Argh... lockdown! You’ve watched all of Netflix, eaten way too much home-baking and walked around the block a million times. What else is there to do?
We’re glad you asked because, if you’re like 52% of all NZ adults – it’s high time you got around to doing your will. And here’s the good news: You can write one online quickly, easily and affordably with Public Trust.
Meet Chris and Claire, our Live Chat support team.
Who better to explain the ins and outs of online wills than Public Trust’s customer support team? Chris and Claire are both qualified Trustees, with years of experience helping Kiwis put their wills together. So, we put a few video call questions their way...
Firstly, an icebreaker... What’s your favourite animal?
CLAIRE: Clouded Leopard. So beautiful and they have incredible markings, but sadly endangered.
CHRIS: All the puppies. Sorry, was that lame? It is true, though.
How easy is writing a will online?
CLAIRE: Honestly, you’d be surprised how simple it is. Once you’ve signed up, it’s just a matter of clicking on the different sections and answering the questions. And plenty of these are like multiple choice or just clicking on an icon to answer.
CHRIS: Claire’s not kidding, it’s very easy. And the handy thing is you can always stop and save wherever you’re at and come back later.
How long does it take?
CHRIS: If you’re doing our most basic will, you can be finished in as little as 30 minutes, or less! Obviously, it depends on how much stuff you own, if you have multiple properties and a few other factors like whether you have a blended family.
CLAIRE: I’d say on average, it would be rare to take longer than 60 to 90 minutes all up. It can also help if you have access to personal records nearby.
What does it cost?*
CLAIRE: Online wills are more affordable than most people realise. We have three main price tiers. Our Basic wills start at just $85, our Standard wills are $164 and Comprehensive wills cost $219. Also, if you want to make a will for your partner at the same time, you can buy what's called a 'Mirror Will' for as little as $110 extra.
(* as of 1 August 2023)
Is there anything to prepare before starting?
CLAIRE: You don’t have to. But there are some things worth thinking about, like who you want your executor to be – which is the person who will manage your estate after you’re gone.
CHRIS: Yeah, and just general stuff too. Consider whether you want to give personal items to certain people or perhaps you might want to donate some of your money to a charity.
What if someone needs help with their online will?
CLAIRE: Easy. That’s what our Live Chat team is here for. But don’t forget there are also info guides and handy FAQs you’ll find at the top of the page.
CHRIS: If you do want to Live Chat with us, click the icon at the bottom-right of your computer or phone screen – and start typing. We'll try our best to answer within 5 minutes. Live Chat is available weekdays 9am-7pm and weekends 10am-4pm.
Who signs a will to make it official?
CLAIRE: Ok, so this is an important question, especially in lockdown. A will has to be dated, signed and witnessed in person by two independent people who are not named in the will or related to anyone in the will. This means for those in Auckland you'll want your will downloaded and printed so it's ready for signing when we move to Level 2, and can interact with people outside our bubbles again. If you’re outside Auckland, you can get your will signed and witnessed now!
CHRIS: Please know that if it’s urgent, like for reasons of ill-health, there are other ways we can get signing done quickly. Call us on 0800 279 792 and we’ll discuss your options.
Thanks, Chris and Claire. Any last words of wisdom?
CHRIS: Yeah, just jump into it. People put off doing a will because it can seem overwhelming. But the great thing about doing your will online is that it gives you a clear starting point and then walks you through the process.
CLAIRE: I think it’s a really good use of lockdown time... Especially if you’re twiddling thumbs. There’s only so much binge-watching a person can take!
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