The pros and cons of creating an online will

As we increasingly live our lives online, it’s no surprise that even something as traditional as creating a will has moved to the digital realm. The option to create an online will has become a popular choice for many Aussies, promising ease and efficiency in a process that can often seem daunting. However, like any digital solution, it comes with its own set of pros and cons. Let’s explore these together, so you can decide whether an online will is right for you.

Pros of an online will

1. Convenience

One of the standout perks of an online will is its convenience. Imagine setting up something as important as your will in your pajamas, from the comfort of your living room, at any hour that fits your schedule. This is especially helpful for those of us who have busy schedules or who find it tough to make the trip to a lawyer’s office.

2. Easy on your wallet

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, online wills come at a lower cost compared to those prepared by a lawyer. At APS, an online will for a single person will cost you $130 – a small price for one of life’s most important documents.

3. User-friendly

Most online platforms make creating a will quite simple. They typically ask you a series of questions about your assets and your wishes, guiding you step by step. This approach demystifies the process, making it less intimidating for everyone, especially if you’re a first-timer.

4. Quick and efficient

Need a will fast? An online service can have you sorted in less than an hour. This can be a real lifesaver in situations where time is of the essence, like before major surgery or an unexpected trip.

Cons of an online will

1. Lack of legal support 

Unlike APS online wills, many other online will platforms create automated templates, and lawyers don’t review your will. This may lead to errors, so if you are choosing to create an online will, we recommend choosing a supplier that incorporates their legal team in the process to ensure your will is in order.

2. Difficulty handling complexities

Another trade-off with online services is the lack of personalised legal advice. If you’re dealing with more complex issues like overseas properties, blended families, or trusts, the general guidance offered online might not cut it. If you have a complex will, we recommend working alongside a lawyer to ensure that everything is taken care of in the correct way.

3. Emotional considerations

Finally, drafting a will can be an emotional process, and doing it alone online might feel isolating for some. The guidance and support of a lawyer can provide not just legal expertise, but also reassurance during what can be a reflective and sometimes difficult task.

Making your choice

Deciding whether to choose an online will should depend on your personal needs, the complexity of your estate, and how comfortable you are with handling important tasks online. If your situation is straightforward and you’re drawn to the convenience and cost benefits, an online will could be perfect for you. But if you’re facing more complicated circumstances, it might be better to sit down with a legal expert.

If you are unsure as to whether an online will is the right choice for you, get in touch with our team and we will support you in making the right decision for you and your loved ones. Remember, a will is more than just a document; it’s a way to ensure your wishes are honoured when you’re not around. Taking the time to get it right, whether online or through a traditional lawyer, is the best way to give you and your loved ones peace of mind

Written by APS Wills & Estates Principal Lawyer Phillip Lambourne

Phil is a lawyer with over 35 years of experience in private practice and over 25 years of experience in the trusts and estate planning area. As Principal Lawyer with APS Wills & Estates, Phil provides advice and prepares documentation in the areas of Wills, Powers of Attorney, Probate and Estate Administration for clients across Australia. He also provides clients with conveyancing and property law, commercial law and state tax advice services.

When Phil isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with family, reading new books, and watching new shows with some good scotch whisky, red wine and cheese. Phil also enjoys playing trombone in the Melbourne Lawyers Big Band!