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BW Businessworld

We have India’s first Will Making App’

In an interview with BW Businessworld, Rohan Mahajan explains how Willstar, the first Will making app works.

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Rohan Mahajan, founder, LawRato.com, India’s leading lawyer search platform providing expert legal advice across 500+ cities says the primary reasons for various legal tussle involving property rights is the absence of Will. Mahajan speaks to Ashish Sinha and explains how Willstar, the first Will making app works.

Excerpts:

What is Willstar and how does it work?  
WillStar is an initiative of LawRato.com. Since the launch of LawRato.com over three years ago, a lot of queries have been received on property disputes wherein the primary reason of the legal battle was unavailability of a Will and that led to messy and ugly fights between families. Looking at this situation, me and Nikhil Sarup (founders of LawRato.com) did some deep research where it was found that most people in India do not have a Will and hence, after discussion with expert estate planning lawyers, they launched WillStar. WillStar is a free online tool, a mobile app and a physical kit that helps people make their legal Will using simple steps within a few minutes.

How does the app/portal & kit work? What are the unique USPs of this application?
With the launch of WillStar, users can now create their legal ‘Will’ for free using the online tool available at the website or through the android app available at Google Playstore. The tool and the app have been built in consultation with expert lawyers and have an extremely easy user interface wherein Will-making becomes easy and fun and takes just 15 minutes under most circumstances. Users who are not web savvy or are wary of using online platforms to upload their personal details, can also order WillStar’s MakeMyWill Easy Kit available at Amazon.in for a nominal price of Rs.399 only. The physical kit includes a detailed guide on how to use the kit to make a Will, a sample Will document and a lawyer drafted Will template that can be filled to create a Will. It also includes a detailed list of FAQs that can be used to clear any doubts around Will making.

What’s the sales pitch to the user?
Do you know when you pass away without a Will, your estate can be a root cause of dispute among your family members. Also, If you pass away before your children are adults, not having a proper guardian might jeopardise their future. Last but not the least: It can take upto 5 years for your family members to get your assets in the absence of a Will. By making a Will, you choose who gets a share in your estate after your demise and ensure peace and harmony for your loved ones even when you are not around. Make your Will using WillStar’s easy App and ensure the happiness of your family.

What's the current ratio of property disputes cases in India? Kindly share the average figure on spent in fighting these cases in last one year?
As per a recent survey by Daksh, majority of respondents had land- or property-related matters (29.3 percent). In their survey last year, they had found that nearly 66 per cent of civil litigation stemmed from land- and property-related cases. In this year’s survey, most land-related disputes involved agricultural land, and the subject matter in most of these disputes (around 80 per cent) related to ownership or inheritance. The report says that an average Indian spends Rs.1000 per day on their court proceedings. Also, the average fee to file a fresh case is around Rs.5000 in the country. Considering 16 lac new cases are filed in India every month, and there are at least 2 parties to each case, makes the expenditure on filing fresh property dispute cases to more than Rs. 5000 crore per year.

Is Willstar legally valid – please share the legality of this application?
As per the law in India, any person can write their last Will on a paper and get it signed by 2 witnesses for it to be legally valid Will. WillStar ensures that all important and mandatory aspects of writing a Will are covered during the Will making process and that the final produced Will is a legal valid document. The Will making process using the tool and the App and the physical kit of WillStar are all approved by expert estate planning lawyers before they have been launched for the usage to the public.

How big is the market? Who are the competition, if any - how is it different from the competition?
Ideally, every person above the age of 40 must make a Will as most likely anyone above this age would have made some assets in life and would have loved ones who may be dependent on the person. In the 1.3 Billion indian population, around 300 million people are above the age of 40 and that is the market potential of Will making in India. There are a few other niche players like Willjini and legaldesk that offer Will making services. WillStar stands out from any other platform offering Will making as it is backed by LawRato.com, which gives it the credibility and support of thousands of lawyers across India. Moreover, WillStar offers its online and App tool for Free to its users unlike any of the other players out there who charge anywhere between Rs.2000 to Rs. 50,000 to their users to create a Will. WillStar is also the First and Only platform to have a mobile App for its users to help them with the Will making process.

Is there a business model?
WillStar is a part of CSR initiatives of LawRato wherein the aim is to reduce unnecessary litigation and court battles between family members and hence, the online tool and the mobile App allow users to create their Will for Free. LawRato also runs a CSR campaign providing free legal aid to the needy wherein they supported Nirbhaya’s parents with pro-bono representation in the Supreme Court of India.

What kind of investment you have made to create this app? Are there investors?
LawRato has been working on the Will making initiative since the past 2 years now wherein we had earlier launched a web only tool by the name of MakeMyWill in 2016. WillStar has been conceived and developed by a team comprising of expert estate planning lawyers, web developers and testers working diligently since the past 6 months. WillStar is an initiative of LawRato.com which raised its pre-series A round of funding through Indian Angel Network in November 2016.

What is your future plan? Do share the funding details?
LawRato plans to raise its next round of funding later this year wherein the funds will be used to spread awareness on Will making and how WillStar can help people to create their Will for free and avoid family battles. As regards to the validity of the Will made through the App and the Kit, both Wills are equally valid in the court of law.

LawRato raised its seed round of funding from individual investors (5.4 million INR) in April 2015 which was followed by an undisclosed round of Pre Series A funding in November 2016. LawRato currently partners with 25,000 top rated verified lawyers across 500+ cities in India to provide expert legal advice to its users. We are looking at increasing this number to 1,00,000 lawyers across 900 cities in India in the next 2 years. On the users’ side, LawRato currently gets over 7,00,000 monthly visitors to its platform and helps over 15,000 users get expert legal advice through its platform per month. We are looking at expanding our reach to 30,00,000 monthly visitors wherein we are able to help at least 1,00,000 users get legal advice through the platform every month. We are working on adding more tech features to both our users and partner mobile app so as to leverage automation and ensuring seamless communication between the clients and lawyers interacting on out platform.


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