SHERIDAN — What do you do when you can’t find a business service you need?
Bill Simpson Jr. decided to start his own.
Simpson, 37, has been working in the funeral home business for more than a decade. He works alongside his father, Bill Simpson Sr., who owns Simpson Family Funeral Homes in Sheridan and Stanton.
Simpson Jr. began observing a trend several years ago. As he was helping people prepare for the funeral of a loved one, he noticed many people had no idea where to find certain documents belonging to the deceased. Items such as life insurance documents or wills often proved difficult to locate.
“A lot of people aren’t prepared to deal with their loved one’s final affairs,” Simpson said. “People often think because they have estate plans, a life insurance policy, a will and trust or funeral plans made that they are all set. The problem is, if their families can’t find this information when they need it, they’re not really prepared.”
Searching for a service to handle these types of scenarios proved fruitless, so Simpson decided to start his own venture.
Three years later, Simpson has launched Life Document Storage (www.lifedocumentstorage.com), an end-of-life planning and life information system. The website allows users to store information about important life documents, as well as upload copies of those documents to a secure environment. Documents such as medical records can even be faxed directly from the website to a hospital during an emergency with a click of the mouse.
“It’s been an eye-opening experience to start a new business,” Simpson said. “I did not just want to throw a product out there. If it’s going to have my name and my reputation on it, I want it to be done right.”
Simpson began the process by finding a website developer, which then led him to realize he would need to hire someone else to create the massive database needed for the website. On a friend’s recommendation, he contacted David Bassion, owner of DBA Technologies in Pennsylvania.
The partnership proved to be a perfect match.
“I’ve taken care of my parents for the last eight years financially and also handled all their records,” Bassion said. “He started telling me what he was doing and it just hit home for me. I’m living it. I took it very personal. I know what people are going through and I don’t want anyone to go through that.”
As Bassion created the database, Simpson took a hands-on approach. He wrote all the text and selected all the photographs for the website. Designing the logo alone was a three-week process.
Anything can be stored on the website, from life insurance documents to last wishes and wills to Grandma’s top-secret cookie recipe. Those who open an account online choose “collaborators” with whom they can share their information at any time.
Simpson said the three goals of Life Document Storage are to provide people with a safe and secure means to store and transfer important information in the event of death or incapacitation; to provide families with peace of mind that their loved one’s information is available to them; and to be the industry leader in end-of-life planning.
“This has been a labor of love,” Simpson said. “It’s easy to do something when you know it’s going to help people. We each have a whole lifetime of knowledge in our head. The lifetime of knowledge you have in your head, you can put it in this database.”
A free trial subscription to Life Document Storage is available. Visit www.lifedocumentstorage.com or call Simpson at 1-800-377-7341 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.