Having your Will in a digital format offers advantages that traditional, paper-based copies can't provide. Both provide a legal document to protect your estate assets, outline distribution for remaining assets and identify all the beneficiaries. But, amongst other things, a digital distinguishes itself by enabling more flexibility in making changes to this document. In this blog we dive into the benefits of writing and storing a valid will online.
Quick recap here. But holding a valid will is crucial to protecting a person's estate and any wishes for after death. An estate? Well that includes all assets held across bank accounts, income and money flows, personal effects, and property and land. As the will maker, you can outline how all the assets should be distributed, and ensure beneficiaries named receive their share.
This process also involves appointing an executor to administer the estate. This is effectively a grant to pay debts, deal with tax returns and distribute the assets to each person named in the will. This person will be responsible for a range of responsibilities which see your wishes carried through in the supreme court, after probate. An executor's duties can even extend to assisting with funeral arrangements, as well as dealing with any disputes which slow the administration of the estate and distribution of other assets in probate.
Ultimately, regardless of how you obtain it, a will is your ticket to peace of mind when it comes to the handling of your estate, liabilities, debts and probate in reasonable time. It allows you to support your family in death, preserve property, business income and other assets you leave behind, whilst also ensuring your end of life wishes are carried out.
So you're convinced. But what to do next? It's your responsibility to complete payment and collect all relevant information which grant your will as legally binding in the eyes of the supreme court.
The traditional route involves hiring a lawyer, paying a lot of cash and carving out a lot of time for repeated appointments. It can quickly get expensive, impractical, and inaccessible. So alternatively, you can opt for a digital will.
An online will has the same legal recognition as a paper copy. The court really doesn't see the difference, assuming all the right requirements are met. With legal support as you complete your will at home, this can represent a more affordable, flexible and easier way to access all the benefits of a will.
Whilst at Safewill we know online wills are great, we appreciate it's all new, and could seem slightly too good to be true. And we get it. You want to be responsible with your will duties, and careful with your precious business, property and wider assets. You want to look after your beneficiaries and ensure your personal effects fall into the right hands. With all the right information below, we hope you can act with confidence in the shared knowledge that an online will is the best way to do this.
When you create a Will using an online platform like Safewill you can make changes or access the document online from anywhere in the world. Allowing you to reflect changes in life circumstances in your estate plan- with easy alterations on everything from beneficiaries to executors, state trustees to cash payouts, and funeral or death wishes.
Safewill's yearly subscription model means you can update the document as many times as you like - whenever you like. The cost to update a Will using the Public Trustee is $220, while creating updates with a solicitor may incur hourly fees which could add up depending on the complexity of the changes required. Especially if complexities arise, you could end up spending large amounts of money and creating debts for your intended beneficiaries to later pick up.
In contrast, a digital will with Safewill costs $160, and includes a free year of updates. After the initial year the subscription only costs $15/year for unlimited updates on any person, assets or wishes outlined in your will.
It's important to note that the ongoing subscription includes other benefits - for example, if there are any changes to the law Safewill ensures these updates are reflected in your Will. We'll even send you a new one, or will notify you that action needs to be taken on your end (e.g. if superannuation regulations change).
Paper-based Wills are often stored somewhere inside the home, and your personally liable to ensure it doesn't get lost. This can get risky, given that lockboxes, or safes are not always foolproof when it comes to foul play or getting caught up in the business of life.
Storing your Will on the Cloud offers greater security and privacy for your estate plan. Safewill uses global best practice systems for security and data protection, including encryption, user verification and secure hosting. Our data is encrypted and is hosted on Google Cloud servers, which are amongst the most secure in the world.
Storing your Will on our servers also means when the time comes for your appointed person to collect your will, and administer deceased estate, time won't be wasted searching for the documents through filing cabinets, solicitor's offices and private hiding spots.
Crucially, this can grant authority for executors to handle and distribute your assets; paying any debts or liabilities, and acting in a time efficient manner on their duties to administer your estate. It will also grant authority to any power of attorney, to act on your behalf if the need arises. This can ease stress for you family, friends and beneficiaries, as well as ease the probate process in court.
Throughout the duration of your subscription our customer support team will be by your side to help you out throughout the process. If you have technical issues they are available on live chat or over the phone 7 days a week. Most lawyer's offices and public trustees simply don't operate over the weekends, so you don't get the same turnaround time if you want to make changes to your Estate Plan via these methods.
Our customer support team is part of the reason Safewill is Australia's Highest rated End-of-life Platform. Customers around the country are always telling us how easy it is to use our service and the difference our customer support team makes to the Will-writing process: but don't take it from us, our reviews speak for themselves.
Every Will created and updated on Safewill is reviewed by our expert lawyers. This means we can guarantee any changes or updates you make during the subscription process will be valid under Australian law and recognised in court. Offering you an easier probate process, a roadmap to administer the estate and distribute your estate to family- all without the price tag of using a traditional law firm.
When you become a subscriber we give you access to a wealth of estate planning resources. Our premium members will receive a fortnightly newsletter which includes exclusive discounts, insightful articles, Q&As and tools to help you learn about and prepare for end of life. We
If you decide you don't want to continue to pay for the subscription model, you can pause the service or cancel it any time for free. Whilst this means you will no longer be eligible to make changes to your Will, you can unlock your account to do this at any time for $80.
We encourage people to sign up for our yearly subscription service because we believe a Will should not be a static document. As life changes, a Will is something that changes with you. Major life events like the birth of a new family member, getting married or buying and selling property all warrant an update to your Estate Plan. And, it's only $15 a year to provide this extra layer of protection for your future.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice but to act as a basic educational guide. If you have concerns or queries you should consult a legal professional about your specific circumstances.