Home / BlogLawHawk Blog

LawHawk Blog

Automated Estate Planning: The Advantages of Using Automation Software for Drafting Wills and Enduring Power of Attorney Documents

Posted by Gene Turner on 24-Feb-2024 16:35:32

Estate planning, particularly the creation of wills and enduring powers of attorney (EPAs), is an underappreciated field requiring a lot of expertise.

Lawyers and legal executives often invest extensive hours researching, verifying, and customising clauses for wills, all while managing the heavy administrative load of gathering and inputting data into multiple documents for various individuals.

It doesn't have to be this hard, though.

Embracing technological advancements has transformed the process of will and EPA creation for modern firms wanting to adopt the most efficient processes and provide the best outcomes for their clients.

In this post, we delve into why leading industry players are now turning to software solutions for the streamlined creation of even the most intricate documents, specifically focusing on wills and EPA documents.

This article focuses on specific document automation software, not the basic functionality you get in practice management systems, which is often marketed as if it has the same capabilities.

Read More

Topics: Future of Law, Document Automation, Legal Technology, Wills, Estates, Law Firm Management, Legal Automation, Law Firm Marketing, Law Firm Strategy, Law Firm Profitability, Law Firm Pricing

7 Law Firm options for Wills and EPAs

Posted by Gene Turner on 31-Jul-2020 21:54:28

Did you notice that Public Trust recently launched an online wills and enduring powers of attorney service? Yes, you did read that right. Even Public Trust now have online wills and enduring powers of attorney.

You may be thinking this presents an issue for LawHawk, given we also offer online wills and enduring powers of attorney. It probably will affect part of our business. We may lose some online opportunities to Public Trust, but at the same time their presence online will also help to grow the overall online market. Time will tell but I think it's a positive move for making wills and EPAs more accessible.

Online wills and enduring powers of attorney are still very much a niche offer, appealing to those who are comfortable or prefer doing the whole process themselves online, or who either cannot afford, or choose not to pay the costs of, a traditional legal service.

Our online offers direct to the public represents only a small part of our overall business. The larger part of our focus – as it always has been - is working with law firms to help them to offer a better and more affordable service to their clients, while also making this a more satisfying and profitable part of the practice.

In my opinion, this further shift towards online wills and enduring powers of attorney should be of greater concern to law firms in respect of their own practices. Until relatively recently, law firms were in total control of when and how clients could get wills and powers of attorney, and what it would cost. The only real competition was the trustee companies. One was recovering from significant financial and operational issues, and the other was only working 4 days per week. Both had reputations for poor service and high fees. So not much competition, and no great surprise that law firms felt no pressure to innovate their own services.

Now, both of the trustee companies have online capabilities and are pushing them hard.

How should law firms respond? I can see several possible options. The first two are:

Read More

Topics: Practise of Law, Future of Law, Document Automation, Legal Technology, Document Assembly, Wills, Law Firm Management

30-something years old, in a relationship – do you and I need a will?

Posted by Allen Li on 20-Mar-2018 23:36:47

In recent weeks, the rather morbid subject of wills has been getting decent airtime on mainstream media.  For example, Newshub did a feature on it a few weeks ago, and there are weekly articles on Stuff, such as the one titled "The case of the dead man with two wives but no will returns to court".  While a lot of my friends and network will be young(ish) and healthy, and in more customary two-person relationships, does that mean there is no need for a will right now?

Read More

Topics: Online Will, Wills

Let the Free New Zealand Will Continue!

Posted by Gene Turner on 01-May-2017 10:56:36



A month ago LawHawk and Succeed Legal released a free will that anyone in New Zealand can use.  You can read more about this in this earlier post: Half of Kiwis over 18 don't have a will - what are we going to do about it?

We decided we would run the free will as a trial through to 30 April to begin with, as we wanted to be sure that it would work well in practice, and there weren’t any issues we hadn’t foreseen.  Well, a month in we are very happy with how it has gone and have decided to keep it going.

In this blog, I look at what our objectives were and the extent to which they were achieved.  In particular, I look at the current and future role of lawyers in relation to drafting and advising on wills and how that could change when the drafting has been automated.

Read More

Topics: Document Automation, Document Assembly, legal practice, Online Will, Wills

Do I need a will?

Posted by Gene Turner on 15-Apr-2017 15:16:16

As I noted in my earlier blog (Half of Kiwis over 18 don’t have a will – what are we going to do about it?), a lot of New Zealanders don't have wills.  It's not really clear why that is, but one reason is that a lot of people think they haven't got enough assets to make it worthwhile.

With the growth of KiwiSaver balances, that is often not the case.  Average KiwiSaver balances are now approaching $15,000, which is the threshold for administration of an estate without a will.  Above that figure, and the family has to go to court to have someone appointed as the administrator.  Stuff recently drew attention to this issue, and also to the free will that we recently launched with Matt Hay.

You see see the Stuff story here, or read it in full below. You can try the free will here.

Read More

Topics: Document Automation, Document Assembly, Wills, Estates, KiwiSaver

Subscribe to the Blog