At the grand old age of thirty, I am a little ashamed to admit that I have never written a proper, legitimate will before now. I did write something up when I was in my early twenties, which I believe will provide some amusement after I pass away (the music was Mad World, after I became obsessed with the Skins TV Show cover version), but it really didn’t cover the serious terms it needed to. Having had three children, it is extra important to me that my wishes are not only known, but also carried out if I were to die whilst they are still young.
I think one of the main reasons that I haven’t gotten around to setting up a will before now is the fear that it would be stressful and take a long time. I had visions of making an official appointment with a solicitor and sitting down at a desk to discuss all the details of my hypothetical death, it just seemed too morbid, too cold and clinical.
When the team behind SmartWill, an app available on both the App Store and GooglePlay, offered me the chance to try it out, I thought it sounded like a brilliant alternative to the solicitor route, and one that would be much simpler and stress-free. SmartWill offers both a single and joint will service in minutes at a reasonable cost for a valid will. You can even choose to have your completed will stored securely.
The process was really simple. I sat with Ed and we went through the questions, filling in details such as full names, dates of birth and details about our property and assets that we were looking to leave to specific people, as well as information about how many children we have, and who we would look to act as a guardian in the event of us both passing away whilst they are under eighteen.
As well as being free of jargon and easy to understand, it actually prompted Ed and I to have serious discussions we simply hadn’t had before, and it was lovely to be able to sit and fill the information in together, keeping it light-hearted and not dwelling on the morbidity of a will. The app even gives you the chance to record a video message for loved ones after your death, and I really liked this function.
Within around ten minutes, we had gone through the questions and completed our joint will. It was surprisingly quick, and I was impressed with how slick the app was, although I did notice that it refreshed the page if I went to emails or phone contacts for information I couldn’t think of off the top of my head, which was a little frustrating and meant I had to enter the same details a few times – perhaps teething problems, and not really too big an issue.
I love the fact that the price includes free updates for life, as situations change constantly, and it is unlikely that your wishes will stay the same from the age of thirty to the age of, for example, seventy-five. By having the chance to make changes, it eases pressure to make everything perfect, meaning you can write a will that works for you at this point in time, and be able to go back to it if and when you need to.
I found the whole process really easy, and I feel like a weight has lifted now I know we have put our wishes down in writing officially in case anything happens to me or to Ed.
I have been asked to review the SmartWill app, in exchange for a free use of the service, all words are my own.