New Zealand Law Society - Online will limitations concern Public Trust

Online will limitations concern Public Trust

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The Public Trust says it has concerns around the limitations of current online will offerings.

In its annual report for the year to 30 June 2016, Public Trust says this is "because when it comes to estate planning one size does not fit all", and it says its customer research supports this.

"While there is a place for online wills, and we look forward to this being reflected in the sophistication and rapid growth of digital services in our industry, our first focus is on educating New Zealanders," the report says.

Public Trust notes that its research shows that many New Zealanders don't understand the importance of estate planning, or avoid the topic because they think it's too complicated and time consuming.

"This is reflected by the fact that more than 50% of New Zealanders over 18 don't have a will, and even less have an enduring power of attorney."

This presents an opportunity for Public Trust to fill the role of educator, it says: "to dispel myths, highlight the importance of estate planning and provide New Zealanders with the means to make sure they have adequately provided for themselves and their families".

Over the year to 30 June 2016 Public Trust says it wrote over 6,500 wills, managed over 7,500 estates, managed 3,985 family trusts, and assisted 454 charitable trusts.

The report says that at 30 June 2016 its Probate Market Share was 10.8% and its wills market share was 16% (based on TNS quarterly research).

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