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Best Wills in Canada

Drafting wills in Canada can be a difficult procedure. For this reason, according to research by Willful, over 57% of Canadians lack a will.

A will is vital to ensure your property is managed under your preferences after your demise. The government will divide your assets to your nearest kin if you pass away without leaving a will.

For people you leave behind, this process is more difficult. You can specify in your will to who you want to give your assets after you die.

Making sure your Will complies with all criteria is crucial. This article will give you an in-depth view of wills in Canada, the pros and cons, and other vital information.

What is a will?

A will is a legal document that stipulates how your assets will be shared after your death. Two important points that it responds to are who will inherit what and in what quantity.

The easiest method to ensure your assets are shared with the people of your choice after your demise is to plan your will.

wills in canada - comparewise

Types of wills in Canada

In Canada, there are various types of wills you can choose from. The following are three types of wills in Canada:

Holographic will

Holographic wills are wills created by you and you alone. The Civil Code requires the following from holographic wills:

  • It must be written by hand.
  • You must sign it
  • It is a good idea to consider the time and place.

Pros of a holographic will

  • It is easily accessible.
  • It’s free.

Cons of a holographic will

  • It might be misplaced, lost, or damaged.
  • Without the help of a legal adviser, you can disregard circumstances that could affect your choices.
  • If you have several grandchildren, you run the possibility of some of your last wishes not being followed out if you pay attention to some specific arrangements.

Witnessed will

This kind of will is what its name implies. It is created in the presence of two witnesses. A will drafted by a lawyer is like a will witnessed by two witnesses.

The will may be typed or handwritten. If it is not handwritten, only a printed and signed version has legal significance. However, it is impossible to serve as both a witness and an inheritor of the will simultaneously.

The witnesses are here for two reasons:

  • To certify that the document is your will and bears your signature.
  • To sign it when you have already signed the will.

Pros of a witnessed will

  • It is free if you don’t use a lawyer.

Cons of a witnessed will

  • The will must be verified after the death, which may cause fees or delays.
  • It could be misplaced or destroyed.
  • If you have several grandchildren, you run the possibility of some of your last wishes not being followed out if you pay attention to some specific arrangements.
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Notarial will

A notarial will is created with a notary’s help. For example, the notary outlines your intentions in the will while considering the monetary and domestic circumstances you face.

The notary also makes sure that they follow the legal requirements for validity. There are four essential requirements:

  • French or English must be used to write the will.
  • You must state the location and date.
  • You must sign it in front of a witness.
  • Your will must be read to you in the notary’s presence or a witness.

Pros of a notarial will

  • The notary is careful in the procedure surrounding the will; it ensures complete adherence to the civil code.
  • The counsel of a skilled lawyer can be helpful.
  • It doesn’t need to be authenticated by a notary after your passing.

Cons of a notarial will

  • There is a cost associated with having a notary draft your will.
  • A notary creates a notarial will based on your intentions and financial condition.
  • A notary must draft the will and include the date and location of the signing.
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Online wills in Canada

An online will may save lots of money and be just as legally binding as one that a lawyer created. A self-written will that you generate online using a user-friendly application is known as an online will. It takes approximately 30 minutes to make an online will.

There will be inquiries about your assets. A valid will is produced once you have given the correct details. You can create a useful Will by printing out the form, signing it in front of two witnesses, and then submitting it.

Online wills are far more practical and cost-effective than those created by lawyers. They don’t give you the knowledge and legal counsel a professional would provide.

Are online wills legal in Canada?

Yes, online wills are legal in Canada if they are adequately prepared. All Wills must adhere to a few basic requirements, whether hand, computer, or with the help of a lawyer prepare them. Online Wills works with lawyers to give you templates that reflect local laws.

You may also create a power of attorney and a living will through an online will. These two documents outline your intentions for handling your legal and financial matters.

Remember that your online will only be authentic if it is printed out and signed in the presence of two witnesses. Online signatures are not regarded as legitimate proof of law.

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The best online wills in Canada

We’ve put together five of the best online wills in Canada. These are:

Epilogue Wills

Epilogue Wills was established by two attorneys named Daniel Goldgut and Arin Klug. With Epilogue, you can make a quick and straightforward will in under 20 minutes. The will plan for couples is $329, with individual Will starting at $139.

Also, they give instructions that guide you from the start to the finish of your will. Couples may purchase two sets of paperwork, a cost-effective choice for those with varying wants, for $329. However, many other sites advise couples to make similar choices. After that, you may edit your papers for free and online.

Features of Epilogue Wills

  • Two lawyers established Epilogue Wills.
  • All Canadian provinces with an English-speaking population and others that will soon add are known for this service.
  • Wills, powers of attorney, and affidavits are the services delivered.
  • Prices range from $139 to $329.

Pros of Epilogue Wills

  • The only online will service in Canada was established and managed by two skilled lawyers.
  • They provide standard legal documents.
  • The website is vital since the founders have many years of expertise as lawyers.
  • The site features a helpful learning centre and is simple to use.
  • It provides free updates.
  • It has reliable client support.

Cons of Epilogue Wills

  • It is not available in Quebec.
best wills in canada - comparewise

Legal Wills

Legal Wills are one of Canada’s most well-known online wills. They have been in business for over twenty years. For Canadian Legal Wills, a single Will costs $39.95, and a couple’s Will costs $63.92. You may spend an additional $19.95 to include a power of attorney or a living will.

Also, Legal wills Canada provides free updates for the first year, after which you may pay a one-time charge to receive unlimited updates.

Features of Legal Wills

  • It is available in Quebec and all other Canadian regions.
  • The pricing varies according to your needs.
  • Unlimited updates for a year
  • Living Wills, Powers of attorney, and diverse estate plannings are services delivered.

Pros of Legal Wills

  • It is affordable.
  • Tremendous client service.
  • Any information needs to be explained in simple words.
  • You may add a variety of unique add-ons to your Will.

Cons of Legal Wills

  • The free updates are only for a year.

Formal Will

A lawyer established Formal Wills, and they’ve been running for over ten years. They provide specialized Will kits that are made to fit each Canadian region. The four distinct packages are a Legal Will for $59, a Pet Will for $59, a Living Will for $39, and a Power of attorney for $39.

Features of Formal Will

  • It is accessible in Canadian regions.
  • Prices vary depending on the type you choose
  • Legal Will, Living Will, Power of Attorney, and Pet Will are the services delivered.
  • A lawyer review service is provided.

Pros of Formal Will

  • Canadian lawyers created the website.
  • The site’s user interface is detailed.
  • It is accessible throughout Canada.
  • They provide lawyer review services if you need legal counsel on your will.

Cons of Formal Will

  • You’ll have to buy a peace of mind bonus to change documents.
best online wills in canada - comparewise

Willful wills

Willful is a new online will service In Canada. It was founded in 2017 and is Canada’s top option for legitimate online wills.

Creating a Will on Willful doesn’t take long because of the site’s user-friendly design. You’ll have your will ready in less than 30 minutes. Every step of the process is explained.

A Willful Will kit for the Essentials Plan is $99, the Premium Plan is $189, and the Family Plan is $329. You will only pay for the services you need.

The Essentials Plan gives you a last will so you may specify your desires for your children, your assets agent, and other issues. A living will and a power of attorney are both included in the Premium Plan. Your partner can fill out the same forms using the Family Plan.

Features of Willful

  • It is available in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario
  • Pricing is precise.
  • Three plans are available, priced at $99 for Essentials, $189 for Premium, and $329 for Couples.
  • The user interface of the website is easy to use.
  • Terrific customer service

Pros of Willful

  • The platform is user-friendly.
  • They provide easy unlimited updates.
  • Asset planning lawyers provide help when legal documents are drafted.

Cons of Willful

  • It is not accessible in every region of Canada.
  • There are better options for people with lots of properties abroad.

Canada Wills

Canada Wills is a free online site for will kits that only depend on contributions. Thus, you may draft your legal and living will online for free.

You can complete the entire process online, print off a PDF copy of the document, and sign it in the presence of two witnesses who aren’t your Will’s beneficiaries. However, it doesn’t provide the exact extent of help as the other wills in Canada.

Features of Canada Wills

  • Everywhere except Quebec.
  • No cost.
  • Advance Directive, Living Will, Last Will and Testament are services delivered.
  • Advance directives and powers of attorney are free.
  • It has provisions for caring for pets.

Pros of Canada Wills

  • Drafting your will is free.

Cons of Canada Wills

  • Not advised for those with complicated asset plans, financial difficulties, or property in different nations.
  • Poor customer service.

Advantages of online wills in Canada

It is affordable

You will save lots of money that you would have needed to pay a lawyer to outline your Will. Also, creating an online Will is clear and set. You won’t have to go through the hassle of comparing the prices of other law firms.

It is quick to get

Creating an online will take less than 30 minutes. However, a lawyer will need to create a Will, which may take up to two meetings over a few weeks or months.

It gives step-by-step directions

The criteria for signing the will, how to cover each area, and how to preserve it will all be explained to you.

It is convenient

You can create an online will in just a few steps right from the comfort of your home. You can make as many changes to your will as you’d like online before printing it out to sign, changing the document, reprinting it, and resigning it if your circumstances change.

Disadvantages of online wills in Canada

It is not available everywhere

Most internet services are absent in Quebec, and not all are accessible in every region.

It is not appropriate in complex situations

Online will is not a good option if you have complex legal issues, significant assets, or properties abroad. You would require specialized Wills and legal counsel.

How to write an online will

When creating an online will, there are key points to keep in mind.

  • You should begin by choosing the best online will for your situation. That entails looking past the cost and learning what that cost contains. Find out if upgrades are permitted because your situation can change, and you’ll want your will to take that into account.
  • Ask a family member or friend to serve as your executor before you draft your will. They serve as the individual you wish to carry out the terms of the will. Choosing an executor is a requirement when writing a will.
  • Drafting the online will is a simple process. You may finish the process in 30 minutes or less. However, how complex your case is will decide this.
  • Write the beneficiaries, including the people you wish to receive your assets. You should be clear about how you want your assets to be distributed.
  • A power of attorney may be part of your online will. The information might be included when you make your will. You can also provide more details you think are essential.
  • Print out your will after filling out the details, then sign it in front of two witnesses. You must sign it in writing because you cannot use a printed signature.

Why do you need a will?

It is crucial to have end-of-life planning even though it’s not something you want to give much thought to. It is crucial if you have a husband, children or anyone else who depends on you financially.

You can specify who will share your property after your demise through a will. Your assets may be shared against your choice if you don’t draft a will.

A will is the only way to specify your wishes on who should inherit your property and how much they should get. You don’t need to have an enormous asset to create a will.

When a will is precise, wills online can make sense since they are quick, cheap, and lawfully comparable to legal wills. Creating a will is something you should do if you have money, investments, or property.

What are the most important things to put in a will?

Each will differ depending on the situation and the assets in your name. Here are the essential things each will should have:

Objects, aids, and heirs

The assets, properties, and possessions that will be given to each of your beneficiaries should be specified in your will. It should also determine what will happen and how assets will be shared if a beneficiary dies before you.

Selection of an executor

An executor who will care for your affairs after your death must be named in your will. They will carry out the instructions in your will, transfer money to your beneficiaries, and represent your business and financial interests. Other backup executors should also be named in case the chief executor cannot carry out their duties.

Power of attorney

You should describe the authority granted to your trustees to manage your financial affairs in this part of your will. Examples of these rights are the power to sell property, pay taxes, transfer assets to beneficiaries, invest money, and resolve any claims made against your assets.

Custody of children

Any child still living may require a custody appointment if both parents pass away. Also, you can specify resources for your children’s guardian(s) to use to pay for the expense of providing for them.

Last wishes

This is the option to specify any funeral requests in your will. While your choices are not lawfully mandatory, your loved ones will likely honour them if you express them in your will.

Typical mistakes when writing wills in Canada

These are typical mistakes people make when writing their wills.

  • Forgetting to have witnesses when drafting your will and signing the will. You must make sure the testator and two witnesses sign your will. If not, it is not deemed enforceable.
  • Making a will on behalf of a person. You cannot draft a will on someone else’s behalf. Only when the will has been drafted by themself is it considered legal.
  • Other than British Columbia, storing the will online. They recognize only the original copy with the original signatures.
  • Not revealing where your will is to anyone. After your demise, it may be challenging if no one knows where your will is or if no one has a copy. Since only the original copy of your will is legitimate, ensure your executor knows where you kept it.
  • Creating a video does not count. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot record yourself telling someone else what to do. There must be a documented legal will.

Final thoughts about the best wills in Canada

Most Canadians may access and afford will kits, but only some have legal cases that these resources can address.

Will kits are made for simple wills that include sharing assets, appointing who will care for children, and making preparations for your last days. Pick one of these various wills in Canada today.

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FAQs about Wills in Canada

Have a different question? Contact us today.

What is a will?

A Will, also known as a Last Will and Testament, is a legally prepared and bound document that states your intentions for the distribution of your assets and wealth after your death. In the event you have children, a valid Will also allows you to designate who will care for them.  A Will, however, is only one part of a comprehensive Estate Plan.

Who should get a will?

If you have an inheritance, even if it's in trust, you should consider writing your will. If you have specific plans for a beloved pet frog should you yourself croak, get a will. If you have money or objects you want to leave to a specific person, group, or charity, you'll want one.

How do wills work?

While you are living you create a will and then once you pass away the will acts as legal instructions for how your estate should be divided amongst your beneficiaries.

What kind of will is legal in Canada?

A holographic or handwritten will is legal in many Canadian regions. You must sign the will in your handwriting. That is the sole condition for the court to accept a handwritten will. There should be sufficient proof to verify your authorship of the will. Other supporting papers that could include your handwriting can also be used.

What is the average cost of a will in Canada?

According to Canadian lawyer magazine, an essential will for a person costs $400, a complex will cost $800–1,100, a financial power of attorney costs $150–200, and a living will cost $100–200. Regardless, you must be mindful of unnecessary additional fees.

Is it legal to write your own will in Canada?

Yes, in Canada, it is legal to write your own will. There is no rule that you must follow a particular will-writing procedure or go to a lawyer. There are many legal ways to create your own will in Canada, including online wills, will kits, etc.

Are online wills valid in Canada?

Yes, online wills are valid in all of Canada. Regardless, not all sites are active in all regions. For instance, Willful is offered in British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta. It’s not an option for you if you live outside these regions. Legal Wills is a different site that is accessible in all Canadian provinces and territories except Quebec.

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