Celebrate Your Life (and Help Others do the Same) with Bcelebrated – Plus a Discount for Wise Bread Readers

By Nora Dunn on 15 November 2009 (Updated 25 November 2011) 6 comments
Photo: Bcelebrated

Debra and Mark were on a boat trip while vacationing in Mexico when they found themselves in the middle of a terrible storm. Life jackets were passed out. And there weren’t enough to go around. They were both pretty sure they were about to die.

What goes through your mind when something like that happens?

“All I could think of was that my mom and closest friend were going to have a terrible time trying to find all of my contacts in a short time. It would have left a real mess for them,” says Debra Joy of her near-death experience.

This emotional event, on top of having several close people die in a short period of time (and having others yet diagnosed with — and surviving — life-threatening illnesses), was the catalyst for Joy to create Bcelebrated.

The Basics

Bcelebrated is an online service that allows you to document and celebrate your life with journals, pictures, and music. It is for your eyes only while you create your pages; a process that you can do over many years or a few hours.

When you die, your pre-assigned activators (two people who you trust) log into your Bcelebrated site and have access to the site and your last wishes. They then trigger a mechanism so all your contacts (who you uploaded into the system) automatically receive emails notifying them of your passing, with an invitation to visit your Bcelebrated site; a permanent legacy that you leave behind. People can leave comments, share stories, and make donations among other things while they peruse your autobiographical journey.

“When death comes — and it does for us all,” says Joy, “the process of contacting everyone who knows you and presenting your life in the form of obituaries, photos, music, and public memorials will be left to others…unless you do it yourself. Bcelebrated allows you to define your own legacy and will save your loved ones from the grief of coping with the small details of your life that, perhaps, only you would know.”

Bcelebrated Features

  • Your Bcelebrated site is your chance to write a final message, or your own story in a way that is meaningful to you and will be remembered for generations.
  • The automatic notification system alerts all your contacts of your death (and invites them to visit your Bcelebrated site).
  • You can create private pages with text, pictures, and music for certain loved ones. Write letters of love, advice, or even private password or life insurance policy information for those contacts who are settling your estate.
  • You can record your last wishes for your activators to read.
  • You can update and change the site, contacts, and activators at any time.
  • You can direct visitors to make donations to a charity of your choice in lieu of sending flowers.

Who Is Bcelebrated For?

You don’t have to be on your deathbed to open and enjoy using a Bcelebrated account.

Joy says “We designed it for people like us: 45+, familiar with basic technology, lots of contacts, and a desire to reflect on life as you are living it, write about your experience, and leave a legacy of comfort and support to those you love. It’s an obvious tool for people who know they are dying but almost half of people die unexpectedly so it's really meant for anyone who cares about the people they are leaving behind. We've been surprised that it appeals to young moms. They become intensely aware of their mortality when they bring life into the world. Moms have used the private pages to write to their kids.”

From an Estate Planning Perspective

Obviously your will is the go-to document to settle your estate. But even lawyers encourage people to create their own personal documents outside of the will to express their wishes. It allows you to be more personal and creative with the message, but also saves you hundreds of dollars in legal expenses to update or redraft your will when things change.

The Travel Touch

For your next vacation, you could choose to make your travel partner an additional activator on your Bcelebrated account. If you fall ill while traveling, then your travel partner can access your site and attain the contact information for your other activators (who are probably family or closest friends back home). Your travel partner can then notify these contacts to tell them you are sick and make arrangements for you. Once the trip is over, you can remove the travel partner as an activator if you want to.

Cost

You can take Bcelebrated for a test drive for free by signing up for their free 30 day trial. If you like what you see, then you can sign up and your information will be saved and become your permanent site.

Your two membership options are $19.99 annually, or a lifetime membership for $99.

Special Discount For Wise Bread Readers

Bcelebrated is offering Wise Bread readers a free year’s membership! Simply enter in the promo code CELEBRATE when you register.

The Competition / Other Resources

There are not a lot of services that encompass all the same offerings as Bcelebrated, but this is quickly changing. As the baby boomer generation moves towards their golden years, services like Bcelebrated are becoming more important, especially as we become increasingly digitally connected.

Online Estate Planning

My Last Email — Use this service to create online memorials, with a focus on sending your last messages to loved ones.

Cost: There is a restricted free package that might do the trick if you don’t have too much to say. Although they did not reply directly to my pricing inquiry and don’t currently have rates published on their site, word on the street is that full access costs 5 British Pounds per month (about $8US).

Legacy Locker — This service allows you to pass online accounts to your loved ones after your death. This is a very useful offering, especially as we continue to have more and more online personas that need some sort of resolution when we die. They can then find contacts in email accounts to send out notices, close out other accounts, and gain access to legal documents and statements that may be necessary to process the estate.

Cost: The annual membership is $30, and the lifetime membership is $300. There is also a restricted free trial version.

Private Matters — Here you can create your online memorial or online obituary, and leave messages and instructions for loved ones. This service is the most similar to Bcelebrated that I could find.

Cost: There is a one-time membership fee of $20 or $70 (depending on the options you choose), plus an annual renewal fee of $12.

Online Memorial Sites

Following a collection of online memorial sites. They are largely aimed at people who want to create memorial sites for other people (and pets!) they have lost and are grieving for. Family and friends can visit the site, leave comments, make donations, etc.

Some remain online permanently, while others expire after a time. All have free (or almost free) options.

Friends At Rest 

Gone Too Soon 

Imorial 

Lasting Tribute 

Much Loved 

Remembered Forever 

Friends and Relations

Our service helps people take control of how their life will be celebrated, and by whom, and we hope that by becoming conscious of death they will be encouraged to live more fully. — Debra Joy, CEO of Bcelebrated

Note: The author has no vested or affiliate interest in Bcelebrated.

 

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Guest's picture

Quite a concept, the Last Email and stuff. Never thought of that.

How about a timed blog too?

John DeFlumeri Jr

Nora Dunn's picture

@John - Bcelebrated is almost a timed blog, in that the pages and private messages don't become available until after you're gone.

I agree; it's an interesting concept, and one that is picking up speed too.

Guest's picture

What a refreshing idea for a website. You can count me in for the trial.

I love the legacy locker too. Seems like it would simplify a sometimes complicated process after the death of a loved one.

Guest's picture
Charles

Personally- I have researched many different online memorial/tribute sites and have a hard time paying for one. I came across Valley of Life (www.valleyoflife.com)and set one up for my grandfather. I would think that this site should be included with the other memorial sites.

Nora Dunn's picture

@David - Great! Let us know what you think, please!

@Charles - Valley of Life looks great - although it falls under the category of Online Memorial Sites, as opposed to Online Estate Planning. Most of the online memorial sites are indeed free.

Guest's picture
molly

I came across this website, i think this should be a worthy mention and its completely free. http://www.memorial-gardens.org