More than 3,100 Australians now have a legal will or are on their way to having a legal will following a free offer from leading law firm Slater and Gordon during Law Week 2011.
In a first for the national law firm, Slater and Gordon’s online wills service was made free for the duration of Law Week (16 - 22 May), representing a saving of $150 per user.
Mr Rod Cunich, a family succession planning lawyer with Slater and Gordon, said the take-up of the offer had been overwhelming.
“In opening up the site up for one week, we prompted people from all walks of life to turn their attention to creating a will,” Mr Cunich said.
“I think the results show a clear appetite for having a will. We saw people as young as 18 and as old as 89 taking up the option of the free will.
“Approximately two thirds of those who registered for the offer have children which shows that people do realise that having a legal will can provide their families with some security and peace of mind for the future.
“About a quarter of the respondents were aged under 30, which was also pleasing to see.”
Mr Cunich said there was a slight increase in the number of males (55 per cent) over females who used the service.
Mr Cunich said that the positive take-up during the Law Week promotion demonstrated that Australians understood the need to have a will.
“While the law provides a formula that sets out who is entitled to what in the absence of a will, the formula often doesn’t distribute assets in the way the deceased or their family intended,” Mr Cunich said.
“Families often have to contend with financial uncertainty and anxiety on top of the emotional pressures of losing a loved one if there is no valid will in place.
“We know from our research that nearly half of all Australians do not have a legal will, meaning that trillions of dollars worth of property, homes, shares, superannuation and other assets are unprotected as a result,” Mr Cunich said.
Mr Cunich said Slater and Gordon was pleased to have given more Australians “some peace of mind about the future” by making the offer.
“We know for many people that finding the time to prepare and write their will is an issue but by having this service online we hope that more Australians will get their will completed and know that it's been done through a reputable law firm."