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End-of-life care planning for seniors (or anyone, for that matter) is typically the last thing on the average person’s mind — it’s awkward, confusing, and offers no real comfort in times of crisis.

If you feel the same way, you’re not alone. In 2007, AARP found that only 34% of people over 50 have engaged in preplanning for a funeral or burial, and that 77% haven’t prepaid any portion of a funeral, whether for themselves or a loved one.

That’s where Grace comes in.

The Grace Team

June 23, 2016 — The Grace team during Demo Day for Techstars’ 2016 Healthcare Accelerator in partnership with Cedars-Sinai.

Framing themselves as an end-of-life concierge service, the company helps families navigate the tricky dynamics of not only planning funeral services, but also the myriad of loose ends a deceased person typically leaves behind.

“Watching my friends and family struggle through a process they didn’t understand while still experiencing the emotional loss inspired me to… figure out how it could be made to work better for families in need,” said Alex Kruger, Co-founder and CEO of Grace.

Kruger said, more often than not, people who call his company tend to be ‘first-timers’ to death planning.

“Normally people haven’t had to attend to all of the tasks that accompany a loved one dying,” he said, “And they so often find themselves at loss for what to do next.”

As you might expect, Grace’s core product is arranging funeral services. As a fully-licensed funeral director, the company can arrange for caskets, land plots, cremations, and a myriad of other services related to the final goodbye families have after a loved one’s passing — a funeral home without homes, if you will.

But their main differentiator is the comprehensive suite of “aftercare” services they provide as well.

For example, finances; what happens to debts and recurring expenses (like utilities)? What about managing your loved one’s digital presence — for example, did you know you could memorialize a Facebook page? What does the deceased’s faith say about cremation? And who takes care of dependents, both animal and human alike?

This is where Grace truly shines, and could herald an important perceptive shift in the role of modern end-of-life planning from a reactive process to a proactive one.

“Nobody wants to leave a burden for their families,” Kruger said, “Having these discussions sooner rather than later gives you the freedom to live fully and with passion during the time that we have.”

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