Your Will should not contain anything that is not outrightly yours. These include assets that have named beneficiaries like:
- Life insurance proceeds.
- Brokerage or investment accounts.
- Proceeds from retirement accounts and pension plans.
- Earnings from payable-on-death bank accounts.
Why do we need to know the best online Will Canada has? Having a legally binding Will ready is a major aspect of estate planning. It is the only way you can make sure your money, possessions, property, and investments (all known as your estate) go to the people and causes you want and care about.
However, despite its importance, many Canadians don’t have a will. Apart from people’s reluctance to discuss their mortality, one other major reason for this is the perceived costs. This is where online Wills come in.
If done properly, an online Will is as legal as a Will drafted by a lawyer and can save several hundred to thousands of dollars.
- What Is an Online Will?
- Are Online Wills Legal in Canada?
- Who Would Gain from Making An Online Will?
- The 5 Best Online Will – Canada
- #1. Best Online Will, Canada: Legal Wills (Best for DIY Will Kit)
- #2. Best Online Will, Canada: Epilogue Wills (Best for Advisors & Lawyer-Quality Documents)
- #3. Best Online Will, Canada: Willful (Best for User Experience)
- #4. Best Online Will, Canada: CanadaWills (Best for Free Online Will Canada)
- #5. Best Online Will, Canada: FormalWill (Best for Custom-Tailored Will)
- Benefits and Downsides of Using Online Wills
- Should I Make a Will?
- Do I Need a Lawyer to Complete My Will?
- FAQs: Best Online Will Canada
- Final Thoughts on Best Online Will Canada
- Create your Will today!
In this post, we’ll cover the list of the best online Will Canada has in 2021, their costs, and the pros and cons.
|Online Will Kit||Best For||Year Established||Availability|
|LegalWills||Best for DIY Will Kit||2000||Available in all Canadian provinces|
|Epilogue||Best for Advisors & Lawyer-Quality Documents||2020||Available in 7 provinces with more on the way|
|Willful||Best for User Experience||2017||Available in 7 provinces|
|CanadaWills||Best for Free Online Will Canada||2000||Available in all provinces except Quebec|
|FormalWill||Best for Custom-Tailored Will||2010||Available in all Canadian provinces|
What Is an Online Will?
An online will is a will you create yourself through an interactive online tool. Creating an online will usually take between 20 to 30 minutes. You’ll be asked a series of questions concerning your estate. After you’ve provided the correct information, a legal will is generated.
Print out the document and sign it in the presence of two witnesses, and you have your legal will. Online wills are very convenient and affordable compared to going through an attorney. But they don’t provide the legal advice and expertise you’ll get from a lawyer.
Are Online Wills Legal in Canada?
Yes, as long as they are completed correctly, online wills are legal in Canada. Whether it is completed online, handwritten, or written with the assistance of a lawyer, all wills have to meet some basic criteria. Online will kits work with seasoned estate lawyers to create templates that depict the Estate Law in different jurisdictions.
Not every online will kit company operates in every province. For example, Quebec has a different law, e.g., the option of a notarial will that only requires a notary to sign it. So some online Will kits don’t operate in Quebec.
You can also prepare a living will and a power of attorney through an online will service. These two documents indicate how you want your health, legal, and personal finance managed.
Finally, there’s one important point to remember: for your online Will to be valid, it has to be printed out on paper and signed in the presence of two witnesses. Signing it online is not a legally recognized validation.
Who Would Gain from Making An Online Will?
If you fit into these categories, an online will may be a right fit:
- You don’t have any complex scenarios or any need to create unique stipulations regarding your beneficiaries.
- You want to make power of attorney documents to list your wishes and designate someone to make decisions for you if you become ill or physically unfit (also called a living will).
- You have a child or children.
- You are a pet owner. If you are a dog owner, it is important you understand why all dog owners need a Will.
- You have property, assets, or investments in Canada.
- You want to leave particular gifts (e.g., antique or art).
- You want to leave a part of your estate or a cash gift to charity.
- You’re single, married, divorced, or in a common-law partnership.
The 5 Best Online Will – Canada
With the best online will-writing services, you can have your legal will ready in as little as 20 minutes. Since you won’t be using an estate planning attorney, you’ll also be saving money on the fees.
#1. Best Online Will, Canada: Legal Wills (Best for DIY Will Kit)
LegalWills is one of Canada’s most popular online wills, living wills, and power of attorney. They’ve been in operation for over twenty years. This service costs $39.95 for a single will and $63.92 for a mirrored will (for couples). If you add a living will or power of attorney, you’ll pay a separate $19.95 or $29.95, respectively.
LegalWills also offers free updates for one year, and you have the option of paying a one-time fee to get unlimited updates and storage beyond a year.
- Available in all Canadian provinces, including Quebec.
- Pricing is straightforward and depends on your needs ($39.95 for a single Will; $63.93 for couples).
- Free updates for one year.
- Services Offered: Online Wills, Living Wills, and Power of Attorneys.
- It is very affordable.
- They provide up to one year of free updates
- The tools provided are lawyer-approved.
- Excellent customer support.
- The instructions are simple and clear. Any confusing information is explained in plain words.
- There are several add-ons you can choose from to add to your will to customize it.
- It may not be suitable for high net worth individuals.
#2. Best Online Will, Canada: Epilogue Wills (Best for Advisors & Lawyer-Quality Documents)
Epilogue Wills was founded by two experienced estate lawyers, Daniel Goldgut and Arin Klug. Creating your Will using Epilogue is very easy and takes approximately 20 minutes. Their Will document service for individuals starts at $139 and goes up to $289 for a couples’ comprehensive Wills and Powers of Attorney plan.
They also provide prompts that guide you from the beginning to the end. They offer simplified and straightforward pricing from $139. With $179, you can add Power of Attorney to your will, and the two plans offer free updates at any time.
Couples can also get two sets of documents for $289, a cost-effective option for couples with different wishes. Some other platforms, on the other hand, force couples to replicate some wishes and choices. Then you can update your documents online at any time at no cost.
Epilogue stands out from other online Will writing services for their lawyer caliber documents. Their documents have the same quality or even better than what a lawyer would make.
Another thing that sets them apart is their focus on assisting advisors (investment advisors, insurance professionals, and accountants) to create Wills for their clients. They do this by providing them free dedicated live chat, email, and phone support.
Like other online Will service providers, Epilogue does not offer any legal or professional advice.
- Two former experienced estate lawyers founded it.
- Available in Ontario (ON), British Columbia (BC), Alberta (AB), Manitoba (MB), Saskatchewan (SK), Nova Scotia (NS), and Prince Edward Island (PEI); with more provinces on the way. Their goal is to be Canada wide by the end of 2021.
- Services Offered: Wills, Power of Attorneys, Affidavits of Execution.
- Pricing is straightforward, starting at $139 and goes up to $289.
- They provide dedicated assistance for professional advisors.
- They offer lawyer-quality documents.
- The platform is simple, easy to use, and has a helpful learning center.
- Free updates at any time.
- The founders have several years of experience as estate lawyers, so the platform is robust.
- Reliable customer support.
- They are costlier than some of the competitors.
- It may not be suitable for complicated situations, like having children from multiple marriages or complex tax requirements.
- It is only available in some provinces.
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#3. Best Online Will, Canada: Willful (Best for User Experience)
Willful is a relatively new online will kit-Canada. It was founded in 2017 and has become a top choice for legal online wills in Canada because of its extremely user-friendly design. Creating a will on Willful doesn’t take time. Within 20 minutes, you’ll have your will ready. The simple questionnaire clearly explains every step of the process.
Willful Will-kits start at $99 for the Essentials Plan, $150 for the Premium Plan, and $250 for the Couples Plan. This tiered pricing format ensures you only pay for the services you need.
The Essentials Plan provides you with a last will and testament so you can establish who your estate representative will be, your intentions for your minor children, and other wishes.
The Premium Plan includes a power of attorney, and the Couple’s Plan allows your spouse to complete the same documents.
- Available in: Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, British Columbia, and Quebec.
- Pricing is transparent and straightforward.
- They offer three Plans: Essentials, Premium & Couples at $99, $150, and $250 respectively.
- The platform’s user interface is easy to use.
- Excellent Customer support with live chat functionality
- Services Offered: Last Will and Testament, Mirrored Wills, Power of Attorney, Healthcare Emergency Representatives & Wishes.
- Extremely user-friendly platform.
- They offer Unlimited, free updates.
- Pricing is affordable.
- It is accessible for all ages.
- They are not available in every Canadian province.
- Not ideal for people with complex financial situations.
#4. Best Online Will, Canada: CanadaWills (Best for Free Online Will Canada)
CanadaWills is a 100% free online will kit platform that relies solely on donations. So, you can make your legal will online, as well as a living will and advance directive at NO COST. Once you fill all the necessary information online, print out a pdf version of the document, and sign it in the presence of two witnesses who are non-beneficiaries of the will.
While it is great that it’s a free option, the drawback is it doesn’t offer the same level of customer service and support offered by the other companies on this list.
- Available in every province but Quebec.
- Zero cost.
- Services Offered: Last Will and Testament, Living will, and Advance Directive.
- Free medical power of attorney & advanced directive available.
- It includes pet care provision.
- Available in all Canadian provinces except Quebec.
- All services are 100% free
- Privacy is guaranteed.
- Very limited customer service.
#5. Best Online Will, Canada: FormalWill (Best for Custom-Tailored Will)
FormalWill is an online will kit service founded by a lawyer. They offer custom will kits that are tailored to work with each Canadian province or territory. They offer four different packages. Legal Will for $59, living will ($39), power of attorney ($39), and a pet will at $59.
You can’t make any changes to your legal Will unless you buy a “peace of mind bonus.” You also cannot update your power of attorney and living will documents. They also offer a lawyer review service should you want a lawyer to look at your will more closely. The review service costs up to $249.
- Available in all Canadian provinces and territories.
- Pricing varies based on the package you select.
- Services Offered: legal will, living will, power of attorney, and pet will.
- They offer a lawyer review service.
- Canadian lawyers designed the platform.
- The platform’s interface user-friendly.
- They provide lawyer review services if you want a lawyer to overlook your will.
- Available everywhere across Canada.
- You’ll have to buy a “peace of mind bonus” to make changes to your legal will.
Benefits and Downsides of Using Online Wills
Online will services aren’t perfect. These are the benefits and drawbacks associated with creating your will online.
They are Affordable
You will save hundreds of dollars that you would have spent in fees to create a Will with a lawyer. The cost of making an online Will is also transparent and fixed. You won’t need to go through the stress of shopping around to compare fees offered by different law firms.
An Online will usually take less than one hour to complete. On the other hand, a Will drafted by a lawyer will require up to two meetings which can span over a couple of weeks or even a month.
You will be given directions and guidance on how to cover each section of the will, requirements for signing, and how to store your will safely.
The entire online will creation process is effortless, and you can complete it right from your home. Online platforms allow you to change as many things as you want on your Will before you print it out for signing. If your situation changes, you can also update the document, reprint, and sign it.
Not Available Everywhere
Not all online platforms are available in every province, and most are not present in Quebec.
Not Suitable for Complex Situations
Online Will kits do not work for people with complicated legal situations, complex assets, or properties overseas. Such ones would need customized legal advice.
Related Content -> How to write a Will in Canada.
Should I Make a Will?
Before you decide whether to go with an online Will kit or with a lawyer to draft your Will, you need to know if you actually need a Will or not.
Is there anybody that depends on you financially? If your answer to this question is yes, then you need to have a Will. Your Will ensures your assets go to the right person(s) and communicates your wishes. If you have minor children, it also gives you some control over how they’d be cared for.
Therefore following this logic, almost every Canadian should have a Will. But not every Canadian has complex legal needs that require the services of an attorney, and that’s where online Will kits Canada come in. In many cases, an online will-making service is enough to establish your final wishes.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Complete My Will?
Most Canadians do not need to have a lawyer to complete their wills. Online Wills have been created or assessed by estate lawyers in your province and are adequate to cover most circumstances.
However, a lawyer is the better choice in complex situations like remarriage, leaving out one of your family members from your Will, having considerable assets abroad, and owning a company.
FAQs: Best Online Will Canada
Final Thoughts on Best Online Will Canada
Voila! There you have the best online Will Canada has in 2021. Online Wills are a cheaper and accessible option for most Canadians but before deciding on one of the options, be sure these platforms can handle your legal situation.
Online Wills are designed for straightforward Wills that only involve assigning assets, care of dependents, and making plans for your final days. If you have a more complex legal situation, an online will kit may not be sufficient to handle your legal needs, and you should request the services of a lawyer.
That being said, if you have simple legal requirements, online Wills are a superb and cost-effective way to create a legally binding Will conveniently. Remember, if you decide to get an online Will, you must print and sign it in the presence of two non-beneficiary witnesses to make it legally binding.