Your last will and testament give you the ability to determine how your assets are distributed following your passing. If you have minor children or pets, you can also specify how you would like them to be cared for.
Having a legal will in place is a key part of estate planning, however, you’d be surprised at how many Canadians don’t have a will.
One reason for this slow uptake in creating a will may be due to the perceived costs, and another may be the reluctance of most people to discuss their own mortality with others.
An online will that has been done correctly is just as legal as a will written by a lawyer and could cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars less.
In this post, I cover some of the legal online will kits available in Canada, how much they cost, and the pros and cons of online will kits.
Best Online Wills in Canada for 2020
Here is a summary of the best online wills in Canada:
Online Will Kit
Best for Frequent Changes
Are Online Wills Legal in Canada?
Given the importance that a will carries, you definitely want to be sure that if you use an online will kit, it will be valid and legally enforceable.
The simple answer to whether online wills are legal is that an online will is legal in Canada if it is completed correctly. Heck, you can actually hand-write a will (holographic will) and sign it without any witnesses and it would be valid in court.
That being said, any last will and testament, whether handwritten, completed online, or drafted with the help of a lawyer needs to reflect and meet certain basic criteria.
Legal online will kits work with experienced estate lawyers to create templates that reflect the Estate Law in different jurisdictions.
Two of the online will kits noted in this post do not offer their services in Quebec due to differences in Quebec law e.g. in Quebec you also have the option of a notarial will which only requires a notary to sign it.
You can also prepare a power of attorney and living will document using an online will service. These documents specify how you want your legal, finances, and health affairs to be managed.
Lastly, an online will has to be printed on paper and signed in the presence of two witnesses for it to be valid. The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of your will.
Best Online Wills in Canada
The best online will-writing services in Canada simplify the process and you can have a legal will in as little as 20 minutes. Since you don’t need the services of an estate planning attorney, you can also easily save several hundreds of dollars in fees.
Compared to the generic DIY kit you can buy in stores like Staples or Walmart, an online kit accommodates more scenarios and is tailored to reflect provincial probate legislation.
Willful was founded in 2017 and is our top choice for legal online wills in Canada. The company offers three will packages including a basic, premium, and couples (mirrored) plan.
Willful will kits start at $99 and go up to $249 for a comprehensive couples plan.
You can include a Power of Attorney and healthcare directive in your last will and testament. All plans offer unlimited updates.
When you sign up for any Willful plan and use the promo code SAVVY20, you receive a $20 discount.
For more details about the service they offer, read our Willful review.
- Available in: Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and British Columbia.
- Cost: $99 to $249
- Promo code: Use SAVVY20 to get a $20 discount.
2. Legal Wills
LegalWills.ca is a popular provider of online wills, power of attorney, and living wills in Canada, with over 20 years in business.
This online will service is $39.95 for a single will and $63.92 for a mirrored will (couples). If you want to add a power of attorney or living will, you can pay for their services separately at $29.95 and $19.95 respectively.
LegalWills offers free updates for 1-year and you can pay a one-time fee for unlimited updates and storage beyond one year…up to $124.95.
When you enter the promo code SAVVY20, you receive a 20% discount off any LegalWills order.
- Available in: All provinces in Canada, except Quebec.
- Cost: Varies depending on your needs.
- Promo code: Use SAVVY20 to get a 20% discount.
Epilogue is an online Will-making platform in Canada founded by two former estate planning lawyers.
Their Will document service for individuals starts at $139 and goes up to $289 for a couples’ comprehensive Wills and Powers of Attorney plan.
Creating your Will on Epilogue is easy and can be completed within 20 minutes. They provide guidance from start to finish.
You can also update your documents online for free at any time.
- Available in: Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and with plans to launch in the Atlantic provinces later this year.
- Cost: $139 to $289.
- Promo Code: Use SAVVY20 for a $20 discount.
FormalWill is a Canadian online will kit service founded by a lawyer. Their will kits are custom-tailored to work with each province and territory in Canada.
They offer various packages including a legal will ($59), power of attorney ($39), living will ($39), and a pet will ($59). You are not able to make changes to your legal will with FormalWill unless you purchase a “peace of mind bonus.”
The power of attorney and living will documents available on FormalWill cannot be updated.
If you’d like to have a lawyer look over your will or provide advice, they have a lawyer review service that costs up to $249. You can save 10% off any FormalWill plan or when you use the SAVVY10 discount code.
- Available in: All Canadian provinces and territories.
- Cost: Varies depending on the package you select.
- Promo code: Enter SAVVY10 to get a 10% discount.
Pros and Cons of Online Will Kits
There are benefits and downsides associated with creating a will online.
Fast: Willful advertises that you can complete your will in under 20 minutes. A will drafted by a lawyer will likely take a couple of weeks, maybe even a month before it is completed.
Cheap: You will spend hundreds of dollars less in fees. An easy comparison would be approximately $100 using an online will kit vs. $1,000 or more with a lawyer.
The cost of an online will is fixed and apparent upfront. You do not need to shop around to compare fees between different law firms.
Convenient: You (the testator) can complete the process of making a will online from the comfort of your home. The online platform allows you to make as many changes as you’d like before printing your will for signatures.
You can also update, reprint, and sign if your assets or circumstances change.
Step-by-step guidance: You will be guided on how to complete each section of the will, signing requirements, and how to store your will.
Online will kits do not work for individuals who have complex assets or properties abroad. Also if you have a blended family or are looking to stagger distributions to your children, you would benefit from customized legal advice.
Legalwills and Willful do not offer services in Quebec at this time.
Is An Online Will Right For You?
If you have dependents or assets you would like to pass on to beneficiaries, you should definitely create a will.
An online will is an affordable and legally valid option if your estate planning requirements are straightforward.
You can save $20 off any Willful plan when you use our promo code SAVVY20.
I have also provided a promo code – SAVVY20 – to save 20% if you choose to go with LegalWills.
For Epilogue Wills, use SAVVY20 to get a $20 discount.
The majority of Canadians can safely create a will online, however, if you have a complex estate or trust arrangement, you will benefit from seeking legal advice.