Corona crisis shows need for digital will creation

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The Corona crisis made you think.. and you’re not the only one

Amid the climate of uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, people of many ages and walks of life, have started to think about the difficult subject of their mortality. All around the world, a surge in the amount of wills that are created can be observed. Notary offices in every country have probably never experienced a busier year than 2020. Everyone is thinking, “I should probably get a will done, just in case.”

Not only notary offices have gotten busier with will making or signing appointments, also Myend saw a huge spike in the amount of downloads.

This clearly shows a growing need for digital wills, and this means current legislation will have to modernize.

The Corona crisis and signing your will

As COVID-19 keeps people at home, beit because of lockdown measures or because they aren’t feeling well, meeting with a lawyer or notary to create a will has become more complicated. Yet the law in most countries requires at least one agent of the law to be present when a will gets signed. This year, many countries have made (temporary) adaptations to the law and many lawyers and notaries have gotten creative.

Virtual signing

In many countries, it is allowed during the pandemic to sign your will during a video call with a notary who is watching and listening through the online connection.

Social distancing will-signing

Other creative solutions notaries have found are signing documents from the car in a “drive-by” past the notary office, or signing your will in your living room, with the notary watching from the other side of the window.

Whether in person or on video you usually have to show a notary your ID to ensure that the will belongs to you and that you have the mental capacity to create one.

Creative solutions are great, especially in times of crisis. But how about the future? Wasn’t there a growing need already for a more smooth process of will creation and signing?

Our lives are becoming more digital, why not the end of our lives?

Will legislation is slowly changing

Much of the legislation our society relies on today is over a century old. This means that many laws are no good fit with the times we are living in today, including all of its (technological) means.
Many jurisdictions around the world are looking at ways for notaries and witnesses to not only sign by video, but also through an e-signing service like DocuSign. For instance, last year the Uniform Law Commission approved the Electronic Wills Act, which permits the electronic signing of wills and allows probate courts to deem electronic wills legal.
Also the Law Commission of India recommended relaxation of rules for execution of a Will by persons affected by calamities such as an epidemic and The Scottish Law Society issued guidelines wherein witnessing can be done in the presence of a lawyer via video technology.
However, all of these are still recommendations and though it’s good to see a change in perspective within legislative law, most of them are not yet enforced and there are still many steps to be taken before they are.

The crisis, though, may speed up this adoption since the need for change has become more imminent and the conversation about it is being held by many more people since 2020.

E-will

Where wills used to be something that people say “they will get to later,” now there’s more of a sense of urgency to complete one right now. As the COVID crisis continues to unfold, it’s likely more people will be looking for an easy, but still effective, way to create a will.
Instead of having to find a lawyer, go to their office and talk about death with someone you barely know, you can go now go through the entire process at home and, at a cost much lower than what a lawyer would charge.

That’s why we created Myend. To make your will creation and end-of-life decisions modern, easy, accessible and even fun!

Living your life and leaving your life

In a recent CNBC article, Morgan Hopkins, shared her thoughts on creating her online will. She said that she rather enjoyed the online will process and found that it made her think about important life decisions she’s never thought of before. Finally completing the will – and sharing it with her boyfriend, mother and best friend – has given her at least some peace of mind in all this COVID chaos.

“I feel a lot better having multiple people who know what to do and what I want, especially not knowing what might happen over the next couple of months,” she says. “It makes me feel more at ease.”

Making decisions about what happens after you leave your life doesn’t have to be that difficult. And at Myend we believe that it shouldn’t be so different from the way you live your life. That’s why we believe the e-will can become the new norm and why we want our app to reflect the apps you’re already happily using every day.
No scary meetings and strangers looking over your shoulder, just you and your personal device (phone, tablet, computer) from the comfort of your own home – or wherever you are! And everything is changeable every day, so your “will maintenance” is extra easy.

Change is coming..

And we are ready to be a part of it, if necessary to lead it. That’s why we’re already working on making Myend complete. So that once the legislation catches up, we are there for you.

We will keep updating you on changes in legislation and digitization around will-, testament and inheritance laws. Keep an eye on this page to find all the latest on this subject.