There are a number of benefits to using an online platform to create your will, including the convenience, time, simplicity, and most importantly–the cost. Using an online will platform could save you thousands with comparison to using a lawyer.
Click the button below to calculate how much money you could save with Willful.
What's the difference between an online will platform and a lawyer drafted will?
We get this question often, and the short answer is, there’s often no difference!
There are several ways to create a legally-binding will, including:
- A holographic, or a handwritten will
- A fill-in-the-blank, DIY will kit
- A lawyer-drafted will
- A will made with an online will platform, like Willful
What makes a will legal is not how it’s made, it’s whether it follows the criteria for a legally valid will in the province or territory where you live. There are some nuances to this criteria that varies by province, but in short, this is the general criteria for a legal will in Canada:
- The testator, or the person writing the will, must be over the age of majority in their province and of sound mind. In B.C, the testator must be at least 16 years of age.
- The will must be signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses, who must also sign the will. Again, this can be done online in B.C. Click here to read more about who can and can’t witness a will.
- The signatures must be at the very end of the will.
- The will must be stored as a physical copy (not online), unless you live in British Columbia where wills can be witnessed and stored online.
That’s it! To read more about what makes a will legal in Canada, click here.
You’ll notice that the above criteria does not include a lawyer–that’s because a lawyer doesn’t have to create the will for it to be legal.
Why wouldn’t I use a lawyer to create my will?
There are a few reasons why people choose not to have a lawyer draft their will, including the:
- High cost
- Increased time
The cost of a lawyer
Many Canadians have simple estates that don’t require advice from a lawyer for creating their will and estate plans. So for some people, using a lawyer can be overkill and seem like an unnecessary or extra cost.
In addition, lawyers typically bill by the half hour or by the hour, so the cost can quickly add up. The same typically applies when you need to update your will–you may need to pay hundreds of dollars every time you need to make a change. (As a reminder, we recommend you review and update your will every 6-12 months, or after any big life change).
Want to see how much money you could save using an online will vs. a lawyer? Try out the calculator below!