Opportunities and Challenges of Online Will-making Services

26 Apr 2024

Correct Will Law

The emergence of online will-making services in Australia has presented both opportunities and challenges for legal professionals. Legal practitioners must carefully evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of these services. This will help them to better comprehend the effects they have on estate planning.


Convenience


Not surprisingly, online will-making services have gained traction due to the convenience they provide to clients. With just a few clicks, individuals can access user-friendly platforms that guide them through the process of drafting a will. This convenience eliminates the need for multiple in-person appointments. It is attractive for busy clients as it offers a streamlined solution. It also provides 24/7 access to make changes whenever it suits them.


Cost-Effectiveness


Financial considerations are often a significant factor in clients' decision-making. Online will-making services are more affordable than traditional legal services. Clients pay a one-time fee, which covers the entire process of creating a will using the online platform. This eliminates the concern of accumulating excessive legal fees and provides clients with transparency and certainty regarding the costs involved. Ultimately, will preparation is now accessible to a wider range of people.


Accessibility


Removing the need to seek professional advice in person makes estate planning more accessible to a wide range of individuals. Creating a will from home is convenient and cost-effective compared to traditional legal services. This has motivated more people to plan for their estate. This increased accessibility can lead to a larger client base for lawyers and create opportunities for additional legal services.


Streamlined Process


The streamlined process of online will services enables clients to complete their wills more efficiently and expeditiously. The platforms typically provide pre-drafted templates or customisable sections, allowing clients to input their information directly. This eliminates the need for clients to draft their wills from scratch, saving time and effort.  Additionally, the automated features of online platforms can generate the final will document quickly, ready for review and execution. This allows legal professionals to focus on more complex matters.


Considerations for Legal Professionals


Online will-making services may be convenient and cost-effective. However, legal professionals must be aware of their limitations and potential drawbacks. These services are typically designed for basic wills and may not cater to complex or unique circumstances.


It's essential to evaluate a client's estate, family situation, and tax implications before suggesting an online service. Clients may need more specialised help when it comes to estate planning. Those with significant assets or complex needs should engage an estate planning lawyer. This will help guarantee that their wishes are documented accurately and legally.


Compliance with Jurisdictional Laws


Another critical consideration when utilising online will-making services is ensuring compliance with jurisdictional laws in each Australian state and territory. Legal professionals must ensure the online service they use for their client abides by the relevant laws. Failure to meet the legal requirements can render a will invalid or subject it to potential challenges and disputes.


Lack of Ongoing Support


Estate planning is a dynamic process that requires periodic review and adjustment to reflect changing circumstances. Clients using online will-making services may not have access to ongoing support or provisions for regular updates. Lawyers can provide valuable ongoing support, ensuring that clients' wills remain current and aligned with their intentions.


There is no question that lawyers are essential when helping clients plan their estates. They offer personalised advice and tackle legal complexities. They also make sure that the client follows all the local laws. By taking advantage of online will-making services and personalising them with legal expertise, lawyers can continue to provide comprehensive and reliable estate planning services to their clients.