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Formal Will Review

Tuesday, March 28th

2023 Canadian Will Service Reviews

Formal Will Review 3 Star Rating

Formal Will

3 Star Rating
  • Competitive base pricing
  • 5 products available
  • Option for a lawyer to review your Will
  • Thorough knowledge centre resources

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.

Best Canadian Will Services

Hidden costs

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.

Where is the Best Place to Create a Canadian Will?

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.

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Canadian Will Service FAQ

A Will is a legal document that outlines a person's wishes as to how their property and assets will be distributed once they pass away. It can also specify a person who is to manage their property as well. A Will holds up in court and ensures that all the asset management proceedings after you die are taken care of legally.
It's a good idea for everyone to have a Will. Once you turn 18, you are able to legally create one. Most people start thinking about creating their Will once they have children and start obtaining property and other valuables. This way they know that everything and everyone will be taken care of in the event that they suddenly pass.
A Will does not go into effect until you die. No one listed in the Will has any right or claim to assets or property if you are still alive. You maintain the rights to all of your property in the meantime. Once a person passes, their Will must be submitted for probate in circuit court to make sure that asset distribution is legal.
If you're planning to work one-on-one with a lawyer, a Will could cost you hundreds of dollars. Luckily, with online tools, you can quickly create a Will for a nominal fee. Some companies require you to pay for a subscription and to give you access to any legal document creation you want, while others allow you to buy one specific document. The final cost usually ends up being under $100.
No! With so many Will creation companies online, it is easy to walk step-by-step through the process and include everything you need in your Will. These companies have lawyers who review documents: they know the laws in each state to make sure your Will includes everything you need it to and that it holds up in court. You can think of online Will creation as a fill-in-the-blank process that eliminates a lot of the stress.
Making changes to a Will is not difficult. You can amend, update, modify, or even revoke your last Will if necessary. Another option is adding what is called a codicil, which is an amendment or addition to the Will. As long as your Will is signed and dated by you and a witness at the end of a modification, it remains legally binding.
Wills that have gone through probate become public record. This means that anyone can show up at the courthouse and view a Will in its entirety. County courthouses file Wills in a department called The Register of Wills.
If you pass away without having made a Will, the probate process kicks in and the state will handle your assets. Usually, they assign a personal representative to distribute your assets (typically the surviving spouse). The property will likely be distributed evenly to heirs, who might include parents, a spouse, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and distant relatives. If you have specific instructions for what you want done with your property and assets, it is best to have a Will.
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Continued from above...

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:

  • Cost. Whenever you are dealing with legal documentation, you might expect to pay a big chunk of change. Make sure you know you're paying for a credible service that's staying competitive with other companies who offer similar services. You shouldn't be paying a painful amount to create a Will.
  • Professionalism. What is the background of the staff members and attorneys working for the company? Are their policies transparent? It helps if they offer a legal team to answer your questions as you work through the Will creation process.
  • Information provided. You never want to feel confused or unsure of information you're putting into your Will. Legal jargon can be frustrating since the majority of people aren't trained in how to interpret it. Don't let this make you uneasy or cause you to overlook details because you're confused. Use a company that offers help articles, direct access to customer service or lawyers, and a legal dictionary when possible.

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!

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