WillCraft (WillCraftNow.com) is Singapore’s first online personal legal services platform. In this interview with Asia Law Portal, Founder Alvin T’ng explains what motivated WillCraft’s founding, its’ services offer, how it works with local law firms, how customers find the service, T’ng’s transition from legal practice to legal entrepreneur, and WillCraft’s plans for the future.
What is WillCraft? When was it founded and what motivated its’ founding?
WillCraft is a one-stop-portal for personal legal services in Singapore. It lowers the cost required to obtain personal legal services by utilising state-of-the-art document automation and assembly technology and streamlining business processes. At the moment, it only covers Wills and LPAs, but will expand to cover the whole range of personal legal services.
Based on the type of legal service that the user needs, the platform drafts the required documents using information collected from the user. The platform then sends the required documents to the lawyer that the user has selected for review and execution. This results in lesser human errors, and because the drafting process is automated, lower cost to the client. The lawyer may also focus on the more high-value task of advising the client.
WillCraft was founded in late 2017 and finished Alpha in late 2019. The service was motivated by the opaque and long-drawn process of obtaining legal services in Singapore, together with rising costs and falling profits of traditional small-sized law firms today.
What key services does WillCraft offer?
Currently WillCraft offers Wills and Lasting Power of Attorneys. WillCraft aims to launch other personal legal services such as Deed Polls and General Power of Attorneys. WillCraft also has plans to undertake document automation for court processes such as divorce, probate and applications for deputyship are underway.
What has been the reception to your services?
To-date, WillCraft has had over 10,000 visitors, and has drafted hundreds of Wills. Recently it has also partnered with Maybank to launch its services to its Privilege customers.
WillCraft is currently partnered with two Singapore law firms. Do you plan to expand the number of law firms you work with?
We intend to expand the number of law firms as the services that we offer grow. However, as I’m a lawyer as well, I’m incredibly cognisant of the quality of legal services that our partners provide. WillCraft does not only help customers save costs and time when obtaining legal services, but also ensures that our customers get quality legal services. As such we are extremely selective of the law firms that we work with.
The firms that we work with are also extremely forward thinking with regard to the future of legal services delivery have been extremely supportive of the work that WillCraft is doing. Any law firm that we partner also has to have the same vision.
Do most clients find you via your website and blog?
Yes most clients find us via our website and our blog. Increasingly, the consumer is getting more aware of the importance of having legal documents such as Wills and LPAs in place, and the idea of having such done online is growing. Consequently, most of our clients actively search for us online.
Does WillCraft have venture capital or individual investors?
WillCraft has not taken any growth capital and is currently raising its seed round.
You’re a former lawyer. What motivated you to focus on serving as a conduit to legal services for consumers versus practicing law?
I believe that there are many areas that could be improved on in the practice of law today, and the current business model for law firms focused on personal legal services in increasingly untenable without technology. Besides being a lawyer, I also have a background in engineering. I believe that merging that background together with my experience in law can really bring value in this respect.
WillCraft is currently operating in the Singapore market. Do you have any plans for expansion outside Singapore? What are the company’s goals for the next 5 years?
The current focus is to expand the product line in Singapore to cover the full range of personal legal services. In the longer term, expansion to other Southeast Asian countries will be on the horizon. Of course, if we can find good legal partners, we will expedite the jurisdictional expansion.
For more information on WillCraft, please visit www.willcraftnow.com