Will-writing startup offers free will service to NHS staff as they fight Covid-19

By John Reynolds on Tuesday 7 April 2020

Alternative Lending

The moves comes as NHS workers battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Will-writing startup offers free will service to NHS staff as they fight Covid-19
Image source: Farewill CEO Dan Garrett.

Will-writing startup Farewill is offering its service for free to NHS workers amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The London-based startup said it has noted a 12-fold increase in requests for wills from NHS workers in March alone.

Farewill CEO Dan Garrett told AltFi: "Demand looks set to remain high this month. We're now offering those [wills] for free. We're doing everything we can help as many people as possible, and we're taking on more staff, mostly in consumer-facing roles, to make sure we can continue to respond quickly."

Garrett added that overall: “We completed three times as many wills last month as we'd typically expect."

According to the Farewill website, the startup normally charges £90 for an individual's will writing service and £140 for a couple.

At least seven healthcare workers on the front line battling the fight against Covid-19 have lost their lives to the pandemic, according to Cabinet minister Michael Gove.

The youngest British nurse known to have died from the virus is John Alagos, 24,  after he collapsed after returning from a 12-hour shift at Watford General Hospital.

Outside of the healthcare sector, Garrett noted that Farewill has seen a jump in the average age of its customers "suggesting that people who have been putting things off are now tackling their wills."

"Many of them find themselves at home and with time on their hands, so they're ticking off 'life admin.'"
 
"On top of this, customers who might not have considered online services like ours before lockdown are now looking at technology-driven, remote solutions."

"With high street solicitors closing for public safety reasons, our service is stepping in to fill the gap and meet the need."

"For the proportion of these people who either aren't online or aren't comfortable making a will online, we've trained our team so that they can offer our service over the phone too."

Farewill is backed by venture capital firms Augmentum Fintech which led a £7.5m fundraising round for Farewill, which also offers a probate and cremation service.

Farewill said it “aims to be the first major consumer brand in death services” and is one of the first firms to digitalise death services.

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