There’s no denying it, online wills have boomed in Australia and it’s all happened pretty quickly.

Ten years ago, it would have been difficult to even find an online will platform, let alone find one that was sophisticated enough to claim a considerable market share.

Now, Australians are spoiled for choice with enough demand to sustain multiple online will platforms that are widely used and well-regarded.

In 2022, over 15,000 wills were written via Gathered Here – a 52% increase compared to 2021.

But should we really be all that surprised?

While online wills have only recently entered the mainstream in Australia, they have been part of the conversation internationally for some time. Most notably in the UK and US.

As of October 2022, a report from IRN Legal found that there were 6300 traditional law firms across the UK offering will-writing, compared to an estimated 40-50 online will-writing services.

Despite accounting for less than 1% of all service providers, these online platforms claim a remarkably disproportionate share of the market.

A 2023 report commissioned by the National Will Register found that 16% of UK will-writers had used an online platform to write their will. Millions of people are now preparing their wills online.

Over in the US, online wills are also firmly established and still growing.

Leading provider FreeWill reported that more than 235,000 people had written a will via its platform from June 2021 through May 2022 – a 49% increase from the previous period.

Charities and nonprofits are equally as enthusiastic and over 1,200 NFPs currently partner with FreeWill to offer free online wills to their supporters.

The popularity of online wills is even prompting legislators to take action and a number of US states, including Florida, Indiana and Nevada, have updated their statutes to allow for e-wills.

E-wills go beyond what we consider online wills in Australia today. While Australia considers online wills as those prepared online and then printed and executed in the traditional manner, e-wills are prepared online before being signed and notarised electronically.

While Australia is still a way from the levels of integration we’re seeing in the UK and the US, there’s no doubt we’re following a similar trajectory.

It was once feared that interest in online wills would abate as the Covid pandemic eased. But data proves that’s just not the case. In fact, interest is only growing.

The number of wills written via Gathered Here climbed by 52% from 2021 to 2022, even though 2021 was marred by lockdowns and daily case numbers, while 2022 wasn’t.

Over 290 charities, nonprofits and foundations have also partnered with Gathered Here to offer their supporters access to free, user-friendly online wills.

Importantly, users are happy with the service and over 2000 five-star reviews have been published by verified customers.

Clearly, the demand for online wills is there and there’s no reason to think Australia won’t follow in the footsteps of the UK and the US.

To learn more about the growing popularity of online wills both in Australia and internationally, download the Future of Online Wills Report today.

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For more information about online wills, visit Gathered Here