SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Sioux Falls start-up is hoping to help people all over the country with Helen’s Plan, a secure website designed to make estate planning easier for loved ones after you pass.
“In April of 2017, my mother passed away somewhat unexpectedly and I was left as the executor of the estate,” Helen’s Plan founder Walter Portz said.
Portz knows firsthand how difficult the process of taking care of an estate can be in the midst of grief.
“I found it to be completely overwhelming, really it kept me from finding healthy grief and clarity,” Portz said.
It’s what gave him the idea to create Helen’s Plan, in honor of his mother.
“A comprehensive tool that allows you to organize all of your responsibilities in one place and share them with loved ones,” Portz said.
“The website lets you put in as much information as you want to, including literally everything from utility bills, passwords to your social media and email accounts,” Helen’s Plan partner Chris Hintz said.
Hintz says Helen’s Plan is all about creating a secure space…
“The encryption rate is better than some banks,” Hintz said.
…and giving people clear guidance on what information they need to gather.
“Most people don’t have any idea what the roadmap is for being an executor, for closing an estate. They just don’t understand how much work there is,” Hintz said.
“I’ve got a three and a half year old and I don’t want her to have that burden in her life,” Helen’s Plan customer Brienne Maner said.
Brienne Maner is already using Helen’s plan for herself and her parent’s future planning.
“It’s opened up some conversations for me and my family to be able to talk about what it looks like when my parents aren’t with us anymore I don’t think there’s any harm in being overly prepared,” Maner said.
Preparation that can help ease stress for the entire family.
“With how difficult it is to make those decisions when you’re crippled by emotion on top of everything that goes into succession planning,” Maner said.
“To have people talk about their wants their needs, their futures, without it being a big emotional piece, it’s just a very logical piece,” Hintz said.
After three years of development, Helen’s plan officially launched during the pandemic last year but is currently working to partner with other companies to help grow their website nationwide.