Canadians Sidestepping The Lawyers And Creating Their Own Wills Online On DIY Sites

How many Canadians have a will?

How many, why it’s so few, why that’s important

A LawPRO survey showed that over half of Canada does not have a will. 29% of these say they do not have one because they can’t afford one, or they do not know how to create one. This is simply not good enough.

You do not want the Intestate Succession Act dictating and governing your estate (who? exactly). It’s super important that we all make a will, because we don’t know what can happen. And with a pandemic that threatens all of us, Canada has seen a sudden surge in will creation.

But, it’s not just attorney’s that are having to help create all of these wills, there’s a way to go about creating a will, and that’s by doing one online. Regardless of how you go about getting one, the fact of getting one is what’s the most important thing here. But, with many younger people wondering why they should spend exorbitant amounts of money to a lawyer in order to leave their few possessions, the online alternative is now cheaper, which gives us even less of an excuse to have one made.

Why Canadians are turning to online DIY wills

To save money and time, Canadians are turning to online websites for their will creation. A DIY will, if you like. I mean, when you hear it out loud, it sounds like such a typical trend that you’re surprised it hasn’t already been invented (or at least popular). Well, as our movement towards making social interaction and stepping outside the house gets ever closer, we can now make a will from the comfort of our own living room.

The online wills are proper wills. They require your signature in ink, witnessed by two people that are not family or mentioned in the will, as well as your description of your assets and who should get them after you pass away.

The trouble with the traditional, boring, way of doing wills is that they have a lot of jargon, like all facets of law. It’s all a little too serious and complicated. Of course, it’s an important matter, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek out easy, accessible ways to do things.

Online will kits in Canada instead ask more straightforward questions like “Would you like to donate to a given charity when you pass?”. There’s a lot of instructions and guidance along the way on the website, and you do it at your own pace. Once you’ve input your answers into those bite size text fields, it’ll do the hard work for you and magically transform it into a legal document. Basically, it takes your answers and wishes and makes out like a lawyer has written in.

Most importantly, you absolutely do not need a lawyer when completing your online will.

How much do online wills cost?

This really deserves to be in the previous section of “why Canadians are turning to online DIY wills”, because a lot of it boils down to money. If you go to a lawyer’s office and get a quote for a will, you could be looking at almost $1,000

Or, you can pay around $50 for an online one; perhaps even cheaper if you find a voucher code. Sure, there are some that are a couple of hundred dollars too, but generally, online wills are much, much cheaper.

Are online wills legit?

Online wills in Canada are absolutely, perfectly legal. Many companies have been operating for decades, so the reputability is enough to prove that it isn’t a scam or illegitimate document — go look on the review websites for yourself.

The reason why it’s legal is because it doesn’t take a lot for a will to actually be legal. You can literally write it on a notepad, and as long as you have those witnesses and signatures, it’s legitimate.

How long do online wills take?

Filling out a Canadian online will is generally a matter that takes around half an hour, or less. This does depend on which company you use, but the best part is that it can take as long as you want it. If you’re still thinking things over or you’re easily overwhelmed, you can simply save your progress and come back tomorrow. It doesn’t have to be completed in one go, but some sites are known to be able to be completed in a matter of 10 minutes.

Are there reasons NOT to use an online will?

Yes, there are. Even though they’re legitimate and they’re fine for most people, it doesn’t mean that its basic nature has no limitations. With such multiple-choice questions and limited capacity for nuance, you would be best off getting a custom one prepared by a lawyer when you’re in a complex scenario. This might be because you have assets overseas, or you own a large, complicated corporation, or because you want advanced trust strategies set up. Generally, most of these reasons are to do with having a lot of wealth, and it’s not as simple as “I want my Canadian house to go to my only daughter”.

The other time you want a lawyer instead is when you have a history of mental health, because after you have passed the will may be challenged. If you think you could be argued against as to not having full capacity or sound mind, then be safe and use a lawyer.


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