Perpetual Guardian Acquires My Bucket List
Media Release June 2015
Perpetual Guardian Acquires My Bucket List, Establishes Digital E-Wills Platform to Bridge Generation Gap
Long overdue innovation is coming to the fiduciary services sector following leading provider Perpetual Guardian’s acquisition of My Bucket List for an undisclosed sum. The purchase of the online wills platform confirms Perpetual Guardian as the industry’s innovator in digital services, and the platform itself will facilitate the expansion of fiduciary services to tech-savvy but under-protected younger New Zealanders.
Two new surveys commissioned by Perpetual Guardian indicate the breadth of the generation gap when it comes to estate planning, but offer the encouraging news that New Zealanders of all ages are open to using the internet to make, store and update wills and accomplish other estate-planning tasks.
A total of 750 New Zealanders were surveyed through GrownUps and nzgirl.co.nz. Of the 360 GrownUps respondents, who were predominantly aged between 60 and 80, 93% reported that they have a will. Conversely, 75% of the 390 nzgirl respondents (60% of whom were aged 21 to 35 and only 20% of whom were over 40), said they do not have a will.
The response of all those surveyed to a question about online options for estate planning indicates that New Zealanders are ready for web-based fiduciary services. To a question about whether they would be willing to store a will securely online and access it similarly to how they would a bank account, 41% of nzgirl respondents answered ‘yes’ and another 41% said ‘maybe’. The GrownUps respondents were nearly as receptive, with a total of 61% saying ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’.
Perpetual Guardian’s managing director Andrew Barnes says the decision to acquire My Bucket List stemmed from the company’s desire to remove the barriers to estate planning.
“As an industry, we bear a responsibility for these poor statistics. For too long, New Zealanders have seen getting a will and complementary documents as just too hard. Our purpose is to make it accessible and affordable for all. Our vision is to make will-making as easy as setting up a KiwiSaver account or buying an insurance policy, and the updating of a will as simple as setting up a bill payment online. It should be no more complicated or time-consuming than internet banking, but provide the same level of security, privacy and flexibility.”
The My Bucket List footprint will be retained and all members of that site will continue to engage through that platform on Perpetual Guardian’s proprietary will-focused site, willtolive.co.nz. Visitors to the site can access an online will and instructions for enduring powers of attorney.
Mai Chen says her goal in establishing My Bucket List was to encourage all New Zealanders to have a will and to remind them to live their current lives to the full. “I wanted to create a portal to make it simple for Kiwis to find support in living their lives to the full while obtaining the protection needed to ensure their wishes would be fulfilled after their deaths.
“I am very pleased the site is in the hands of Perpetual Guardian, which has the energy and expertise – and most importantly, the technological capability – to realize our shared goal that no New Zealander should die without a will.
“Our historical low rate of protection affects generations and changing the statistics requires real innovation and expertise that Perpetual Guardian has.”
Perpetual Guardian has invested heavily in developing a digital service to bring fiduciary services into the 21st century. Mr Barnes says while the services of lawyers, accountants and financial planners remain critically important in the wider sector, estate planning has lagged behind the demands of consumers, who have sophisticated expectations of service providers.
“When banking went online there were naysayers, but try to imagine a world without it now. Fiduciary services must evolve in the same way, so that wills can be made, stored and updated with absolute security at the click of a mouse.”
• My Bucket List was co-founded by Mai Chen in 2013. The handover to Perpetual Guardian is effective 23 April 2015;
• Following the acquisition, the My Bucket List footprint will be retained. All visitors to and members of the site will be redirected to Perpetual Guardian’s proprietary will-focused site, willtolive.co.nz;
• Site users can access an online will and instructions for enduring powers of attorney.
GrownUps survey of 360 New Zealanders (conducted April 2015):
• 120 male and 240 female;
• Thirty-eight percent aged 60 to 69; 39% aged 70 to 79;
• New Zealand-wide, with the highest proportion of respondents (31%) based in Auckland, followed by 13% in Waikato/Coromandel/King Country and 12 in Wellington;
• Ninety-three percent have a will;
• Of the 25% of respondents with a will, the most common reason for making their first will (33%) was buying a house or other asset/s, followed by getting married (29%); having a child (21%); advice from a third party such as lawyer or financial adviser (20%); personal experience of the consequences of dying without a will (12%) and setting up a family trust (8%). Other reasons cited included divorce and/or remarriage, travelling overseas and serving in the armed forces (note: some respondents cited more than one reason);
• Age of making first will was most commonly 60-69 (29%), followed by 70-79 (27%). Only 13% made their first will between 18 and 29, and a total of 24% between 30 and 59;
• The majority (70%) paid less than $100 for their first will; 21% paid between $100 and $200, and only 1% more than $400;
• Asked when they last updated their will, 35% were 60-69, 23% were 70-79, 21% were 50-59, and 10% 40-49. Three percent had done an update between ages 18 and 29;
• Sixty-three percent said they had encouraged their children to make a will, and 48% said their children had a will;
• To the question ‘If there was an option to store your will securely online and access it as readily as you would access your online bank account, would you choose to do so?’, 19% of respondents said ‘yes’, 39% ‘no’ and 42% ‘maybe’;
• Thirty-nine percent would consider making a will online if that service were available;
• Fifty-three percent have enduring powers of attorney;
• Of those that have not made a will, the most common reasons were not knowing where to start, the perceived cost, and having already made wishes clear to loved ones;
• When asked if they were concerned about what would happen to their social media accounts upon their death, 23% said ‘yes’ and 46% ‘no’, while 31% don’t use social media.
nzgirl.co.nz survey of 390 New Zealanders (April 2015):
Ninety-eight percent of respondents were female;
• Twenty-four percent aged 21 to 25; 24% aged 26 to 30; 20% aged 31 to 40 and 20% over 40;
• New Zealand-wide, with the highest proportion of respondents (42%) based in Auckland, followed by 13% in Wellington and 9% in Canterbury. One respondent was offshore, based in the US state of Florida;
• Seventy-five percent do not have a will;
• Of the 25% of respondents with a will, the most common reason for making their first will (43%) was buying a house or other large asset/s, followed by having a child (39%); getting married (26%); personal experience of the consequences of dying without a will (16%); advice from a third party such as lawyer or financial adviser (16%); and setting up a family trust (11%) (note: some respondents cited more than one reason);
• Age of making first will was most commonly 21-25 (36%), followed by 26-30 (25%); 13% for both 31-35 and 36-40yos, and 3% for over-40s. Ten percent were aged between 18 and 20 at making of first will;
• The majority (40%) paid less than $100 for their first will; 30% couldn’t recall the cost; 16% paid between $100 and $200, and only 2% more than $400;
• Asked when they last updated their will, 31% were over 40, 19% were 21-25, 17% were 26-30, 17% were 36-40, and 12% were 31-35. Three percent had done an update between ages 18 and 20;
• Eighty-one percent said their parents had a will, and 65% that their parents had encouraged them to make a will;
• To the question ‘If there was an option to store your will securely online and access it as readily as you would access your online bank account, would you choose to do so?’, 41% of respondents said ‘yes’, 18% ‘no’ and 41% ‘maybe’;
• Thirty-nine percent have enduring powers of attorney, 40% do not and 20% don’t know;
• Of those that have not made a will, the most common reasons were not knowing where to start (55%); not wanting to think about the end of life (20%); and ‘it costs too much’ (19%). Sixteen percent said they had already made their wishes clear to loved ones, and 5% said it was too difficult to deal with third parties. Seventeen percent cited other reasons, such as being too young and feeling that they don’t own anything of value (note: some respondents cited more than one reason);
• When asked how making a will could be made easier, 56% said the option to make a will online at minimal cost and effort, and 43% said it should be included as part of an insurance policy or KiwiSaver account;
• When asked if they were concerned about what would happen to their social media accounts upon their death, 16% said ‘yes’, 55% ‘no’ and 29% ‘maybe’.