A new low-cost offering will allow advisers and their clients to co-create a basic online will, in hopes of addressing the large number of parents in particular who are passing away without any form of estate plan in place.
Safewill chief executive Adam Lubofsky told ifa the new service allowed the creation of a will online within 20 minutes, for a one-off cost of under $200, meaning advisers could offer it to their clients as a low-cost add on to be completed during a client meeting.
“For advisers there are a number of benefits, one of which is that they are still in control of that process – rather than relinquishing the relationship over to a third-party lawyer, this allows them to go through and answer the questionnaire with their client and consider how a will fits into an estate plan, and also into an overall wealth plan,” Mr Lubofsky said.
“That is really important and it means the advice that advisers are giving is more than an intergenerational transfer of wealth, they can facilitate an intergenerational transfer of advice.”
Mr Lubofsky said the idea of the service had come about from his personal experience with a friend passing away without a will, which had led him to research the prevalence of Australians dying without an estate plan.
“There is this apathy toward wills where 50 per cent of Australians don’t have one, 60 per cent of parents don’t have one, so we did a bunch of research and boiled it down to three main barriers – cost, hassle and the time required,” he said.
“The way wills had been branded meant people did not want to think about it, when they hear the word ‘will’ they think about funeral directing, wearing black, they’re expecting something unpleasant. We’ve created a process that is simple and educative and can be completed in 20 minutes from your phone on the couch.”
While the service was primarily targeted towards Millennial clients who were more time-poor and cost-conscious, Mr Lubofsky said it could also be used effectively as an interim will for older, wealthier clients.
“We have had a few people on the platform who are in the high-net-worth bracket and have been referred by an adviser purely because they were getting on a plane in a couple of weeks, they may have significant asset holdings but they also have young kids and they need something to protect them, so this a cost effective stopgap,” he said.
Given a will was generally not a static document, the service also offered a $15 a year subscription giving clients the option for unlimited updates on their will if their circumstances changed, Mr Lubofsky said.
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