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Formal Will Review

Wednesday, May 29th

2024 Canadian Will Service Reviews

Formal Will Review 2 Star Rating

Formal Will

2 Star Rating
  • $79 to create a Will
  • $59 to create a Power of Attorney
  • $59 to create a Healthcare Power of Attorney (Living Will)
  • Can consult with a lawyer for an extra fee

So, you've decided it's time to take the plunge into the world of online legal wills, and you've stumbled upon FormalWill, self-proclaimed Canada's leader in the game. Founded by a Canadian lawyer, it touts itself as the go-to platform for those seeking an affordable, legally-binding will crafted from the comfort of their homes. Intriguing, right? Well, let's break down the pros and cons of this online service, so you can make an informed decision on whether FormalWill is the right fit for your will-making journey.

Simple online process

The process of creating your documents through FormalWill is extremely straightforward: fill out the online form by answering the questions, watch the progress bar move along as you go from page to page, and you're done. While we think it would be helpful if the interface let users move freely from one section to the next (maybe you're not quite ready to list out your bequests but you want to get your beneficiaries entered), it's not a total dealbreaker.

Under $80 for a basic will

Let's talk money. The cost of creating your will on FormalWill is a wallet-friendly $79, tax included. Compared to some competitors, this is a reasonable price tag for ensuring your assets are distributed as per your wishes.

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Other estate-related documents available too

Beyond a traditional will, this service offers several other options which include a Power of Attorney ($59), Healthcare Power of Attorney (AKA Living Will, $59), and even a Pet Will ($49). You'll see all of those products featured on the main Wills page at FormalWill.

Lawyer reviews for an additional fee

Worried about the legal nitty-gritty? Check out FormalWill's Knowledge Centre to show you around a little. Want to be extra-sure your will meets all of the requirements where you live? For an additional fee of $249, you can have a lawyer review your paperwork. It's a handy option if you want that extra layer of assurance that your document aligns with the legal standards of your province. The same goes for having a review of your Power of Attorney or Living Will ($149 each).

Pay attention to the extra costs

Brace yourself for the fine print that you'll only discover at checkout: making changes to your will comes at a cost here. For $19.99, you get the ability to tweak your document as much as you like within two years. If you prefer unlimited modifications over a three-year period, be prepared to shell out $24.99.

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Is anyone home?

Where FormalWill really leaves us hanging is reputation. In our previous evaluation, we noted that the Better Business Bureau listed the service as not having enough information to issue a rating. Okay, that's fine, maybe we just need to give it some time. Or not. Even the BBB wonders if FormalWill is out of business, with an alert saying that the mail they attempted to send to the company's registered address came back as "undeliverable" . Granted, we found a different address on the FormalWill website, but that came back as a lawyer's office and not specifically FormalWill's. And, when we called the toll-free number during standard business hours, we went through several prompts, waited a few minutes "for the next available representative" , only to be put in the "please leave a message" general voicemail box.

Don't waste your time here

None of this exactly screams "top Canadian service for creating wills" , does it? We've moved FormalWill down a notch in our ratings: it's not fraudulent, necessarily, but it certainly doesn't have the level of professionalism you'll find with our higher-ranking options (like modern websites, clear pricing prior to the checkout page, and, you know, representatives who actually answer the phone when you call them). We'd say that FormalWill is one to skip.

Where is the Best Place for Canadians to Create a Will?

Planning for the inevitable isn't exactly a dinner table conversation starter, but creating a will is a critical step in securing your legacy. Let's face it, none of us relish the thought of sorting out our assets posthumously. Leaving this to chance, however, means that legislation and the courts take the reins, deciding who inherits your estate and how much they receive.

In the absence of heirs, your hard-earned assets might even end up in the hands of the government. Not exactly the legacy you'd want, right? The good news is that creating a will is more straightforward than you might imagine, and the peace of mind it provides is immeasurable. So, buckle up, and let's explore why it's time to make your will a priority.

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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...

The stumbling block for many is the uncertainty of where to start. The mystique around legal documents, coupled with the fear of complexity and cost, often leads people to procrastinate on this crucial task. The days of wrestling with schedules to consult pricey lawyers are behind us. Thanks to advancements in online legal services, the process has become more accessible than ever. Why not embrace this hassle-free approach to creating your will?

Online will services have emerged as a game-changer, simplifying the process and making it user-friendly. No need to navigate the labyrinth of legal jargon alone - these services guide you through a step-by-step process, demystifying each section and explaining the significance of the information required. Concerned about missing an essential step? No need to worry, because these platforms ensure that you leave no stone unturned.

One of the most significant advantages of utilizing online will services is the convenience of remote access to legal professionals. These experts not only verify that your documents meet Canada's legal requirements but also serve as your virtual guide, answering questions and providing assistance whenever needed. With some services even offering round-the-clock access to customer service agents, you can embark on this journey with confidence, knowing that support is just a message or call away.

As you start exploring your options among online Canadian will services, there are a few key considerations to bear in mind:

  • Cost. Of course, as everyone knows, legal documentation can be a financial burden. Opt for a credible service that strikes a balance between cost-effectiveness and quality. Creating a will should not break the bank.
  • Information provided. Don't let legal jargon befuddle you. Choose a service that offers clear guidance through help articles, direct access to customer service or lawyers, and maybe even a legal dictionary, ensuring that you understand every detail you're putting into your will.
  • Professionalism and reputation. The background of the staff members and attorneys associated with the service is crucial. Transparency in policies and the availability of a legal team to address your questions add an extra layer of assurance. When possible, see what other people have said about the company and their experience with creating a will.

At Top Consumer Reviews, we've done the legwork to rank the best online legal services for creating a will in Canada. Our aim is to equip you with the information you need to navigate this essential task confidently. Your peace of mind is our priority, and we hope this guide empowers you to take charge of your legacy. After all, planning for the future doesn't have to be intimidating - it just requires the right tools and a bit of guidance.

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