Where there's a will there's a way, but for many New Zealanders, a will is something that gets put off for another day.
That reluctance to confront the future has opened a business opportunity for Andrew Barnes.
Using digital tools to make it cheap and easy to write a will is just one of the ideas the managing director of Perpetual Guardian has on the boil to shake up the staid trust company industry - not just in New Zealand, but globally.
Barnes, who is in the running for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award, says New Zealand is a fantastic launchpad for international innovation, which is reflected in his own industry.
When I first came here, I came here with the intention of reforming a company and I've ended up reforming an industry. And the industry is not the trust industry; the industry I see is legal services.Legal services for me is the last great unreformed profession in the world.
Barnes says his involvement with trust companies began 10 years ago when he headed Australian Wealth Management, an Australian-listed business spun out of Tower.
After time in Britain trying to establish an estate planning, wills and trusts business, he returned to this part of the world when he bought Perpetual Trust in 2013 and Guardian Trust in 2014.
Even though the two companies have histories dating back to the 1880s, Barnes says people have no idea what the firms do.
"If we say we're Guardian Trust, they think we sell insurance."
Barnes says both companies had foundered under ownership that had enjoyed strong cashflows without ploughing anything back in the business.
"It was a complete dog's breakfast."
He says he set about rebuilding from scratch, including a collection of digital products and services under the Kowhiri umbrella.
"We've got away from being a wealth manager and [are] focusing back on being a fiduciary house.
"Actually, I banned sepia prints and pillars. Sepia prints and pillars are about the way trust companies used to be and we only have modern art ... if it isn't bright and light it doesn't get hung and that's deliberate.
"These companies are very much companies that should be playing to the circumstances that we find ourselves in in the 21st century and they shouldn't be wandering around looking backwards the whole time."
Technology is at the forefront of the push to modernise the companies.
Some new services like My-Bucketlist, an online will-creation tool developed by lawyer Mai Chen, were purchased from others, but Perpetual Guardian has also worked to develop its own suite of digital products.
About 70 per cent of under-40s don't have a valid will, says Barnes. "And they're not going to do a will because they don't actually engage with lawyers the way their parents did."
Not only is this an issue when personal circumstances change through relationships, break-ups and children, but the advent of KiwiSaver means many people are more likely to accumulate the $15,000 in assets needed to trigger probate - needed to deal with a deceased person's estate.
For a generation more attuned to doing everything online, things aren't helped by rules and regulations rooted in the Middle Ages and a requirement for paper copies set in legislation, he says.
Barnes says identity recognition technology already in the market, such as the Government-backed RealMe initiative or smartphone fingerprint security, offers more security, authenticity and traceability than traditional printed documentation.
Basic e-wills start from $50 and the firm is already seeing the spin-offs - in the past six months six times as many wills have been written with it as in the same period last year.
Demographic changes are also triggering opportunities to smooth the path for inter-generational wealth transfer, not just for surviving family members but also for charities.
Barnes says overseas examples such as Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett are raising the awareness of charitable foundations as a mechanism for giving back, which Perpetual Guardian is building into new digital products to benefit New Zealand charities.
This innovation is not going unnoticed, with unsolicited inquiries coming from the United States, Britain and Australia to take the digital suite overseas.
Barnes says New Zealand, particularly Auckland, offers the perfect testbed for product development.
Digital connections mean distance is not an issue - he can read a bedtime story to his 8-year-old daughter in Britain on his morning commute from Waiheke.
As well, the diversity provided by immigrants and the strong skills among returning New Zealanders make the city an exciting place to be an entrepreneur.
He cites the example of services in Mandarin, recently introduced to the Perpetual Guardian website.
"If I get it wrong it doesn't kill me, but it gives me a chance to test how the documents that sit behind that reflect the social needs of that particular community.
"I can't do that easily elsewhere."