Do you have a will in place? It seems like an odd question, especially for young people, but the truth is that everyone should have a will. The fact, however, is that many don’t. In fact, 56% of Canadian adults do not have a will. Why? Well, there are a few reasons.
First off, I think we can all agree that death isn’t always a happy subject. Some people choose not to discuss it all. Secondly, creating a will can seem complicated and stressful and most people don’t know where to start, so they just push it aside. Finally, since it is a legal document, writing a will can be expensive.
However, writing a will doesn’t have to be as daunting or as expensive as you think, thanks to online will companies such as Willful.
I recently had the opportunity to test out their services and in this Willful review, I’ll be discussing the importance of creating a will and just how easy and affordable the process can be with Willful. Plus, I’ve got a discount code for you to make it an even better deal.
What is a Will and Why Do I Need One?
A will is a legal document which states how you want your estate to be distributed upon your death. Having a will is not a legal requirement in Canada, however, if you don’t have one, the province or territory that you live in will have to step in and determine how your estate is divided which can take years and the distribution may not turn out how you wished.
For this reason, it’s best to have a will in place before you die. This means you can choose how to allocate your assets and know that the allocation process will take place relatively quickly and smoothly. That way you have the peace of mind of knowing things will end up where you want and you will save your friends and family a lot of time, stress, and possibly even money.
Having a will is a must if you have children. When my wife and I set up our will, we had to think about who would be the guardian to our daughter if we were to both pass away at the same time. My brother was the natural person, but he’s often with us, so there’s a chance that he could also pass at the same time as us so we needed to decide on a secondary guardian.
By setting up a will, we ensured our daughter would be set up with the right support.
Willful is an online will company that will take you through the entire process of creating a will.
The company was created by Kevin Oulds after his own family went through an unexpected loss and is backed by a team of legal advisors with a combined 57 years of estate law between them.
The Willful website has tons of great information about wills and estate planning along with guides and tutorials to help you create your own will. There is also support form available for those with questions, as well as an online chat module.
The Cost of a Will: Willful Plans and Pricing
The average cost of a simple will in Canada is $400 with a Power of Attorney Document costing an additional $100-$200. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay about $1,000 for a lawyer to set everything up for you which isn’t that expensive, but it’s also not “cheap.”
Since Willful is all digital, they offer incredibly competitive, straight forward prices for their services and can actually save you hundreds of dollars compared to using a lawyer.
Willful has three different pricing levels depending on your needs: The Essentials Plan, the Premium Plan, and The Couples Plan. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you can expect for each.
The Essentials Plan: $99 + tax
The Essentials Plan covers your basic will and testament. It’s ideal for single individuals who want to put a plan in place to distribute their assets, handle their estate, and take care of their final wishes.
The Premium Plan: $149 + tax
The Premium Plan is a step up from the Essentials Plan in that it includes your Last Will and Testament, but also includes Power of Attorney forms for your property as well as for personal care. So, if you are ever sick and unable to make a decision regarding your home or your health, this will give you the documentation to allow someone (a spouse, or perhaps a child) to act on your behalf.
The Couples Plan: $249 + tax
The Couples Plan is basically a mirrored plan meant for couples who have the same executors, beneficiaries, etc. as their partner. If you plan on having different choices, e.g. different executors, you should choose two single premium plans.
Writing a Will with Willful
Creating an online will with Willful is easy and can be done in about fifteen minutes. Like I said earlier, there are plenty of educational articles and guides on the Willful website for you should you have any questions about the process before you start.
Once you are ready to start, click the ‘Start for Free’ button at the top where you will be asked to create an account and answer a few basic questions about your age, where you live, and marital status. After these initial questions, you will be asked which plan you would like to go with: Essentials, Premium, or Couples (as described above).
Once you select which plan you would like to move forward with, you will be taken to the next step which will cover information about your spouse, children, and even pets. You will then be asked to select an executor and trustee, make decisions about your final wishes in terms of funeral arrangements, and allocate your estate. You can choose to divide up your estate as you please and gift certain objects to specific people. I should mention that the funeral wishes/burial options section is optional as it’s not legally binding, but it’ll let your loved ones know what you would have wanted.
If you choose the Premium or Couples plan, you will be further asked to choose a Power of Attorney for your property and a Power of Attorney for personal care.
And there you have it. You have a will.
It is important to note that for your online will to be considered valid, you need to print a hard copy and have it signed by two third-party witnesses (there is a reminder about this when you download your documents). These witnesses cannot benefit from your estate. Once this is done, put your will somewhere safe and let your executor know how to access it.
Everything about the Willful process is easy to follow meaning you can complete your will in minutes. The language is also very clear and basic; there’s no legal jargon that you need to worry about trying to understand.
Another helpful factor is the breakdown in some sections. For example, when you are asked about your final wishes, you’ll be given cost estimates for the different choices (ie: burial vs cremation) which is something we often don’t think about. Or, if you aren’t too fussed, you can leave it up to your family to decide.
Perhaps the best part? You can make unlimited changes as you see fit with no extra charge. This is a huge benefit because you’d have to pay for that same service if you went with a lawyer. The ability to make adjustments to your will is great for everyone, after all, life can change pretty quickly. However, it’s especially ideal for young people as their estate and family grows over the course of their life.
Online Wills vs Using a Lawyer
When it comes to deciding if you are better off creating a will online versus using a lawyer, it really depends on your estate and personal choice. Hiring a lawyer will cost more, however, they also have a lot of expertise and legal insight that you can benefit from. Especially if your estate is complicated and involves aspects like investment trusts, foreign investments or even blended families. However, if your estate is pretty straight forward and simple (most are), then you can save yourself some money and time by doing it on your own with Willful.
An online will is just as legally-binding as using a lawyer as long as it’s created by you in sound mind, and printed and signed correctly. You could also check out LegalWills.ca as they’re another online will company that’s comparable.
While not a legal requirement everyone with assets (investments/property), dependents (children/pets), or a spouse (common law or legal) should have one. Willful makes creating a will quick, easy, and inexpensive. Click my Willful affiliate link and use promo code MONEYWEHAVE15 to get $15 off your will.