Today, Willful officially executed the first fully digital will in Canadian history! *round of applause*
This historic moment is all thanks to the new legislation, Bill 21. You might ask, what is Bill 21?
The new legislation will allow Canadians to sign, witness and store their wills completely online. For now, British Columbia is the first and only province in Canada to permanently allow for wills to be executed online. In November 2021, we commissioned an AngusReid survey that found 35% of BC residents said they prefer to execute a will online vs. on paper.
To celebrate Bill 21, we’ve partnered with DocuSign to launch an exciting new pilot program to help BC residents fully create and execute their wills digitally. This program is approved by the Law Society of BC as part of their Innovation Sandbox program.*
Willful co-founder and CEO, Erin Bury, explains “as an online will platform, our biggest limitation has always been the law, not technology, so we’re pleased to see this common sense modernization that aligns with what today’s consumer expects: a fully digital experience. We’re also thrilled to partner with the best-in-class electronic signature solution, DocuSign, to help reduce the barriers for the millions of BC residents who don’t have a will.”
The First Digital Will Created
We’re excited to share that the first digital will in BC was executed by a Willful customer, Samantha Dixon on December 1, 2021, at 12:01 am PST.
“Up until now, the will-signing process has been inconvenient and, quite frankly, stuck in the past,” said Samantha Dixon. “This new process makes estate planning convenient and extremely efficient for people like me to draft their will, source a virtual witness, and keep it updated over time. Best of all, you and your loved ones will know exactly where to locate it when needed."
Our survey found that 10% of wills are out of date, but with these new rules, BC residents can either create their first will, or update an outdated one. Willful has helped customers in BC create thousands of wills in the past, but today marks the first will we have helped execute completely digitally.
Since Willful launched in 2017, we’ve helped Canadians create over 100,000 wills and power of attorney documents across eight provinces.
Our Pilot Program With DocuSign
So, you might be wondering: how does the Willful digital will pilot program work?
Bill 21 essentially amends the existing Wills, Estates and Succession Act. It was considered and approved after COVID-19 social distancing rules made it difficult for Canadians to sign a printed copy of a will in the physical presence of witnesses. Although Bill 21 received Royal Assent in August 2020, it only came into effect today.
The AngusReid survey found that 58% of BC residents don’t have a will, and that number jumps to 90% among those under 35. Our pilot program allows customers to create and execute their will fully online for the first time, with the Willful team facilitating the electronic signing and witnessing of customers’ wills via DocuSign eSignature. This pilot will be available for the first 50 Willful customers residing in BC who book an appointment after completing their will.
Start your will for free today →
*Willful is the only online will provider that has been accepted to the Law Society of BC's Innovation Sandbox program.
The Law Society of BC would like us to inform you that our services to you are not provided by a lawyer regulated by the Law Society of British Columbia. As a result:
(b) There is no statutory complaint process in relation to the services that we provide; and
(c) The Law Society of British Columbia has not evaluated or verified our competence, character, and/or fitness to provide the services.
For more information about the Law Society's innovation sandbox visit