Solicitor targets Will “apathy” with new technology
York solicitor Rachel Roche has launched a cutting-edge online Will writing service to help address the estimated 40 million people in Britain who do not have a Will. It has taken Rachel two years to devise and then develop the unique online programme which has gone live today (May 23) and is designed to demystify the process of making a Will and also a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Rachel, founder of Roche Legal with offices in York and Harrogate, is an experienced private client solicitor who joined Prime Minster Theresa May in contributing to The Parliamentary Review 2018. She explained: “More than 60 per cent of those living in this country do not have a Will and this rises to 70 per cent of those under 64 years of age* which shows that apathy is a problem. Our system has just four sections for the client to complete making it, we believe, one of the most straight-forward online Will writing programmes available.
“In my opinion we have created something new to address the large number of people who don’t currently have a Will by providing a service that is both cost effective and easily available, running alongside our face to face meetings which some clients still prefer. Roche Legal Online is fully authorised and regulated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) and staffed by real people. Once the client provides the information via the online system, he/she will then be contacted personally by one of our solicitors.
“Once you have a valid Will in place, you can be assured that if the unexpected did happen, your family and friends would be able to administer your estate according to your wishes. The ramifications of a person not having a will can be significant for their dependents who may be left out in the cold.
“Our online system also allows clients the chance to make a Lasting Power of Attorney which enables you to nominate a person or group of people to make decisions on your behalf should you no longer be able to do so. Ensuring you have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place can avoid loved ones from having to apply to court to access funds on your behalf to pay for your day-to-day expenses, should you become unexpectedly unwell or are living with Dementia.
“We use online identification checks to satisfy anti-money laundering requirements and have spent a great deal of time in ensuring that the system is user-friendly whilst also being mindful of the risks associated with taking instructions remotely.”
Besides addressing need to get more people writing their Wills, Rachel and her team at Roche Legal have also developed a series of pocket sized booklets on dealing with a relative’s death and looking after the elderly and six more are planned in the series. The booklets are free to download from her website.
She added: “As part of our innovative approach to later life legal planning we have also developed and published a series of pocket sized user-friendly booklets to help clients understand a legal process that can seem daunting. The booklets aim to be far more than a conversation over the phone with a solicitor, acting as a check list when dealing with intensely emotional and complicated situations”