A free service that has helped New Zealanders look after their family for 135 years is ending.
From next month, the Public Trust will introduce some charges on people wanting to do their last will and testament.
Each year 20,000 New Zealanders make or update a will at the Public Trust and the face-to-face service has been free.
But from next month it will cost $195.
Public Trust chief executive Grenville Gaskell says the office is trying to improve its performance and ensure long-term financial sustainability.
The desire for more revenue has driven the final nail in the coffin for the no-cost service.
Labour's justice spokesman Charles Chauvel says free basic legal services must be retained.
"We need a body that is publicly funded in order to be able to provide provide basic legal services to those who can't afford them," he said.
The Government-backed Public Trust axed the service both quickly and quietly and wills were still free at the start of this month.
ONE News asked if charges were coming and was only told a review was underway. But a few days later, and with absolutely no notice, the fee appeared on its website.
"It was inappropriate to talk with you about something we hadn't yet introduced," Gaskell said.
Consumer New Zealand is surprised there was no publicity before the introduction of the charge by Public Trust.
"They're sort of recognised as having a sort of a social responsibility, so we would have thought that if they're going to change a basic sort of business like that they would have publicised that quite widely," said David Naulls of Consumer New Zealand.
Justice Minister Judith Collins says Community Services Card holders will still be eligible for a free will.
"The need is not there to the extent it was. I think that the whole name of free wills was a misnomer. It's being funded out of the taxpayer purse," Collins said.
The Government will continue to pay about $1.8 million a year to the Public Trust for those still eligible for free wills.
Gaskell said the Public Trust has an online solution which it will be making available to customers at no charge.