National law firm Slater and Gordon is again offering free online wills during National Law Week 2012 (14-20 May) after more than 3000 Australians took up the firm’s offer last year.
Starting 14th May, Australians will be able to complete Slater and Gordon’s free online standard will, saving them $150.
Rod Cunich, a family succession planning lawyer with Slater and Gordon, said that according to research, 47 percent of Australians don’t have their wealth protected by a will.
“Combined with ageing baby boomers, this means that trillions of dollars worth of personal wealth is exposed to uncertainty and risk because people do not have a will. Now more than ever is an important time to start thinking about a will,” Mr Cunich said.
“In the next decade, we’re likely to see the biggest transfer of wealth in history, and the failure to prepare a will could have disastrous results for families.
“Family disputes and even litigation can occur when a will hasn’t been completed, which has the potential to tear a family apart. While laws exists to help set out who is entitled to what in the absence of a will, the formula for distributing assets may not be how the deceased intended.
“Unfortunately, thousands of people die each year without leaving a will. This can mean their surviving family are left with the financial burden of having to deal with the uncertainty of processing estates, and costly legal expenses, in addition to grieving over the loss of a loved one.”
Mr Cunich said that the research also found that finding time to prepare a will was a major barrier to people completing one.
“Slater and Gordon’s convenient online will service means that time is no longer an impediment and someone can complete a will in the comfort of their own home, from a reputable law firm. It’s about making life easier.
“Unlike off the shelf DIY wills - our service requires the user to undertake an estate planning self assessment and, as a safety precaution, won’t allow users to complete a standard will if their circumstances require more. If they require more our service educates the user about their needs and provides guidance about the issues they need to address,” he said.
The free online will offer is available from 14-20 May. People can get their free will by clicking on the ‘online will link’ at www.slatergordon.com.au or visit https://online.slatergordon.com.au/.
Research released by Slater and Gordon in 2010 found that almost half (47 per cent) of Australians did not have a valid will. This left an estimated $2.5 trillion worth of property, homes, shares, superannuation and other assets not protected by a will in Australia.