Your will represents everything that truly belongs to you. These are assets that have been designated for someone else, such as insurance money, brokerage or investment accounts, retirement and pension plans, and income from bank accounts that pay out when you pass away. That’s why having the best online will in Canada is crucial. The most critical part of estate planning is having a legally binding will in place for when you need it. When you pass away, your money, assets, property, and investments, known as your estate, will be distributed to the people you care about. Will Kits are the only way to ensure that happens.
Despite its importance, many Canadians do not have a will. People avoid discussing their death for various reasons, including the misconception that creating a will is costly. This is where online wills come in handy.
Understanding Online Will Kits: A Quick and Affordable Way to Create a Legal Will
Creating a legal will has become a lot simpler with the availability of online wills. With the help of online tools, you can create a will in just 25 to 35 minutes by answering a series of questions about your estate. Once you have provided all the necessary information, the online tool generates a legal will for you.
All that is left to do is print out the document, sign it in front of two witnesses, and your will is complete. Creating a will online is significantly easier and more cost-effective than hiring a lawyer to draft one for you.
Validity of Online Wills in Canada: What You Need to Know
Given the importance of having a will, it is crucial to ensure that any online will kit you use is legally recognized in Canada. The legality of an online will in Canada largely depends on how it is created. When done correctly, an online will is indeed considered a valid legal document in Canada.
Whether it is written by hand, completed online, or with the assistance of a lawyer, any last will must follow certain basic rules to be deemed legally valid. Experienced estate lawyers work with online will kit providers to create templates that adhere to the laws in different regions, ensuring that the online will kits they provide are legal and valid in Canada.
Who Can Benefit from Creating an Online Will?
Creating an online will is a suitable option if you fall into any of the following categories:
- You have a straightforward estate and don’t need to establish any unique rules for your beneficiaries.
- You want to create power of attorney documents to designate someone to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated (also known as a living will).
- You have children or pets and want to ensure they are taken care of after you pass away.
- You own property, assets, or investments in Canada and want to maintain control over their distribution.
- You want to leave specific gifts, such as antiques or art, to your loved ones.
- You want to leave a portion of your estate or a cash gift to a charitable organization or cause you care about.
Regardless of the reason, creating an online will can provide peace of mind by ensuring that your wishes are carried out after you pass away.
Top Online Will Kits in Canada
If you’re looking for a fast and affordable way to make a legal will, online will-writing services are a great option. With just a few clicks, you can create a will and avoid the high cost of hiring an estate planning lawyer. Here are five of the best online will kits in Canada:
LegalWills.ca is Canada’s most popular online will service, offering legal online wills and other documents for over 20 years. The platform is available in all provinces, including Quebec. Prices start at $39.95 for a single will and $63.92 for a mirrored will (for couples). You can add a power of attorney or living will to your account for $29.95. Updates are free for a year, and unlimited updates and storage are available for a one-time fee.
Willful is a leading online will platform in Canada, offering basic, premium, and mirrored plans for couples. Prices range from $99 to $250. All plans come with unlimited changes, and you can include a power of attorney and health care directive in your will at no extra cost. Willful is available in most provinces and territories.
Epilogue is an online platform that helps Canadians make wills quickly and easily. Prices start at $139 for individuals and $289 for couples. Making a will with Epilogue takes just 25 minutes, and you can make changes to your documents online for free at any time. Epilogue is currently available in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia, with plans to expand to other provinces this year.
FormalWill offers legal wills, power of attorney, living wills, and pet wills for purchase, with prices starting at $59. FormalWill allows revisions to legal wills for an additional fee, and a lawyer can review your will or give you advice for up to $249. The platform is available in all of Canada’s provinces and territories.
CanadaWills is a 100% free online will kit platform that only accepts donations. Although it lacks the same level of customer service and support as the other companies on this list, it offers a great free option for making a will. The platform is available in every province except Quebec. To use CanadaWills, you need to fill in all the information online, then print out a pdf version of the document, sign it in front of two witnesses who aren’t beneficiaries, and sign it.
If you have straightforward legal requirements for your will, online wills are an excellent option to create a legally binding document quickly and easily. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that online will kits may not be sufficient for more complex legal needs. In such cases, it is advisable to seek assistance from an estate planning lawyer.
Keep in mind that to make your online will valid, you must print it and sign it in front of two people who are not beneficiaries. With this in mind, online wills can be a fantastic way to plan for the future, ensuring that your assets are distributed as per your wishes, your family is taken care of, and your last days are planned.