New website a matter of life and death

22 Aug 2006

A brother and sister team from Dundalk have launched a website aimed at helping families handle the administrative tasks that arise from the death of a loved one.

The new site is being positioned as a first — or last — port of call for information on all end-of-life matters, with articles written by experts on matters ranging from inheritance tax to eco-friendly burials.

The site aims to help people plan and put their own affairs in order as well as being a key point of reference for what to do when a loved one dies.

“The site grew out of the frustration we felt trying to find funeral arrangements for someone who died down the country,” said Dympna Coleman.

“It’s difficult when you don’t know what newspaper the death notice was published in, or if you don’t listen to a particular local radio station. Because we’re part of the ‘Google generation’, she explained, ‘we expect to find information quickly and easily when we want it.”

Death notices are published free of charge and can be added on the day a death occurs.

The notice can include a photo of the deceased and a link to a personal book of condolence, open to friends and family around the world.

According to Jay Coleman, is a one-stop shop for planning for and coping with death and dying. “We’ve been able to go beyond what the more traditional media can provide,” he said, “with services like the online books of condolence, which we hope will become a focus for expressions of sympathy and support, particularly in cases where a death touches a wide community.”

Dympna Coleman explained that while is a free service and can be used by anyone, death notices can only be posted by funeral directors.

She added that while anyone can write a message in the book of condolence, all such messages are carefully monitored.

“Our site is really a natural development in communications technology to help people honour their social obligations and pay their respects, regardless of where in the world they may be,” she said.

By John Kennedy