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How Lantern makes end-of-life planning less hard

Whether you’re grieving or planning ahead for yourself, Lantern offers a streamlined, online resource for all your needs

Lantern is a partner of Haven Life Plus — a suite of services that helps policyholders live healthier, fuller and more protected lives. Haven Life Plus is an innovative rider included in the Haven Term policy that gives eligible customers access to no cost or discounted benefits including online estate plans, a digital safe deposit box, and family health clinic services. Learn more about Haven Life Plus here.

Today, we want to ask you an important question: What will happen to your TikTok account when you die?

Yep, that’s what we thought: You don’t know. And it turns out, roughly 80% of Haven Life customers don’t have an end-of-life plan, either because they don’t know what one is, or just haven’t gotten around to it, according to our recent survey.

Well, they say a failure to plan is a plan for failure, and that’s especially true with your own death. After all, you won’t be around to approve or veto all kinds of things: What kind of funeral you’ll have (or whether you’ll even have one). What will happen to beloved items like your family’s heirloom jewelry, or your hard-earned 2019 fantasy football trophy. Or, of course, what will happen to your social media accounts.

That’s where Lantern comes in. Simply put, Lantern is a digital platform that acts as a sort of friend and trusted advisor for pre-death planning, or for helping you manage things after a loved one has died. Interested in making a bucket list? Lantern can help. Not sure what kind of documentation you need? Lantern can help. Have strong feelings on what music should play at your funeral? Lantern can help with that, too.

It’s also a resource if you’re grieving. If you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one, you know that time isn’t just emotionally taxing — it’s also complicated, because there are a bunch of details to attend to (like funeral planning). This stress can make it hard to be in the moment and tend to your grief — but again, Lantern can help by providing lists of step-by-step instructions for what needs to be done, from closing online banking accounts to writing an obituary.

And hey: Because you’re here, chances are you’ve already begun your journey toward taking care of your loved ones in case the unexpected happens. (We call it: Term life insurance. Catchy, right?) And now, eligible Haven Term customers have no-cost access to a Premium Membership with Lantern, including end-of-life services, at no cost (a $149 value). It’s part of our Haven Life Plus rider, a suite of bonus features for eligible Haven Term policyholders that help them live a healthier, more protected life. Below, get to know Lantern a little better.

In this article:

Lantern history

“I think we need to do something about death.” With these words, uttered by Lantern co-founder and CEO Liz Eddy in 2018, the idea for Lantern began to form. (You might say it was a light bulb moment, if you’ll pardon the Lantern pun.) Her grandmother had died, and Liz was responsible for everything that followed. Overwhelmed, she wondered why there wasn’t something out there to guide someone through to process — and to help people prepare for their own deaths in advance.

Along with her co-founder and COO, Alyssa Ruderman, Liz created Lantern, drawing upon her experience leading communications for Crisis Text Line, the country’s first 24/7 crisis support line. (She’s also a board member for Experience Camps, a free summer camp for grieving children.) Similarly, Alyssa spent time at impactful organizations like DoSomething.org, Upworthy and Global Citizen — a background that comes in handy when creating a service as helpful as Lantern. “Generally speaking, both of us are conditioned to operate human-first,” as Eddy puts it.

Lantern sits at the intersection of their professional experience and this very personal need, offering critical services with a caring, empathetic point of view. In three short years, Lantern has gone from hiring its first employees, launching to the public, and partnering with organizations (like Haven Life!) to broaden its audience. That last one is key, Eddy says. “We saw a lot of love from customers, but realized that we’d be more effective going through the entities that they already lean on, like employers and insurance providers. As a result, we’re able to reach way more people who need our support.”

Lantern cost

To get basic information from Lantern on both end-of-life planning and what to expect when someone you love dies, all you have to do is create an account. This costs nothing “because we believe that this is information everyone should have access to,” as Lantern notes on its website. This Starter Pre-Plan includes one complimentary pre-plan, along with info on five key topics. The After-Loss Checklist, which helps you navigate the ins and outs of a loved one’s death, is also available at no cost.

There is also a Premium membership, which includes seven more topics (12 total), additional pre-plans, and more guidance. This is what eligible Haven Term policyholders will have access to as part of Plus, for no cost. It’s typically $149. This is a one-time fee for forever access — and it’s available for nothing, via Haven Life Plus.

How Lantern works

“One thing that we always love to remind people of is that we’re here for you no matter what,” Eddy says. “Whether you’re planning ahead or managing a loss, we’ve got your next steps covered.”

The experience begins with account creation, including some short questions that help Lantern guide your experience. Start with whether you’re planning for yourself or managing someone else’s death.

If you’re planning for yourself, you’ll get what Lantern calls a Pre-Plan. This will walk you through decisions big and small related to your death, from planning your own remembrance to organizing relevant information for your family so it’s easy to access during the stressful time of mourning.

If you’re managing a loved one’s death, you can get an After-Loss Checklist, and even schedule a half-hour, one-to-one consulting session, all at no cost. All of this is designed to help you prioritize the most urgent tasks — for example, informing creditors that there’s been a death — while also making sure you get the emotional support you need during this time.

Who is Lantern right for?

  1. Those who are grieving. In those overwhelming early moments, you might feel like the co-founder, Liz, felt at that same time. Fortunately for you, you can turn to Lantern for its after-loss checklist, helpfully organized by timeframe so you can prioritize what’s most important. There’s also a deep and helpful trove of online content, covering topics like how to write a eulogy and how to close common online accounts when someone dies.
  2. Those who will die. (Which, last we checked, is all of us.) As with any big task — presenting at an important meeting, buying a house — it helps to have a to-do list. In a sense, preparing for your own demise is like those things, except there’s absolutely zero chance of a do-over. Lantern makes it easy by listing all the things you need to get in order, and helping you make sure those things are organized for, and communicated to, the person (or persons) responsible for carrying out your wishes. (And yes, getting life insurance is one of them.)
  3. Those who just like having a plan. For many of us, it just feels better to know that things are taken care of and planned for — even when, or maybe especially when, we know we won’t be there to manage everything ourselves. And it turns out almost four in five Haven Life customers feel the same way.

According to a recent Haven Life survey, here is why Haven Term policyholders are prioritizing their end-of-life planning:

If any of those sound familiar to you, you should consider including Lantern in your planning (and, thanks to Haven Life Plus, there’s never been a better time to do so). Just don’t forget to write down your TikTok password somewhere.

It’s not just easier life insurance, it’s an easier life.

Learn about the perks that come with being a Haven Term policyholder.

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About Louis Wilson

Louis Wilson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a wide array of publications, both online and in print. He often writes about travel, sports, popular culture, men’s fashion and grooming, and more. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he has developed an unbridled passion for breakfast tacos, with his wife and two children.

Read more by Louis Wilson

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit: https://havenlife.com/plus.html

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