Willful with Erin Bury (CEO) | E89

Quick and painless wills and powers of attorney.


In this 89th episode of Fintech Impact, Jason Pereira, award-winning financial planner, university lecturer, writer, and host interviews Erin Bury, CEO of Willful. Willful allows people to create their personal wills, online for a fraction of the cost of working with an attorney. Erin and Jason discuss the need for a will and power of attorney documents, the psychological reasons behind the majority of people not having a will, and how Willful is working to make that easier for people to deal with. 

Episode Highlights: 

● 00:30: – Erin Bury explains her company Willful. 

● 01:00: – How Erin became interested in the issue after her husband’s family member died unexpectedly. 

● 01:50: – Jason and Erin discuss the necessity to streamline the process because things like burial wishes and end-of-life plans are taboo subjects no one likes to discuss. 

● 03:17: – How and why Erin and her husband pivoted their original startup into the area of online wills. 

● 03:43: – Erin’s background is mostly in marketing/communications, but she had worked with fintech startups in her past work so starting a fintech company was the new challenge she was looking for. 

● 05:00: – Jason acknowledges that it must be helpful for the company that their consumer market is 100% of the population because everyone needs a will. 

● 08:13: – Willful gives you a PDF of all of your documents with an instructions page on how to sign it to make it legally valid, and then lets you go back in and make updates if you’ve had life changes like the birth of a new child. 

● 10:11: – Willful’s main value proposition is its low cost. 

● 10:52: – Erin and Jason discuss use cases for Willful and the reality that people with more complex estates and situations will not be able to use Willful’s platform. 

● 16:30: – There are people whose situations are so simple and with so few assets that they don’t need a will, but everyone truly needs a power of attorney. 

● 19:22: – Erin suggests making a checkup of your will and estate planning documents part of your new year’s routine. 

● 21:05: – Erin discusses the reasons people come to Willful. 

● 23:00: – Willful partners with an American competitor to send each other customers who end up on the wrong country’s platform. 

● 26:27: – Erin talks about the biggest challenge Willful faces, in getting people to think about their mortality. 

● 28:48: – Erin is most excited by the idea of shaping our culture around entrepreneurship and startups. 

3 Key Points 

1. Every living person needs a will and power of attorney documents, but the traditional cost of a will for a simple estate holds people back. 

2. Your estate planning documents require routine revisiting to make sure changes in your life circumstances don’t require changes in your will. 

3. We’re in an in-between period where there is so much technological 

capability to make estate planning easier but the law has not caught up yet. 

Tweetable Quotes: 

● “Willful is an online platform that makes it simple, easy, and convenient to create an online will and power of attorney documents from the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the price of visiting a lawyer.” –Erin Bury 

● “Amongst parents with minor children, which I would assume would be the group most likely to have wills, 65%, so two thirds of them, don’t have a will.” –Erin Bury 

● “We’re not trying to replace lawyers. We recognize that there’s always going to be those complexities and we’re also probably not going to be right for people after 5 or 10 years using our platform. They’re probably going to grow out of using Willful.” –Erin Bury 

Resources Mentioned: 

● Facebook –Jason’s Facebook 

● LinkedIn –Jason’s LinkedIn 

● FintechImpact.co – Website

● Linkedin –Erin Bury 

● www.erinbury.com – Erin’s website 

● www.willful.co – Website