Amy Winehouse, Prince, and Aretha Franklin all died without a will. Incredibly,
despite their millions, they were no different to many ordinary people who don’t plan
for their estate, which created animosity amongst their aggrieved family members
who fought to lay claim to their stake of it.
With National Wills Week taking place from 16-20 September this year, the
importance of having a legally binding will couldn’t be more relevant. According to
South Africa’s Master of the High Court, more than 70% of working South Africans
do not have wills. If someone passes on without a will, or if the will is found to be
invalid, their estate will be administered in terms of the Intestate Succession Act 81
of 1987, which can be a lengthy and emotional experience.
Drafting a will isn’t as difficult as you might think. With Quickwill, an innovative
new online platform, you can create a legally binding will in minutes for a once-off
fee. Founded by Stella Pickard, who is both a lawyer and a software developer,
Quickwill and law firm partner, Fairbridges Wertheim Becker, enable South Africans
seeking a more convenient and cost-effective way of drafting a will, the ability to draft
one online themselves, quickly and efficiently at an affordable fee.
During Pickard’s legal career, many of her beliefs were challenged. “The legal
profession relies squarely on precedent and the idea of doing things differently does
not sit well in the profession. In a world that is so technologically focused, and that is
evolving at an exponential rate, this kind of mindset is lethal.”
After transitioning from a career in law into one in software development, Pickard
saw the opportunities for tech innovation in the legal space, particularly with regard
to improving access to justice for everyday South Africans.
Quickwill removes any fear by creating a robust product that doesn’t feel too serious
when dealing with matters of such a nature. Users can easily create their will from
the convenience of their own home, fully aware of the price upfront, and with real-
time, online access to a team of professionals who offer support along every step of
the way. “Once the will has been created, printed, and signed in front of witnesses,
clients can courier a copy of their will to Quickwill for safekeeping should they wish to
do so,” says Pickard.
Quickwill enables users to seamlessly update their will by simply logging in to the
online platform and updating it with any information that may have changed, such as
personal details or elected beneficiaries. It also allows users to tailor their will to their
specific situation and needs. Everyone from single to married people, or those in life
partnerships can benefit from Quickwill, which also assists in drafting a will in
accordance with the terms of Muslim law.
A Quickwill will carry the same legal weight as one created by a lawyer, since the
formalities around signing the will is what determines its legality and validity.
Quickwill wills are vetted by third-party experts, meaning clients can rest assured
knowing that their will is valid, legally sound, and will protect the financial futures of
their loved ones in the event of their passing. Users who have opted for Quickwill to
store the will, will have their will checked by Pickard herself to ensure it is valid and
formalities regarding signatures have been complied with.
Over 70% of South Africans pass on without a valid will in place, which causes
unnecessary stress for their families who are left behind. Quickwill makes it is easy
to create your own will from the convenience of your home, knowing the price
upfront, while having a team of professionals answer any questions you might face
along the way.