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The necessity and implications of creating a Will are usually not at the forefront of most people's minds, but it is extremely important. If you die without one, legislation and the Courts determine who receives your estate and the amount of money they receive. If you have no successors, your estate vests in the government.
Although the thought of death and allocating assets isn't something most of us look forward to figuring out, it will provide peace of mind having it settled and you'll likely find that it's easier to do than you think. Creating a Will is a necessary part of life and will relieve the burden left on family members after you pass away.
Tuesday, May 17th
CanadaWills is a simple platform where people can create a Living Will or Last Will and Testament. Their service was created by attorneys 20 years ago. They've helped create hundreds of thousands of legal Wills and people are still continually using their services today. Although they don't have a Better Business Bureau rating or user testimonials on their website, we don't see any reason not to take advantage of or trust CanadaWills' services!
One of our first impressions of CanadaWills is that their website couldn't be easier to use since it's straightforward and not overly wordy. You don't need to have any previous knowledge in the legal arena to navigate their platform. They also don't store Wills on their server, so your privacy is maintained. They don't sell your information, and you'll never see advertisements on their website! They offer a clean, simple experience.
Maintained by donations
One of the best parts of CanadaWills is that their services are free! You don't have to provide a credit card at any point of the Will creation process and they won't try to bill you later. They rely on donations to maintain the website and provide their services. If you're interested in donating money to the cause, you can do so directly on their website.
Common terms of agreement
Fast, step-by-step process
Creating your Will is simple since you are guided through a step-by-step process where you answer questions along the way. CanadaWills makes it easy, so you can't really mess it up unless you aren't providing correct information. If you're prepared with all the information you need, it will really only take you a few minutes to create your entire Will.
Help available 24/7
CanadaWills prides themselves on having experienced staff that are ready to help users 24/7. They provide both an email address and phone number to reach them. If you want to understand Wills better before you start making one of your own, CanadaWills has a great "Legal Considerations" resource page that goes through information about what can be gifted under a Will, the formal requirements, how to revoke a Will, how to change a Will, guardians, FAQs, definitions of legal terms, and more.
Fantastic starting point
We are really impressed with CanadaWills. They realize how important it is for people to make Wills, so they've made it as simple and affordable as it could possibly be. You'll receive an electronic version of your Will as soon as you're done creating it and you can go back and make changes on CanadaWills' website any time for free. You won't have a lawyer looking over your work when you're done, but that might not always be necessary anyway. Since CanadaWills is a free option, it is a fantastic starting place for Canadians interested in making a Will.
Canadian Legal Wills is designed to offer some of the legal documentation one might be in need of before the end of life. They have been in business for over 21 years and are run by Parting Wishes, Inc. which is the parent company of Parting Wishes, another Will preparation company. The products they offer consist of a Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, Living Will, Expatriate Wills, Life Locker, management of funeral wishes and organ donation preferences, and final messages to loved ones.
20 minutes to create your Will
Canadian Legal Wills advertises that it only takes about 20 minutes to create your Will. The cost for the Last Will and Testament is $39.95 and with your purchase your spouse qualifies for a 40% discount and can create their Last Will and Testament for $23.97. Customers have the option for legal document reviews after they've paid for their Will which is an additional $69.
Fees for extended storage
You'll use Canadian Legal Wills' step-by-step wizard to create your Will. At the end, you can preview the first page and decide if you want to pay for access to the entire document. You'll create a username and password so you can make changes to your Will at any time or create additional documents. Free management services are available for listing out funeral wishes and organ donation preferences that can be handled within your account. You get 1 year of storage for your Will, so if you want access to it for longer than that, you can add one year for $11.95, 5 years for $24.95, 10 years for $34.95, 25 years for $74.95 or lifetime for $124.95. Your data is backed up daily to prevent any catastrophic losses.
If you aren't satisfied with your Will once you have paid for it and seen the whole document, you have 30 days to ask for a full refund.
Lacking a knowledge centre
Canadian Legal Wills has an FAQ section, but it is more about their platform and why you should use their services rather than articles to help with Will writing. We wish they had a comprehensive knowledge centre that clarified definitions and processes for people who don't feel confident with what they're doing. Canadian Legal Wills does have a blog, but it covers such a wide range of topics and isn't searchable, so it might not be a straightforward resource for customers.
Huge customer backing
The highlight of Canadian Legal Wills is how many positive customer reviews they have. There are over 1,000 people who have written feedback about their experience with creating legal documents through Canadian Legal Wills and almost every single one of them is extremely positive. They have more customer recommendations than almost any other Will creation site, so this should give you a big boost of confidence if you choose to use their services. We've given Canadian Legal Wills a great rating due to their strong customer base, money-back guarantee, and affordable pricing.
LawDepot provides online Will services that are similar to what is provided by other Canadian companies we considered, but they offer far more products than some of their competitors. You can search through hundreds of legal documents, forms, and contracts to customize on their site. They advertise that creating a Last Will and Testament can be done in 5-10 minutes. You are able to view a draft version of the document before beginning and then are prompted with a series of questions to complete your Will once you agree to start.
Multiple pricing options
Creating a free account is required to save and refer to the documents you make on LawDepot. A one-week trial period is offered for creating and accessing those documents. You'll have to provide credit card information because once the week is up, you'll automatically be charged $33/month if you don't cancel. Your other option is a one-year subscription prepaid at $7.99/month ($95.88 total) or ten-year access for $49.95. You could also choose to pay per document which will cost anywhere from $7 to $39. We found that the individual document costs are not clearly labeled and you may have to create the document you need before finding out how much you owe for it.
Comprehensive help articles
When you're creating a Will, there is a list of helpful information at the bottom of the page for your reference as you work. You can read the basics about why you should have a Will, what should be included in a Will, definitions of some terms like testator, beneficiary, and executor, what can be given in a Will, and other frequently asked questions. Additionally, a free, searchable help centre is available on the website. You can also browse their law library and read articles about finance, real estate, business, and family as they pertain to legal document creation. LawDepot has one of the most comprehensive compilations of help articles of any Canadian company we've reviewed.
Thousands of happy customers
LawDepot has an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. Unfortunately, there are over 65 customer reviews on their profile and they only result in a 1.69 out of 5-star review. Customers complain that they weren't able to cancel after their free trial and have recurrent charges they aren't able to stop. On the other hand, there are thousands of customers other places online who have said good things about using LawDepot for creating their Will and other legal documents. People say they have a helpful chat line, are professional, are an easy tool to use, and extremely fast. The positive things customers say about LawDepot far outweigh the negative, so this is still a really good option for Canadians who want to create a Will - or many other types of legal documents.
Epilogue gives Will-making a modern flair. Their website is clean, aesthetically pleasing, and not overly complicated. From start to finish, Epilogue aims to help people in Canada to create Wills that give both them and their families peace of mind. It was created by lawyers Daniel Goldgut and Arin Klug, to help as many people as possible recognize how easy and important it is to create a Will.
Free Social Media Will
In addition to creating a Will that sets forth your wishes about the distribution of your property and care of your minor children, Epilogue also allows you to create a free Social Media Will. Most people have probably never even heard of this, so it's a really unique option for anyone who wants to carry on their digital legacy after they're gone. The idea is that some people have so much of their lives and memories on social media that they might want to leave instructions as to how to preserve those for future generations. You can choose to have your social media accounts memorialized or deleted, name a legacy contact to manage your account and type out your personal wishes.
The process for creating your traditional Will through Epilogue can be done in just three steps:
Two pricing options
We were happy with how transparent Epilogue is with their pricing. You can choose to either make your legally binding Will for $139 (or $229 for a couple) that can be updated for free anytime or make a Will and incapacity document for $179 (or $289 for a couple). Incapacity documents are also known as power of attorney, personal directive, or health care directive depending on what province you live in. They allow you to appoint someone to manage your finances if you become incapacitated and name someone to make healthcare decisions if you can't. This can also be updated at any time for free.
If you have some downtime and want to learn more about the different aspects of Wills, you can read Epilogue's useful, frequently-updated blog. They have articles about estate planning in the digital age, eco-friendly burials, the benefits of naming a donor-advised fund in your Will, the best life insurance, and more. You can also visit their learning centre to get an overview of the basics like what beneficiaries are, who qualifies, the role of appointed guardians, the duties of an executor, how to change your Will, and any other frequently asked questions you'll likely run into.
Customers recommend Epilogue to friends and family
Although they don't have a Better Business Bureau rating, Epilogue has great reviews from customers that you can find on other online platforms. Canadians are surprised by how fast and easy Epilogue makes Will writing, they are happy with how affordable it is compared to paying lawyer fees, and people felt confident that they covered all the bases and didn't omit anything when going through the process. Customers recommend Epilogue to friends and family and we haven't found anything negative about their services. We highly recommend using Epilogue's service and know you won't be disappointed with their process!
Willful's mission is to use technology to help people simplify end-of-life planning. Their three goals were to make it affordable, easy to use, and give people peace of mind. It was created by co-founders Kevin Oulds and Erin Bury. Oulds is quoted saying that Willful is "the tool I wish I had when my family went through an unexpected loss." This company understands the need for Canadians to have Wills and to be able to make them easily.
Choose from 3 plans
There are three plans you can choose from when creating a Will through Willful:
Available in certain provinces
You'll need to create a free account through Willful to begin creating your Will. Since each province has different will and power of attorney legislation, you'll need to provide your province and city before getting started. We found that there are a few provinces that Willful doesn't serve yet. Some of them include Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon Territory. Hopefully Willful is working on this and will be able to serve these customers in the future, but if you happen to live in one of these provinces, you're out of luck if trying to use Willful.
Store a hard copy of your Will
Willful offers a similar process to what you'll find with other Will-creation platforms. You're taken through a series of questions and once you've given all the necessary details, voila! You're all done! Willful does not allow you to sign and store your Will online since Canadian law says it needs to be printed, signed, and stored as a hard copy to be legally binding. This doesn't necessarily mean Willful couldn't save your Will for you, but for now this is just the way they do things.
Possible money-back guarantee
If you're unhappy with the Will you have once you've purchased it from Willful, you might be able to get a refund. We say "might" because they do have a "30 day money-back guarantee" sticker on the side of the page where you create your Will, but the details aren't listed anywhere on the website. If you need to, it would be worth pursuing a refund from Willful, but hopefully you won't run into any issues that would require it.
Helpful Learn Centre
For additional resources to help create your Will, we recommend taking advantage of Willful's Learn Centre. Their team of experts have compiled articles to help break down complex estate planning topics. You can search using any keywords or read through their popular guides and tutorials. Any question you have should be covered in the Learn Centre. If not, you have the option of booking a 20-minute appointment with one of their experts over the phone, doing a live chat, or emailing their team.
Willful comes highly recommended
It's surprising how many legal document creation companies in Canada are not rated by the Better Business Bureau. Thankfully that's not the case with Willful. They have a solid "A+" rating and excellent reviews from customers. A lot of people have referred Willful to friends and family because they've been so happy with their services. Willful has been featured by Betakit, CBC News, The Globe and Mail, Global News, and the Toronto Star. If you're in a province where Willful is available, we don't see any reason not to use their services to create a Will.
FormalWill claims to be Canada's leader in online legal Wills. It was founded by a Canadian lawyer as a create-your-own Will site that caters to people wishing to create an inexpensive, legally-binding will from the comfort of their own home. The Wills are tailored to each province and territory in Canada, so you can rest assured knowing this platform is adaptable to your needs.
5 product choices
There are 5 products that FormalWill offers including a Will, Power of Attorney, Living Will, Pet Will, and lawyer network. Before starting any of these Wills, you can read through their FAQs to better know what to expect. To create your Will you'll need to make a free account with your email and password. Each Will is meant for one person, not a joint group of 2 or more people.
No skipping steps
It's easy to fill out the details of your Will since you're taken step-by-step through questions about your marital status, executor, beneficiaries, gifts, charitable donations, trusts, guardianship, and more. A progress bar will give you an idea of how long the entire process will take and you aren't allowed to move on to a new section until you've completely filled out all the necessary information. This way you don't have to worry about skipping any steps and omitting crucial details. Once it's completed, you'll receive your Will via email so you can print it out from home.
Reasonable base costs
The cost of your Will is only $59 including tax. This is a really reasonable price when compared to competitors. A Power of Attorney document is $39, a Living Will is $39, a Pet Will is $59, and the cost for a lawyer to review your Will is $149. So if you want to create your Will and have it checked by a lawyer to ensure it's accurate and meets the legal standards for your province, you'll actually be spending around $208.
One downside of FormalWill is that you aren't able to go back and make changes to your Will without paying an added fee. For $9.99 you could change your Will 1 time within the period of a year, for $14.99 you can make 2 changes within a period of 2 years, and for $24.99 you can make unlimited modifications to your Will within a 4-year period. They'll also try and upsell you on the other products they offer when you're checking out.
Lacking independent customer reviews
FormalWill has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) listing, but they aren't rated and no customers have left reviews, so it's not very insightful. The BBB has tried reaching out to the address listed for the company without success and it is unclear how long FormalWill has been in business. There have been some other companies that have recommended FormalWill as a safe and credible site, but we wish there was more unfiltered feedback from customers who have created their Wills there.
Not our first choice
Overall, we aren't wildly impressed with FormalWill. We tried not to let the cheesy graphics on FormalWill's website distract us from deciding if they are a good option. But, we also found their website to be slightly more wordy than their competitors', which can be overwhelming to people wanting to create a simple Will. Base prices for a Will are good, but if you want it checked by a lawyer and to have the option for making changes later, it quickly adds up. Their knowledge centre is helpful for providing information, but this is usually found with other Canadian Will creation services as well. It won't hurt to make your Will through FormalWill, but it isn't our first choice.
A common reason people don't have a Will is because they aren't sure where to start. Since it is a legal document, people worry that it's complicated or expensive, so they put it off for as long as possible. Luckily the process for Will creation has gotten easier over time with professional online services. Gone are the days of having to find time to sit down with expensive lawyers and sort out all your financial matters. Online legal services provide you with access to remote lawyers who will verify that your documents meet Canada's legal Will requirements with little effort on your part.
The online Will services will walk you through a step-by-step process and explain the information you need to provide and why. As you create your Will, you will feel confident with what you're doing and make sure not to skip any important steps. Some providers even have round-the-clock access to customer service agents you can message or talk with on the phone and answer any questions you have along the way.
When browsing through the selection of online Canadian Will services, here are a few important things to consider:
TopConsumerReviews.com has ranked the best online legal services to help you create a Will in Canada. We hope this information helps you feel peace of mind as you complete this important task!
Select any 2 Canadian Will Services to compare them head to head
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