We have been asked many times on why we wanted to take the process of making “Will’s” online and the thought behind the “Fulfillment” process. The truth is while we saw this space as a gap in the entire “Estate Management piece”, the inspiration behind the idea was more tragic and the aftermath more horrific. The entire idea was born from this incident that left a deep scar in our psyche- and a yawning product gap that Planext wanted to address. This incident we realized was not an insulated incident- but occurred with an unnerving regularity across the country.
I wanted to share the incident with our customers- as a story of the family next door whose life was turned on its head one fatal day. Praveen was the guy that the entire building went to- full of life, always ready to help, Secretary of the building society, a friend, a husband and a father of two lovely young kids. It was the week of Christmas; the buildings were all lit up, the holiday spirit setting in the city, laughter and cheer all around. Praveen was dancing with the kids at home to Christmas carols celebrating the biggest Christian festival. All of a sudden, there was a searing pain, a short drive to the nearby hospital where all the senior doctors were on leave, a few goof ups later- and in a short span of 2 hours- he was no more.
The world came crashing down on the family. A young wife with two young kids- the trauma was immense. Praveen was 40 when he passed, too young to go, a life to look forward too. Too young to have even though of making a “Will”- or was he? As the pain of the loss sunk in, what also hit his wife was the responsibility of 2 young kids and the finances. As most couples Praveen had not discussed his investments and liabilities with his wife. What hit most of his friends who tried to help- was the fact to piece all the information together was the hardest. What was harder to run around and get the succession certificates, probates etc. The bank accounts were simpler, the housing loan, the car, the mobile- small things that would suck the energy out of anyone. The fact is that bureaucracy exists in India- both in the government as well as the private sector; we needed to face it and handle it.
This was the story that inspired us- if it could happen to Praveen, it could happen to us. We then started to look around to make a will for ourselves- we needed to find a lawyer. The lawyer I found lived halfway across town- and was available only after 5 PM. In Bangalore traffic that was never going to happen! Even if our wives had a will who would run around? Would they have to run around for the money- or look after the kids? Most of us live in nuclear families now in different cities. We live in a connected world, but the running around still needs to be done by someone on the ground- with time on his hand. Eventually for the rest of the world the shock fades, and people move on with their lives- but for the wife, she needs to go on and ensure that her children are protected and taken care of, that all the monies her husband worked hard for are at her disposal and the disposal of her children- and do all the running around- and then tired and dusted at night- mourn the loss of a loved one!
This was the genesis of our company!
(The author is the founder and Chief Executive Officer at Planext)
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