Wills Online Proves A Big Hit
19 June 2002
Wills Online Proves A Big Hit – www.publictrust.co.nz
Public Trust today announced that its Wills Online service, introduced on March 1 this year, is exceeding expectations.
Chief Executive Tim Sole said that Wills Online is proving even more popular than expected. Research shows that more and more New Zealanders are using the Internet for personal business and financial transactions.
“Some 700 people are in the process of completing their Will online and we are finding that it is not just young people using this service,” Mr Sole said. “18% of users are over 50 and the range is from people in their twenties starting families to one person who is 82 years old.
“The profile of users shows that the Internet, and in particular Wills Online, is relevant to all age groups and both sexes.”
The main advantage of Wills Online is convenience. People can use the service at the time that suits them best from their home or office, or anywhere else if they are using a laptop.
“The system guides you through the process by asking a series of questions,” Mr Sole said. “It takes between 20 and 60 minutes to create a new will. You can get started online and can contact Public Trust by telephone or email for help or information if you need it.
“You do not have to finish the will in one sitting, and you can take as much time as you like – you can start, stop and resume as it suits you.”
So far, 1,300 people have visited the website and registered for Public Trust’s online services.
When you register, the system creates a personal, confidential homepage, which you can visit anytime you like to create a new will, find a record of any will previously created online and update an existing online will.
Public Trust was the first estate manager in the world to develop a truly online wills service. The service runs on the intelligent engine, Chameleon, which was developed by English company DPL.
“Development of the site took a year, and, given the uptake, that time and effort has proved well worthwhile,” Mr Sole said.
Wills Online is one of the new services Public Trust introduced when the law was changed on March 1, allowing the company to significantly reduce its fees and change the way it does business.
“Wills Online doesn’t replace Public Trust’s traditional free wills service, it simply provides another way for people to make a will with Public Trust. It’s a free service, providing you appoint Public Trust as the executor of your estate.”
People can also choose to appoint someone else as executor, in which case an online will costs $69.95 including GST.
Over time and as bandwidth issues, particularly in rural areas, are resolved, Public Trust expects to make greater use of its online channel.
Public Trust also acknowledges that Wills Online doesn’t or won’t suit everyone.
“Those with assets overseas, who have beneficiaries with special needs or whose affairs are more complex, should seek specialist advice and the ‘expert’ system will identify such situations and advise the user to make an appointment with Public Trust to ensure their will is legally valid,” Mr Sole said.