After the loss of a loved one, the survivors face a mountain of paperwork and endless phone calls. End-of-life logistics put additional strain on grieving families and friends, who often leave the hospital confused about everything from burials to bank accounts.
A Los Angeles-based startup called Grace is now offering end-of-life concierge services assisting with financial and administrative decisions to help ease that stress. Techstars Healthcare Accelerator in partnership with Cedars-Sinai Health System chose Grace as one of 11 health tech startups for its first class.
Grace recently struck a partnership with Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai, where it will provide information and assistance to the families of dying or recently deceased patients. Instead of being left in the dark, family members can get help with things like hospice care, funeral arrangements, death certificates and closing accounts.
“When we look at the end-of-life planning process for health systems, there are so many opportunities for them to step in and provide an additional level of support for patients and their families,” said Alex Kruger, co-founder and CEO of Grace. “The biggest problem that we're noticing is that people just aren't having the conversations that they need to be having about end-of-life planning: How do you get an advanced directive filled out? How do you close an account like Verizon, Comcast or even Facebook after someone passes?”
Before launching the startup, Kruger worked in the tech world developing consumer marketplaces that help users more easily manage other cumbersome tasks. Most recently, he was vice president of business development at SpotHero, a mobile app- and website-based parking reservation service.
“The idea for Grace came about after my great uncle had passed away,” he said. “I reached out to my great aunt to see how I could help, and she started sending me tasks that weren't confusing but were emotionally difficult to deal with when your loved one has just passed.”