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Q&A with’s CEO Collin Harris

What is
Our service helps you organize everything you would want your family to know if something happened to you. Simple-to-use templates walk you through all the steps you need to take to gather and organize details for your family such as how to pay bills, access online accounts, run your business, claim insurance policies, where to find legal documents, and more.  When you pass away, the information you stored is made available to your family and friends, helping them and reassuring them through this difficult time.

How did you come up with the idea to create this service?
I thought about the idea a few years back because I wanted to make sure my family of five would know what to do if I died. I have a trust, but I wanted a secure service where I could store instructions, business information, and the details of my life. There really wasn't anything out there so my son, Nick, and I decided to start YouDeparted to help millions of families just like ours.

So is YouDeparted like an online will or trust?
No – YouDeparted can certainly help you prepare these legal documents and instruct your survivors how to use them, but the service is all about the details that are not covered in a will or trust.  Think of it as an online organizer for your life that helps you get everything together now.  Then when you pass away, the information helps your family figure out how to take care of everything.

Why should I use
First, YouDeparted helps you get everything organized now.  Our categories and templates walk you through the process of collecting and organizing everything your family will need access to when you are gone.  Second, storing this information in a secure encrypted format on our daily backed-up servers ensures that it will not be lost or stolen. Third, when you pass away, your family and friends are able to login and retrieve the information you left for them.  Your letters are mailed and emails are sent out according to your wishes. The bottom line is using our service gets your life together now and provides you and your family with peace of mind.

Death is a difficult subject. Do you think it will be a challenge to market YouDeparted?
Like any new idea, the initial marketing attempts will be challenging. However, once the service is understood, it will become the very next step creating your will or trust.

How is my information kept secure on
We have taken every step possible to ensure the security of your information:

  1. Each and every bit of information you store on YouDeparted is encrypted using the 256 bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), the same encryption the United States National Security Agency (NSA) approves for sending TOP SECRET documents worldwide.
  2.  Every account is separately encrypted using your own Secret Key in addition to your password. 
  3. Your connection to our server is always encrypted using 128bit SSL.
  4. Daily backups and co-location keep your information safe in the event of hardware failure and/or disaster.
  5. 24/7 server monitoring and uninterruptible power supplies keep our servers up and running always.
  6. Three professional teams of security auditors have reviewed the entire site and determined it secure.
  7. Daily vulnerability scans are performed by to assure hardware and software security.

Once I pass away, how do my survivors get access to my account?
As a member, you can add from 1 to 99 "Recipients" to your account. You create login information and instructions for each Recipient. You send this information to them when you are ready. Recipients are typically family members, close friends, an attorney or other trusted individuals. Once you pass away, if the minimum number you have specified log in, the account will be unlocked and the information released.

What if one of my Recipients tries to unlock my account while I’m still alive?
They will not be able to if you set a minimum number of Recipients required to unlock your account greater than one, and/or specified a time delay before your account is unlocked. Every access attempt generates a notice which is immediately sent to you so you can prevent your account from being unlocked and figure out why your Recipient tried to unlock your account.
We also have a time delay feature. This offers further protection against your Recipients ganging up on you to open the account! If all Recipients log in to the account while you are alive, but there is a time delay of 5 days, the information will not be released until 5 days have passed. Since ever unlock attempt results in the account holder being notified, this gives them a chance to find some more trustworthy Recipients!

What happens if YouDeparted shuts down?
We are very confident in our business model, but if for some unforeseen reason we have to shut down the service, every member will be given several months of advance notice in order to download their information, and their accounts will be prorated.