The irony of Willful was that it was born from death.

And if that’s not what irony is, please don’t @ me. I blame Alanis Morissette for confusing the heck out of me.

My name is Sunta and today I’m celebrating Willful’s “birthday” with a little reflection straight from the hip.

When Kevin (founder of Willful) first told me his desire to help people plan for what happens after they die, I initially thought to myself, “Whoa. That’s kind of dark buddy…”

But instead of passing judgment, I listened for the why. Why would you immerse yourself in the topic of death, a topic that most people run from?

Answer: It was personal.

Kevin had recently faced sudden loss, tragedy, and a personal brush with death. Like most people who experience this kind of proximity to their own mortality, there was a rush of anxiety. As his friend, I could tell these events had changed something deep inside.

At first this change was subtle. You can tell that these scary moments sparked fear. But soon that fear turned into frustrations. His family not only suffered grief from their loss, they also felt ill-equipped to handle the wishes of their loved one and had many unanswered questions.

Frustration soon turned into curiosity. Did this happen to every family after someone passes? Is this common? Is this the norm? Am I fully prepared if something were to happen to me?  Are my friends?

When he asked around, he was met with uncomfortable shrugs while others shared similar stories and similar frustrations. Many didn’t like talking about it… It was just too sad.

But this was too important to ignore.

Enter Willful and a mission.

Now look, I’m not trying to write a Marvel comic about Kevin here and I’m sure my bias is quite clear. He’s my friend and more recently my colleague. I’m proud of Willful because I know from personal experience just how hard it is to build a business. Period.

A normal anniversary/birthday post would probably go on to list all of our accomplishments (and there are plenty to celebrate) but the only one that I wanted to talk about at this moment is this: People are more comfortable than ever talking about estate planning. The topic is starting to feel less sad. Less overwhelming. Dare I say, less scary?

Okay, okay. While I can’t back this with scientific data (and I know the limits of being inside an echo chamber) there does seem to be a slight shift in the way we talk about getting our affairs in order. A few examples:

The Toronto Star

Global News

The Epoch Times

And I’m going to give some of that credit to Kevin and to Willful. Because this was always the why.  The big picture vision was to make sure estate planning would be included in the same conversations as insurance, retirement and financial planning. His mission was to make sure people everywhere could feel peace of mind and help guide their family through difficult times. He wanted to make sure that no one had to go through the frustrations his family went through.

While death is still sad and scary—and probably always will be—there are fewer and fewer excuses to put off creating your Last Will and Testament and Power of Attorney documents.

While we can’t predict everything that can happen in life, the next best thing we can do is prepare.

Cheers to celebrating more years of #adulting together and thank you all for your continued support of the Willful journey and our small but mighty team.

Sunta

CMO, Willful