Epilogue – a strange word to see at the beginning of a body of text, often exuding a sadness when a good read has come to an end. This one, however, is about to begin.
Introducing Epilogue, an online platform that allows you to create your own Will and Powers of Attorney in a simple and affordable fashion.
Epilogue was co-founded in 2019 by Daniel Goldgut and Arin Klug, two lawyers who practiced in the areas of corporate tax and estate planning.
Daniel and Arin noticed during their years of practice that there was a massive opportunity to automate aspects of estate planning, and in the process, render it more accessible.
Startling figures began to indicate the extent of the wound. A 2018 poll revealed that 51% of Canadians who should have a Will, don’t. (Angus Reid)
“We think that the only way that we are going to make a dent in the number of Canadian adults that don’t have Wills is to find a way for legal technology to fill the gap that exists right now. Epilogue was built from the ground up by experienced estate planning lawyers with the aim of helping all of the people with uncomplicated situations - the people that are looking for relatively basic planning. A service like Epilogue can help to get those people to actually take that crucial step in preparing these important documents.” Daniel explains.
"Where there's a will there's a way"
How does Epilogue work you may ask?
You simply visit Epilogue, click on Get Started, and you will be led through an online questionnaire that collects all the info that pertains to the preparation of your Will. For example, do you have any kids? Are you married? Who should be your executor?
Once these questions are answered, the user pays the associated fee, and the Will, or other estate planning documents requested, will be generated as a PDF file ready to be signed.
Had a change of heart and wish to tweak certain areas of your Will? No problem.
Epilogue allows you to go back, edit, and regenerate.
Who knew dying was the easiest part of life?
It is equally important to note however, the trust factor found in the legal practice.
Estate planning law ranks high on the "trust-o-metre”, and the main concern for lawyers is often the protection of their clients. So, it is understandable that when someone mentions “online” and “Wills” in the same breath… well, let’s just say heart rates tend to be slightly higher.
Having experienced these heart rate spikes themselves, Daniel and Arin are well aware,
“We’re both lawyers and so, when we were creating Epilogue, we did so with a lawyers mentality. We didn’t try to build Epilogue to be a single solution for all of estate planning. We wanted to create a system that would provide the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people, and by letting anyone else know that we might not be right for them."
Epilogue is designed to determine whether its services are a good fit for the user based on the answers the user provides to the questionnaire. For instance, have you been married more than once? Do you wish to exclude your next of kin? These are some examples of more complex matters that may require additional assistance.
Aside from a trust factor, there is an interest factor as well (not the money kind).
Death and Wills aren't necessarily top of mind for most, leading to life’s ultimate procrastination. Daniel elaborates,
“Epilogue is designed for a certain demographic that should have Wills, but simply aren’t making them because they think they have time and they’re under the impression that it’s too expensive."
During COVID-19, many have been forced to think ahead, and Epilogue was on-hand to help. Over the course of the pandemic, it has provided over 430 Ontario healthcare workers serving on the frontlines, with free Wills and Powers of Attorney.
Dr. Sofia Nastis, a family physician from North York, Ontario, was one of them. She reflects,
“As soon as I was done my Will, I felt a huge sense of relief… It gave me a huge sense of security to know that everything was sorted out for now, and I could go and update it anytime as my situation changes (like when my husband and I got our new puppy, Gilligan!).”
Epilogue hopes to provide this relief to more Canadians.
In the fall it will be expanding to British Columbia and Alberta, paving the way for a potential national service that every Canadian can access.
Don’t be fooled however, there is no conclusion in sight for this epilogue.
You can find out more about Epilogue here: Epilogue
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Source Cited: BNN Bloomberg