficient that process was for staff and even more so for clients. We will continue to use the incremental innovation process in the future. Here is the philosophy that drives our innovation.
We encourage all staff to ask the following questions ask they go about their day:
- Is this task something that I do often?
- What process do we use?
- Is there a guideline in the manual?
- Why do we do it this way?
- Is there anything that bothers me about doing this task?
- How can I make it better?
- Is there something that I can do to make the task easier or more enjoyable?
We also embrace the lean methodology in our firm. This belief system works well with the incremental innovation process. Here are the key components that our firm holds dear:
- Identify and eliminate waste
- Maximize value
- Ever better products by developing a deeper understanding and greater teamwork
Goodbye World is an innovation in the world of estate planning. By using a gaming model to attract a younger audience, by innovating the process to minimize costs, and by providing incentives to reward clients, Goodbye World is laying a strong foundation for the future. As the model is tested, the ability to expand offerings will strengthen the underlying business. Because the system is adaptable, opportunities to market the product will grow. Our produce may be Goodbye World, but we believe it will allow us to say Hello Success!