A new startup called LegacyNest will help you write a will on your behalf, as well as check whether you are still alive. But at the same time, smart contracts can achieve this same goal, which begs the question whether or not this startup will succeed.
LegacyNest is a Startup Tackling Sensitive Issues
One of the many things consumers and entrepreneurs would rather not think about is our own mortality. Despite best efforts through a healthy lifestyle and trying to stay in shape, we will all come to pass one day, and there is nothing that can be done about it.
That being said, we do control our will, through which we can ensure the ones we care for are taken care of. A new startup in Singapore called LegacyNest, was founded to tackle this sensitive – and rather morbid – aspect of life in a cheaper and somewhat convenient manner.
The two-pronged approach of LegacyNest focuses on writing a will on behalf of its users while reducing the cost of doing so. All one has to do is list down assets and how they should be distributed, click a button, and the paper version is ready for printing. As one would come to expect from such an initiative, the will in question will contain the necessary legal documentation vetted by a law firm.
However, this is not all the company does, as they will also check up on its users to make sure they are still among the living. Part of the LegacyNest service is called Pulse Check, which sends users a monthly ping to which customers can reply to indicate they are alive [and well]. Failure to do so after a few reminders will result in the will being sent to beneficiaries and an executor, and the appointed trustee will be notified as well.
Despite the promise of such a startup – especially thanks to their freemium model – the question remains whether or not consumers will be interested in this offering. LegacyNest is a cheaper solution than traditional means, as they charge $64 USD for document generation, and updating the will costs another $6.40 per month.
This business model is not designed for everyone on the planet, although there are a lot of issues with asset distribution when somebody passes away unexpectedly. In Singapore alone, there are close to $109m in unclaimed assets, most of which are held by the government on behalf of beneficiaries. This serves as a unyielding indication as to how things can be improved in this sector, although smart contracts can pretty much do the same.
A Smart Contract Solution
As if the LegacyNest business model is not technical enough in its own right, tech-savvy people may want to consider using smart contracts to write and execute their will and asset distribution in the future. While this solution is even cheaper than LegacyNest, it also requires a bit of coding knowledge to get things up and running.
However, smart contracts are – theoretically – able to provide the same features as LegacyNest, albeit the legal writing may be a bit of an issue. Considering how a smart contract is active on the blockchain and includes a timestamped code, it does not take much imagination to see the potential for such a morbid business model.
That being said, there would have to be a way for users to modify the smart contract over time as they see fit. Changes made to the will and asset distribution would then be recorded on the blockchain again. While this concept is worth thinking about, it will take some time until a practical version of smart contract-based wills become a reality.
At the same time, we have to remember these types of services are not a “hot business” by any means. A lot of people never think about their will until it is either too late, or they are diagnosed with a serious illness. It is best to take matters into one’s own hands as soon as possible, but it will take some proper education before that goal can be achieved. Two similar services have launched in the past, yet both Bitcoin Estate Plan and Deathswitch are no longer in operation by the look of things.
How do you plan to create your will and ensure asset distribution is taken care of properly? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Tech In Asia
Images courtesy of LegacyNest, Shutterstock
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