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Online Will

Creating a will gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your wishes will be carried out after you’re gone. It’s also an excellent way to prevent conflict among your loved ones. You have a few options when making your will, such as going to a lawyer, using a will-writing service, or writing it yourself.

If you live in Canada, you can now add online will-making to that list. You may be wondering why you want to make your will online. After all, it’s not like you can type up your will and hit “send.” But there are a few advantages to using an online will-making service.

If you’re ready to create an online will, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Keep reading to learn things you need to know about online wills in Canada!

What is an Online will?

A will that is created online is referred to as an online will, and it is one that the testator writes on their own by utilizing an interactive online tool. The processing time is based on the platform you choose; during that time, you will be asked several questions about your properties.

After you have adequately completed entering the information, you can then print your will. 

You would have created your valid will after you have printed the document, signed it in the presence of two witnesses, and then taken it with you to be notarized. If the will is not signed correctly, it is not legally valid, and your properties may be handled as if you passed away without a will. 

People choose to create their wills online for various reasons, the most prominent of which is that doing so is far more practical and cost-effective than going via a lawyer. Another reason is privacy because some people may feel uncomfortable informing a lawyer about their properties.

The main issue with creating a will without informing a lawyer is that you won’t have access to the knowledge and guidance that a lawyer can provide when it comes to legal matters. 

Importance of creating an online will

As you get to legal age and have someone depending on you financially, you must ensure you have a valid will. Creating a will allows you to choose how your properties should be allocated after passing.

If you do not have a will, the choice of who will manage your estate will be made by the provincial government. 

Having a will that is signed and legally binding assures that your assets will go to the people you want them to go to and that the process will be finished in a more timely manner, reducing the burden on the dear ones you are leaving behind when you pass away.

Thanks to the availability of online will platforms, drawing up a will in this day and age is less complicated than it has ever been. You can even do it without leaving the house.

Steps to consider when creating an online will

1. Make a decision on the kinds of witnesses that you need

A legitimate will requires the signature of two witnesses who are not connected to the property or possessions that are bequeathed in the will. Therefore, before drafting a will, it is essential to identify who the witnesses will be so that the process of establishing a will may be completed as quickly as possible. 

2. Appoint an executor

It would be best if you designated someone you can trust to carry out your wishes, such as a spouse, child, or close family friend, to act as your executor.

The person you designate should be reliable, organized, and comfortable interacting with the beneficiaries; they might be friends or family members. As a general rule, a Will empowers the Executor to use estate funds to hire outside assistance if necessary.

You always have the option of using the services of a professional, such as a banker or a lawyer, in the event that you do not know anybody in your immediate social circle who is ready to step into this position.

3. Choose a legal custodian/ guardian(s)

This person or set of people will be legally and financially responsible for your minor children in the event of your death and your spouse’s. You can also choose a guardian that will look after your pets during your absence.

It is of the utmost significance that you choose suitable guardians and those in whom you have complete faith to properly look after any individuals or animals that you entrust to their care.

4. Type in the names of the people who will benefit from your will 

Include all the individuals and charity institutions that will benefit from your generosity in this category. You are free to pick anybody you want to help, whether it is your spouse/common-law partner, children, other relatives/dependents, friends, neighbors, charities, or anyone else. 

You will also need to include the assets that each person will receive from your properties. It may be from your estate or any specified objects such as jewelry, clothes, or artworks you wish to give as presents.

5. If you so want, you may leave funeral preparation instructions

You may include your last wishes for your funeral in your will. Donating your organs and tissues to those who need them is another option. You may also specify whether you wish to be a body donor for scientific study.

6. Have two witnesses sign and notarize the printed copy

Because your witnesses can’t be beneficiaries of your estate in any way, the online platform could assist you in selecting the appropriate individuals to serve in that capacity.

In addition to this, you are required to sign your name using pen and ink because online wills will not recognize digital signatures as valid forms of identification for the testator.

People who can make use of an online will platform in Canada

If any of the following apply to you, you might consider using an online will:

  • You are a property owner in Canada.
  • You are either single, lawfully married, divorced, or in a common-law relationship.
  • You are looking to appoint a guardian who will look after your kids in case something happens to you.
  • You have select family members to whom you would want to bequeath monetary gifts, works of art, or jewelry.
  • You plan to leave a charitable contribution in the form of money or a portion of your estate.
  • You have a pet and wish to appoint a guardian for it as well as leave a part of your assets to that guardian so that they may take care of it.
  • You need to draft up some paperwork giving someone power of attorney so that if you become unable to make choices for yourself due to illness or incapacity, your preferences may be communicated to others, and they can act on your behalf (sometimes known as a living will)

Wills created online in Canada are perfectly legal in every province. However, at this time, not all online will platforms are active in every province in Canada. Your greatest bet in the case of a complaint is to choose an online will platform headquartered in the same province as you.

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Are online wills legal in Canada?

Wills created online are legal. However, in order for it to be considered a valid will in Canada, a few further processes need to be done before it can be considered complete.

Although laws concerning wills are governed by separate bodies of laws in each province, the fundamental criteria are the same throughout the nation.

It is essential to clearly understand that in Canada, the legal validity of a will is not dependent on whether or not an attorney drafted it, nor is it decided by the particular technique used to prepare it.

For a will to be valid in Canada, it has to follow some essential criteria like signature from two witnesses, and a person must write the will with a good state of mind, among others.

Criteria that determine a legal will in Canada

In Canada, a will must fulfill the following essential requirements in order to be considered a valid and legally enforceable document, regardless of how the will itself was drafted. The following are some criteria you need;

It would be best if you were at least the legal age in your province to participate

The age at which you are able to make a will varies from province to province, and certain states and countries let a minor write a will if they have been married, had children, or have a common-law spouse. 

Written by you when in a clear state of mind 

This means that you must write the will when you are in a good state of mind and not acting irrationally. You must write a will when you are fully conscious of your actions.

Signature on your will

After creating an online will, it needs to be printed out. The testator needs to sign it using ink on a physical piece of paper at the very end of the document. The version of a will that has been printed up and signed by the testator is one that is most likely to be accepted by the legal system. 

In addition to the testator’s signature, they will also need the witnesses’ signatures, which must be provided when the testator is present.

A Will must, at a minimum, say that it is the testator’s Will and be signed and dated by the testator. It is essential to remember that the testator’s signature or an acknowledgment of that signature must come first before the signature of any witness.

Type of witnesses that are allowed

Alongside being signed by a testator, an online will must be signed by two witnesses who were present at the time of the testator’s signing. These witnesses might be any two individuals who are not beneficiaries of the Will.

They do not need to be related to the testator. In general, the witnesses should have zero interaction whatsoever with the items included in the will.

As long as you satisfy the requirements outlined above and alongside other ones required in your province, your will is considered to be valid and enforceable under the law.

Pros of Online wills

Listed below are advantages that are linked with writing a will via the use of the internet:

Price

Online wills are more cost-effective than traditional ones since they allow you to draft your will directly on the website, after which it is just necessary to print it out and sign it. If you create a will using an internet service, you won’t need the assistance of an attorney, which means you’ll be able to save money.

Time

Creating a will online is a quick and straightforward process. Putting together an online will need under an hour of your time to finish. The actual process of utilizing a platform to draft your will online is short, and you can complete it at a date and time that is suitable for you.

Once you’ve made crucial selections (such as your executor, guardians, and beneficiaries), the process itself is simple.

Convenience

Wills created online may be completed at your leisure and without leaving the house. You do not have to visit the office of a lawyer in order to create your will; rather, you can do it in the convenience of your own home or at the location where you are employed.

The best part is you will not be required to book an appointment or rearrange your schedule in order to accommodate someone else’s.

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Cons of Online wills

There are a few drawbacks associated with using an online will, despite the fact that writing one may be simple and the process is quite handy.

The online will only function well under challenging scenarios

If you have a complex legal scenario, you will not be able to use an online will platform since it is not capable of handling your needs. The use of online wills is most effective for straightforward wills rather than complex estates.

Not accessible in every location

The vast majority of online will platforms are not accessible in the province of Quebec, and some of these platforms are not available in all provinces in Canada.

Inability to retain the services of a lawyer

Because it is possible to draft a will on your own using an internet service, the majority of individuals do not seek the assistance of an attorney to reduce the impact of estate taxes or to get legal guidance.

Storage

Wills are traditionally stored with lawyers, who are responsible for ensuring that the deceased person’s intentions are carried out and communicated to the appropriate beneficiaries.

But when you use an online will platform, you are responsible for safely storing your will and making sure your wills are communicated to the appropriate parties after you pass away.

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FAQs about online wills in Canada

What is an online will?

A will known as an online will is one that is drafted by the person utilizing a platform that is appropriate for the task. A will that is created online is a valid legal document that fulfills the same purposes as a will that an attorney produces. Even though they are not crafted with the assistance of a real-life expert, the vast majority of online will providers offer some direction to their users.

Can I store my will online?

It is not against the law to use a website to write your will. Nevertheless, it would be best if you always have a hard copy, have it signed by two witnesses, and put it away in a secure location. This is the only method to guarantee that your will is legally enforceable. Make sure you let your executor know where it is so they can retrieve it after you have passed away. Regrettably, at this time, Canadian law does not permit wills to be signed or stored online; thus, this option is not available. This is true for every will, regardless of the process used to draft it.  

Can an online will be subject to legal challenge in a court?

Yes, any form of will can be challenged in a court of law. It makes no difference whether your will was drafted on a piece of paper, or even by an experienced lawyer; it is always possible for it to be challenged in court.  There is a significant difference between the legal validity of your will at the time it was drafted and its viability in court if it is challenged at a later date. It is the responsibility of the court that is examining that particular will to decide whether or not it accurately conveys your intentions and whether or not to maintain it. Although it is essential to remember that any will may be challenged, the best approach to guarantee that your will is upheld in court is to draft it in such a manner that it states your goals in a clear and unmistakable way.  

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Find affordable rates on online wills in Canada

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