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Slater and Gordon offers free wills as part of Law Week 2011.
Starting tomorrow, Australians will be able to go online and complete a free standard will, courtesy of Slater and Gordon. An online will usually costs $150.
Slater and Gordon is making the offer as part of this year’s Law Week theme of “law and justice in your community”.
Mr Rod Cunich, a family succession planning lawyer with Slater and Gordon, said research had shown that too few Australians have their personal wealth protected by a will.
“Across Australia, trillions of dollars worth of personal wealth is exposed to uncertainty and risk because people do not have a will,” Mr Cunich said
Mr Cunich said the failure to have a will could have disastrous results for families.
“We have seen time and time again that the failure to have a will has the potential to tear a family apart and it can even lead to litigation.
“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.
“Thousands of people die each year without a will leaving grieving family members with the added emotional and financial burden of having to deal with uncertainty, delays in processing estates, additional legal expenses and hardship, all of which are avoidable.
Mr Cunich said it was believed that time was a major impediment to people completing a will.
“Our online will service is about making life easier. Someone can complete the will in the comfort of their own home, but they can also do it knowing that they are getting a will from a reputable law firm that specialises in wills and estate planning.”
“Unlike off the shelf DIY wills - whether paper or online versions - our service won’t allow users with complex circumstances, requiring specialist advice, to complete the process. Our service makes recommendations when someone should seek personal legal advice from an estate planning professional, and it helps educate people about their requirements if a standard will is insufficient,” he said.
The free online will offer is available from May 16 to May 22. People can get their free will by clicking on the ‘online will link’ at www.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.