Planning tools: Cake
Updated: Sep 1, 2021
This post is one in a series about tools to help you document and share your end-of-life wishes. I am not affiliated with the tools' creators and offer these summaries to help you choose a tool that is right for you.
Cake was started by Suelin Chen, who holds a doctorate from MIT and spent her career in the life sciences industry advising start-up companies, and Mark Zhang, a palliative care physician who teaches at Harvard Medical School. Chen met Zhang at the 2014 MIT Hacking Medicine Grand Hack. They teamed up to present an idea to use technology to help people plan their end-of-life care, which was named the winning project of the conference’s “Grand Hack” competition. They started their company the following year, choosing the name "Cake" to celebrate life despite the company's focus on death. Their board of advisors includes many leading "deathfluencers" and leading palliative care experts.
What are the benefits of using Cake?
Cake is an easy to use online planning tool that asks simple questions to elicit answers about your wishes for your end-of-life care and your death. Cake's focus is on your wishes for your legacy and plans after your death; it has only a short section on healthcare planning. Cake links to both The Conversation Project and Honoring Choices Massachusetts and suggests using those tools to create your living will and healthcare proxy and uploading the files to your Cake account.
Once you create a free, password protected online profile in Cake, you can upload all of your end-of-life planning documents and share them electronically with your survivors and those who will be in charge of managing your affairs. You can also download a PDF of a document that you created in Cake if you prefer to keep those documents offline.
Cake's questions cover some practical things that you might not have thought about, such as what you want to happen to your social media accounts and your email addresses after you die.
Cake also has some great articles about estate planning, grief and loss and the site is constantly updated.
Who should consider using Cake?
Cake is a great place to start if you have not thought about estate planning and your legacy. It has a pleasant interface and, because it lives online, you can update your plan whenever you change your mind about any of your answers. Cake also sends regular reminders to review and update your plan.
How to get Cake
You can create a free account and use Cake at https://www.joincake.com/. The company makes money from affiliate products and services linked to its site.