Farewill saw a massive spike in will writing in 2020

By Aisling Finn on Wednesday 6 January 2021

Savings and Investment

The fintech saw the biggest daily jump in will writing on 6 April 2020, the day Boris Johnson went into intensive care.

Farewill saw a massive spike in will writing in 2020
Image source: Dan Garrett (right)/Farewill

London-based digital will-writing service, Farewill saw a massive spike in will writing amid the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

The fintech, founded in 2015, saw a 267 per cent increase in the number of people writing online and telephone wills in 2020 compared to 2019.

Farewill, which hopes to lead the way in digitising death services, saw the biggest increase in wills from Gen Z, with a 465 per cent increase on the year before.

Millennials followed their younger peers, with Farewill seeing will writing among 25 to 40-year-olds jumping nearly threefold in 2020, and Gen X followed closely behind with a 278 per cent increase on 2019 and Baby Boomers writing wills jumped up by 208 per cent.

“2020 was a year like no other, and this was reflected in how we thought about and planned for death. Almost three times as many people wrote their wills with us compared to 2019,” said Dan Garrett, CEO of Farewill.

“It’s clear we’re all reflecting on our mortality more since the pandemic. Death is difficult to think about, but it’s really sensible to be planning for the future as it helps your family down the line.” 

Farewill’s figures also show that the day when the most wills were written was 6 April 2020, the same day that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care, and a day with one of the smallest dips was 4 July 2020 when pubs and restaurants reopened for most of the country.

The fintech is responsible for 10 per cent of the wills in the UK, with their online wills being roughly 60 per cent cheaper than its competitors, highlighting the growing influence of fintech in sectors that have long been paper-based and slow to innovate.

But, Farewill isn’t just focussing on digitising death for younger people, despite the average age of its customers dropping to 47, down from 50 in 2018, the fintech is expanding its product offering to appeal to older generations too.

In February 2020, long before lockdown, Farewill launched direct cremations and, following a £20m fundraise, also opened up a telephone will writing services and expanded its funeral offering, a move its CEO told AltFi "opened up our market and to 70, 80, and 90-year-olds.”

The fintech also launched a free will-writing service for NHS workers in April as many on the frontlines began to plan for the worst-case scenario.

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