How to Use the Government of Canada Will Kit

How to Use the Government of Canada Will Kit

Knowing how to use a Government of Canada will kit can make all the difference when planning your finances and estate. However, there’s no official Government of Canada will kit to make your plans faster.

The primary reason why there is no official Government of Canada will kit is that each province operates under different laws. These laws make it difficult for the federal government to develop a general kit. The good part is that there are still steps you can take to create a basic, legal will on your own.

In this article, we’ll walk through the available options to use instead of a Government of Canada will kit.

Why isn’t there a Government of Canada will kit?

The Canadian government doesn’t offer a Will kit because a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t suit the complex, individual legal needs of will-making. Generic kits often lack updates and don’t consider unique province rules, often making them unsuitable.

The enforceability of DIY wills is also questionable; courts might not recognize typed sections, only handwritten ones, potentially invalidating significant parts of a will. Hence, the government provides only general information, steering clear of endorsing any standardized Will kit.

Types of will kits in Canada

Knowing that a will kit is a document people use to create their will without a lawyer, let us look into the types of will kits.

DIY will kits

DIY (Do it yourself) will kits typically come with instructions and fill-in-the-blank forms that people can use to make their will. They are usually sold in bookstores or other supermarkets, where they are bought, filled and signed appropriately.

Online will kits

Online will kits are usually forms that are filled out online, after which they are printed and signed by the testator and the witnesses in ink. Some online will kits are completely free to use, while others charge little fees. It is still very affordable compared to when you consult a lawyer.

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Where to get Canadian will kits for free

Here are some free will-kits that you can use:

CanadaWills

Of all the free online will-kits, CanadaWills is the best. The platform has been serving the people of Canada for over 20 years. Wills obtained on this platform are valid in all provinces except Quebec.

They rely on voluntary donations to run the platform. You can fill in your details appropriately, download, and print after that, all for free. It is perfect for low-income earners and people who do not have a complicated estate situation.

Free legal will kit

This American company offers services to parts of Canada, such as Ontario, New Brunswick, Alberta, and Prince Edward Island.

After filling in your details, you will be contacted by the company’s agent on your preferred channel to receive your will.

While delivering your will to you, they might try to sell other products and services to you. But it’s OK if you don’t buy any.

LawDepot

This platform provides legal services in Canada, the UK, the US and Australia. The platform is not entirely free as they have monthly, yearly and pay-as-you-go subscriptions of $39, $96 and $7.50-$49, respectively.

There is a free trial for 7 days, during which you can complete your will and download it for free. However, the platform could be more straightforward as they request that you avail your card details even during the free trial period. If after the 7-day trial, you did not cancel it, they debit you automatically.

Pros of free will kits

  • They are suitable for low-income earners and price-conscious shoppers.
  • The format is easily accessible and understandable.
  • They are time economical, as you can prepare your will in just a few minutes.
  • They are convenient to use.
  • They are perfect for people with simple and uncomplicated estate plans.

Cons of free will kits

  • They need more adequate customer support, and most calls are usually dropped in voicemail.
  • They may be partially free, as they may try to sell some other services to you upon completing your will.
  • They are non-customizable. Therefore, it is not suitable for people with complex estate plans.
  • Some free-will kits may not be available/valid in some provinces.

Where to buy a Canadian will kit

Here are some paid will-kits that you can use:

Epilogue

Epilogue is an estate planning platform owned and managed by professional lawyers. Their services are valid in 9 out of the 10 provinces in Canada.

For a cost that starts at $139 you get quality and legally valid wills. Their wills are valid in Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Willful

Willful is new, unlike many other platforms but it has become one of the very best options for making wills. The satisfactory user experience that customers derive from the platform further propels it to the top of the highly sought-after platforms.

Their services start at $99 and are valid in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

LegalWills

This platform provides legal services in the UK, US and Canada. Unlike many other platforms, LegalWills is available in all the provinces of Canada. Their service starts at $40 after which they assure you get a refund within 30 days if you are unsatisfied with their services.

LegalDeeds

LegalDeeds is a platform that helps you create a simple last will at your convenience. This platform looks into the estate law of every province in Canada. It ensures that their document is valid to you, wherever your location may be. Their services start at $50.

Pros of using paid will kits

  • Most of them are easily updated.
  • They provide guidance and customer support if you need clarification along the way.
  • Paid will kits usually cost less than the charges of consulting a lawyer.

Cons of using paid will kits

  • Some will kits are not valid in some provinces.
  • Depending on the package you paid for, some might be expensive.
  • They are not sophisticated enough to handle complex estate plans, so some people must consult a lawyer.
Government Of Canada Will Kit - comparewise

Why is a will important?

Having a will enables you to decide on your estate in the event of death or incapacitation. Some of the benefits are:

Assets distribution and loans settlement

Having a will ensures that your family’s inheritance is well sorted out. If you have outstanding loans or mortgages, they’ll be paid from your assets before the distribution.

Time management

A will can help avoid lengthy and costly probate proceedings, making the process of settling your estate more manageable for your loved ones.

Children custody

A will can help you plan for guardianship of minor children, ensuring that they are cared for in the event of your death.

Satisfaction

Having a will keeps your mind at ease because you are sure that your family’s affairs are in safe hands. You would have fulfilled your duty should there be any unexpected events.

Tax reduction

A will allow you to plan how your assets will be distributed, which can help to minimize taxes and charges from different proceedings.

Stress and conflict avoidance

With a will, there may be more clarity and less confusion over who should inherit your assets. Having a will can reduce the likelihood of this happening.

Burial rights

A will can specify how you want your funeral or burial handled, giving you control over this vital aspect of your life.

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What are the conditions for the validity of a will

A will is only considered legally valid if it meets certain conditions:

Mental and emotional fitness

The testator must be mentally and emotionally fit when making the will and must not be forced into making certain decisions.

Age criteria

The testator must be above the age of minority, i.e. 18 or 19, as the case may be.

Appropriate signatures

It is essential that the will is signed by the testator and two witnesses who are unrelated to the testator or have no financial interest in the will.

Physical copy

The will must be in hard copy. Even if an online will kit was used, it must be printed afterwards.

Conclusion

There is no such thing as the “Government of Canada Will Kit.” However, other platforms offer wills creation services for free, e.g. Canada wills, free legal wills and legalDepot. While some offer this service at a small fee, some of which are willful, epilogue and legal depot.

It is vital to consider the laws of the province where you reside to know which will kit is valid in your location. However, wills obtained from LegalDeeds and LegalWills.ca are valid in all provinces in Canada.

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FAQs about how to use the Government of Canada will kit

Are online wills legally accepted in Canada?

Yes, online will kits are accepted in Canada on the condition that you download and print it out, after which you and 2 witnesses sign appropriately.

What is the best free will kit I can use?

The best free will kit is CanadaWills. They rely on donations to run the website and have no hidden charges. They do not request your card details, and their agent does not try to sell other products or services to you.

Can I get a valid will without consulting a lawyer?

Depending on the condition of your estate, you may not need a lawyer if you have a simple estate plan. But suppose you have complex situations like international assets, children from different spouses, or complexities. In that case, you will have to seek legal advice from a lawyer. This is because online will-kits are straightforward and insufficient to handle it.

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December 5, 2023
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