These days we do almost everything online. From developing new friendships, meeting prospective life partners to buying groceries and gifts. It seems our reality has become so entwined with online networks that we can pretty much organise our lives using the world wide web. So why not also do our Wills online?
No! No! And No again!
Surely, by reading my posts on LinkedIn and Facebook, you would have realised that drafting a Will is not something you do while you sit at your computer screen.
Drafting a Will takes careful deliberation and it takes attention to detail – something an online Will kit does not give you.
Online Will kits don’t ask all the right questions
When you make a Will, there are a number of factors to consider such as:
Do you own a house (or more)?
Do you have superannuation? Do you understand how your Superannuation will be paid out?
How much is your total wealth including your life insurance?
Are you married? Or, are you about to get married?
Are you divorced? Or are you in the process of divorcing?
Are you part of a blended family?
Do you have children? Are they minors or are they adults? Are they married and is their marriage ‘healthy’ or not???
Have you inherited from your parents and they requested your inheritance not form part of a joint estate?
Do you have a business? Is it a sole trader, partnership or company? Do you own shares?
An online Will kit is not designed to ask you all of the above questions. Only a Lawyer who specialises in Wills and Estate Planning will appreciate the value of asking you the questions and how your answers shall affect the structure of your Will.
The online Will kit is not designed to assess your situation and then advise you accordingly. The online Will kit also doesn’t tell you to see a Lawyer if your estate is ‘too complex’. Rather, there is no such statement in the Will kit and the decision about the level of complexity of your estate is left up to you.
Hence, are you qualified to legally understand the structure of your estate? For example, do you understand how your estate will be distributed if you are in a blended family? An online Will kit doesn’t know and it certainly doesn’t care….! And if you proceed with the online Will kit, then it indicates that you don’t care either???
Online Will kits ‘box’ you in to choose set answers
The online Will kits are designed in such a way that your wishes must fit within a ‘box’ of answers. You don’t get the choice to make a Will ‘outside the box’.
What if you are getting divorced from your second spouse, you have children from that relationship and you have children from a previous relationship? What questions is the Will kit going ask you? Probably “Are you divorced or married.” Okay, but else? What about your children from your previous relationship and your children from the current relationship? Where are the appropriate questions about each set of children??
You have incurred ‘blood, sweat and tears’ to accumulate your wealth. Why then would you be happy to be ‘boxed in’ about how your wealth shall be distributed to your loved ones???
Online Will kits offer a guarantee! Really??
When you draft a Will, you do so because you want to have peace of mind knowing that your estate will be distributed to your family as you want. You also want to make life easier for those you leave behind.
Many of the online Will kits give you a ‘satisfaction guarantee’. You complete your Will online, print it, sign it and you feel satisfied that you’ve taken care of your family. Really?? Are you that confident??
Did you notice and read the ‘small print’ where the online Will kit disclaimed all the content on the site and they have no responsibility to you or your family. Are you sure you are still satisfied that your family will be taken care of???
Look, I get that times are tough and money is tight. But when it comes to your Will, “you get what you pay for” and an online Will kit is almost certainly going to guarantee that your family may pay the hefty price in the end. There’s your guarantee.
Yes, I agree that the online world has made parts of our lives easier. However, when it comes to the ‘important stuff’ like your wealth and your family, the online world is not the quick solution. Rather is the sure fix for a family fight or expensive legal fees.
If you value your ‘important stuff’ you will refrain from using an online Will kit. Rather, you will meet with a specialist Wills and Estate Planning Lawyer. Contact me for consultation so that you can make a Will that suits your circumstances, not those of an online Will kit with ‘boxed’ answers.