Writing a legally valid Last Will and Testament often doesn’t come cheap if you are using a lawyer.
And this is because your estate planning needs may just require more work to put everything in place and lawyers are generally expensive.
That said, if you have a straightforward estate, you could easily create your Will using an online Will service or even opt for a free Will Kit or template.
In this article, I cover some of the best free Will Kits in Canada and affordable premium options you can consider.
What is a Will Kit?
A Will Kit is a fill-in-the-blanks standard template you can use to create your Last Will and Testament.
Since it is pre-printed, a Will Kit does not offer much for customizations and you should ensure it meets the minimum requirements necessary for it to be valid in your province.
A good Will Kit usually comes with instructions on how to fill out the template.
Free Will Kits in Canada for 2021
Four of the most popular free Will kits in Canada are offered by:
1. Canada Wills
Canada Wills has been providing a free legal Will service to Canadians for over 20 years. It also offers this service in the United States via AmericaWills.com.
You can use the platform to create a Last Will and Testament plus a Living Will, Medical Power of Attorney, and Advance Directive document.
These documents are 100% free on Canada Wills. To keep the service they provide free, they recommend that users make a voluntary gift via PayPal to Proactive West Enterprises Inc.
After writing your Will, you can download, print it off, and append the required signatures.
LawDepot was founded in 2001 and offers estate planning and other legal documents (over 150) in Canada, the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
While LawDepot advertises that you can use the platform to create your free Last Will and Testament documents, the process is not straightforward.
It offers three licensing options:
Free Trial: After creating your Will, you get access to the documents for 1 week by signing up for a free trial. A $39 per month fee applies after the trial ends.
One Year Pro: You can buy a 1-year license for $95.88 plus GST. This subscription allows you to create, update, and print off as many documents as you like throughout the year. Your subscription is renewed every year until it is cancelled.
Pay As You Go: You can pay per document with prices ranging from $7.50 to $49.
While you can technically get your Will documents for free on LawDepot by signing up for a free trial and cancelling your subscription within 7 days, the service could potentially end up costing you a lot more than LegalWills or Willful.
3. The Free Will Kit
This U.S.-based company offers a free Will Kit that may or may not meet your needs as a Canadian.
After completing the form on their site, you get a package that includes a Last Will and Testament, a Living Will with Health Care Surrogate, and a Will Kit workbook.
A local representative of the company will contact you to schedule delivery and they may try to sell you other services you don’t need.
4. Free Legal Will Kit
Free Legal Will Kit is another American company that offers its free Will Kit in Ontario, Alberta, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick.
Like The Free Will Kit service above, an agent of this company contacts you to arrange delivery of the kit in-person or electronically.
While the Will templates you receive are free, they may try to sell you other products as well.
You will get a:
- Last Will and Testament template
- Durable Power of Attorney Form
- Advanced Directive
- Instructional workbook
Pros of a Free Will Kit
A free legal Will Kit can mean the difference between dying intestate and having no say in how your assets are dispersed and having your last wishes respected.
Free means you don’t have to pay up to a thousand dollars or more to a lawyer.
And, after death, a valid legal Will can save your family time and stress if they don’t have to fight over who gets what or wait for the government to appoint an executor.
Cons of a Free Will Kit
Like the free Will Kits and templates you can get at Staples, Walmart, or Amazon, a free online Will Kit has potential downsides including:
- You get general templates that may not be customizable or suitable for your needs.
- If your situation changes, you need to start afresh by creating another Will from scratch. You can’t simply add updates to your Will online, print, and re-sign before witnesses.
- Free may not really be “free”. For example, LawDepot Wills can only be downloaded for free during a Trial period which requires you to provide your credit card details. Without this information, you can’t download the Will you created.
- There is limited or no support available. If you have questions about the template, there may be no one to ask questions.
- Free Will Kit templates are not suitable if you have a complex estate e.g. assets abroad or children from multiple spouses, etc.
Premium Online Wills in Canada
A premium online Will Service costs much less than getting a lawyer while offering some personalization, support, access to online updates, and more.
Two affordable alternatives to a free Last Will and Testament in Canada are:
|Premium Will Kits||Highlights||Save Money|
|LegalWills||Best Value||Use SAVVY20 to get a 20% discount|
|Willful||Best Premium||Use SAVVY20 to get $20 off|
LegalWills.ca has been providing Will writing services in Canada for over 20 years.
It is available in all provinces and territories and also supports Wills that are customized for Quebec.
Estate planning documents provided by LegalWills include:
- Last Will and Testament
- Power of Attorney
- Living Will
- Expatriate Will
- Funeral Wishes
- Digital Vault
- Life Locker
Fees: A Last Will and Testament costs $39.95. You can also choose from one of its popular packages that include other legal documents (i.e. Power of Attorney, Living Will, etc.) with prices ranging from $69.95 to $129.95
LegalWills offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the service.
Promotion: Get a 20% discount when you use our exclusive promo code SAVVY20.
Learn more about the platform in this LegalWills review.
Willful is a premium online Will platform that offers free updates for life.
You can use it to create your legal Last Will and Testament and Power of Attorney documents (finance/property and healthcare).
Creating your Will on Willful takes about 20 minutes to complete and they provide step-by-step guidance throughout.
Fees: A Legal Will plan costs $99. You can add a Power of Attorney for finance and property as well as a Power of Attorney for healthcare and pay $149 for the full package. Couples can get a family Will plan starting at $250.
All Willfull Will plans come with unlimited free updates and Willfull is available in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and British Columbia.
You can also learn more in this Willful review.
Are Free Will Kits Legit?
A free Will Kit may be legally binding if it is completed accurately and:
- Signed by your hand in the presence of two witnesses
- Signed by two witnesses in your presence and each other
Before relying on a free Will Kit for your estate planning, do your due diligence to ensure it is valid for your province and situation.
Free Will Kit FAQs
Yes, a DIY Will is legal in Canada and this includes handwritten holographic Wills.
The Government of Canada website provides general information about making Wills and planning your estate. It does not provide a Will Kit. That said, there are Will Kits sold on Staples that are advertised as “government of Canada Will Kit”.
Yes, some of the free Will template companies on this list offer to mail you a free Will Kit.
Some are and some aren’t. Some free Will Kits collect your credit card information and hope you forget to cancel after a trial period so they can bill your credit card.
You can use an online Will template or simply write your Will by hand on paper and sign it.
Yes, holographic Wills or homemade handwritten Wills are legal in Ontario.