£25m for charity as free online will writing service grows 300%
Posted on March 23, 2021 by Jonathan Symcox
An online will writing service has seen a 300% rise in customers in the year since COVID-19 hit – with more than £25 million pledged to charity through its wills.
Oxfordshire-based FreeWills.co.uk is now the second largest will writer in the UK after its business grew dramatically since the onset of the coronavirus lockdown.
The company, which was only launched in 2018, said that it saw its busiest ever day on March 23rd, 2020 – the day Boris Johnson announced the lockdown – with 216 wills written via its website.
Founder and serial entrepreneur Carl Christensen said he expects over 20,000 wills to be made, free of charge, through the site this year.
The company says its wills are genuinely free and it makes revenue through commission deals and cross-sells with related partners.
Christensen, who has previously built and sold a web-writing business, said: “The pandemic has had a profound impact on our business.
“The start of lockdown was the day when people suddenly realised they needed to get their own affairs in order following years of procrastinating.
“It’s meant we’ve taken on more staff and have been working seven days a week to handle customer enquiries.”
Christensen said the most satisfying part of the company’s success was seeing the amount of money donated to charity through its wills.
“People have been incredibly generous and thoughtful of others in what has clearly been a very difficult year,” he said.
“We’re now working with lots of smaller charities to help them access some of the donations made by our customers.”