Website Helps Settle End of Life Affairs
17 March 2011 at 2:28 pm
Research reveals half of the nation’s personal wealth, or a whopping $2.55 trillion, is left in limbo because it is not covered by a will.
Forty-seven per cent of adult Australians do not have a will, and almost two-thirds of those know they should have one but haven't done anything about putting it in place according to a new website, WrappingUp.com
The site’s founders say that WrappingUp.com is the first social network and information portal of its kind, created to demystify the process of settling end-of-life affairs. The site houses information on funeral planning, legal pointers on wills, estate planning and donations, advice for dealing with family members, pets, electronic passwords, grief counselling and more.
The site’s founders Kelly Chapman and Della Churchill say the nation’s relaxed approach to estate planning, combined with large generational increases in personal wealth and complexities in superannuation and family structure has led to a dramatic rise in the number of people contesting wills.
Research by law firm Slater and Gordon conducted in 2010 reveals 2000 wills were contested in 2009 with most progressing to court, but settled early in proceedings. Cases negotiated and settled before court cost on average $4000. Cases finalised in court cost on average $52,000.
Kelly Chapman says drafting a will is essential for protecting loved ones. Dying without a will, means the estate will be distributed according to rules set out in state legislation.
Chapman says this may mean a spouse is not adequately protected, especially for those living in a de facto relationship.
WrappingUp.com helps Australians understand the complexities associated with making a will and provides practical steps and advice for choosing an executor, enduring power of attorney, setting up testamentary trusts and guardianships and living wills.
Chapman says the social network and information portal also provides a safe online community to ask for help, share experiences and gain honest service provider referrals.
Chapman and Churchill hope that by having this online resource at hand, more Australians will take charge of their own affairs and relieve their next of kin of the responsibility.
The site offers basic information for free but offers additional services from $9 per month. A premium membership allows subscribers to store important documents online.
Go to www.wrappingup.com for further information.