Bringing wills into the 21st century
'High-quality estate planning should be accessible for everyone'
Sydney-based Mount Scopus College graduate Adam Lubofsky founded SafeWill in 2019 after a friend passed away unexpectedly.
“I saw how difficult not having a will made things,” he said.
“High-quality estate planning should be accessible for everyone. So we built an affordable digital platform to make that a reality.”
SafeWill provides an affordable step-by-step online process for writing wills, where legal advisers provide advice along the way and review the wills before they are finalised.
In just three years, it has grown to the point where tens of thousands use the platform, its suite of offerings has expanded to include other related products – including low-cost funerals – and Lubofsky is now looking at expanding beyond Australia.
“Our product suite domestically is quite comprehensive. We’re currently looking at how we would export our technology overseas and are in the early phases, scoping out which markets we’re going to be entering towards the back end of 2023,” he said.
The start-up has also had a charitable side effect “beyond my wildest expectations”, he said.
“Charitable gifts in wills are the lifeblood of Australian fundraising. It accounts for over 20 per cent of total national charitable fundraising,” he explained.
“We always knew that charities have difficulty in acquiring and tracking gifts in wills. It’s very difficult to get real data on who has actually left a gift in their will.
“We are partnered with over 200 large amazing Australian organisations … as well as a number of Jewish organisations to help them acquire and track charitable gifts in wills,” he said.
“We’ve seen over half a billion dollars committed to charities … which makes us one of the largest charitable fundraising platforms in the country. We feel like we’re just getting started on the charity piece and are constantly working on building out that product to make it accessible for all Australian charities.”
Prior to starting the company, Lubofsky was working at the Boston Consulting Group, where he said he was first exposed to the tech space. When he started SafeWill, he said he was fortunate to have support from the community and private investors.
“I was lucky to be surrounded by mentors and advisers. They helped me fumble my way blindly through the first six months and really were critical to getting the venture off the ground,” he said.
“Technical was definitely the steepest learning curve, coming from more of a corporate background. Again, we had good advisers to help us structure our tech teams, to help us structure our contractors and to get the first product off the ground.”
Asked his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, he said, “Just go for it.
“I think for most first-time founders, you really have no idea what you’re doing when you start, and no amount of preparation or waiting is really going to get you that experience. You kind of need to jump in and experience it firsthand.
“It’s incredibly fun and will present the best learning opportunity of your career, irrespective of whether the company is a huge success or not.”