A matter of life and death
The new service is called ‘myTrove’ and it’s a free website that helps solve some of the challenges around estate management after you die. It helps answer the ‘What happens to all my accounts and stuff in my wallet?’ question that many of us never ask. MyTrove allows selected individuals (family members, your lawyer etc) – to notify multiple organisations after you’ve passed away; all in one place, at the click of a button.
What happens at ‘the end of the line’ in New Zealand?
In New Zealand there are around 30,000 deaths every year. And under half of all these Kiwis (about 45%) actually have a will. So what happens after you’ve passed away? Who sorts out all your personal affairs? It can take a lot of time, money, and stress for your family members and/or your lawyer to sort this out. Which is quite a burden to leave behind for your loved ones. So what’s the solution?
MyTrove – setting out to simplify the final affair
Can you believe that it also takes your Executors (the people you appoint to act on your will) between two months and a year to wind up your estate from start to finish? Also, it’s not uncommon for family members to spend between five and ten thousand dollars in closing your estate.
How do we know this? Because in 2016 the Public Trust commissioned research that found it takes an Executor 52.1 hours (on average) to fulfil their Executor duties such as closing down your accounts.
Life after death – keeping things simple
MyTrove reduces the hassle and complexity for your family members, or lawyer, because it reduces paperwork and removes the need for them to contact many different organisations who require the same information. MyTrove is smart too – the website is built so that your personal information and the government’s official death records can work together.
How does it work?
When someone passes away, myTrove Notify allows trusted individuals to notify certain organisations – all with one click or tap!
The notifications from myTrove can be sent to IRD, Westpac, and the Department of Internal Affairs (passports) to inform them of your death. And other organisations (financial services, insurance companies and more) are currently in the process of joining the growing myTrove ecosystem.
Delivering what everyone wants
The myTrove team worked closely with the organisations above to provide a service that’s easy, simple, and delivers more reliable data. That also makes life easier for those left behind to handle your affairs.
What about privacy and security? The data myTrove delivers is privately provided, and all deaths are verified with official government records. MyTrove is unique because they have an agreement with the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages that allows this to happen.
From idea, to prototype, to go live!
MyTrove successfully built a prototype and presented this at the GovTech Demo Day in June 2017 to over 400 people. Since then, the myTrove team has continued to improve the service.
The service was officially launched in March 2018 and myTrove Notify currently processes 5-10% of deaths in New Zealand – which they’re aiming to increase to 40-50% within the next year. And users love it! After using myTrove to register the notification of a deceased person online, Stella Purcell, Principal at Ruby Law, said:
“A central registration is an efficient way of dealing with notifications of this nature, certainly saves individual letters being sent. I’m all for finding a more efficient way of doing anything administrative.”
Many hands make light work – how we helped
With the Innovation Fund’s support, myTrove turned myTrove Notify from a proof-of-concept into a working solution for corporate users. Now, all notifications are available in real time. So once Internal Affairs has confirmed a death, recipients such as Inland Revenue see this via real time reporting. It’s such an improvement that corporate clients now prefer the digital myTrove notifications over a paper death certificate.
Building smarter services for everyone
Services like myTrove make interacting with the New Zealand Government simpler and more efficient. It’s lowered the cost for everyone, helped improve government service delivery, and provided a proven model that can be used in other customer experience areas.
The Innovation Fund is delighted to have helped myTrove improve a great idea with a smart, safe, easy-to-use service that can help all of us – even when we’re no longer around – to help ourselves.
To find out how you can apply to the Innovation Fund, visit innovationfund.co.nz/how-it-works
Death is a hard topic for people to talk about – we believe that myTrove is making life a lot easier for your loved ones, once your life has ended
Ross Hughson, CEO, myTrove