Only around half of Canadians have a legal will. Many think they’re too young for a will or find it difficult to think about. Whatever the reason, preparing a will and other estate documents is part of a healthy financial plan.
Dying without a will means your assets might not go where you want them to. It could cause family conflicts and grief easily avoided. Legalwills make it easy to create these estate planning documents from the comfort of your own home.
After doing this Legalwills review, I’ve found it a solid and inexpensive option for those looking to create a will without complex circumstances.
Looking to create a will online? Here’s what you should know.
Online provider of wills, powers of attorney, and living wills
Legalwills make it easy to create a final will and testament, along with other estate documents. No need for a costly lawyer. You can do everything online from your own home.
- Easy to navigate website
- Free updates as long as you’re a member
- Available in every Province and Territory in Canada: Both in English and French
- Two-factor authentication
- Mirror Will service for couples
- Not the best option if you have a complex situation
Who Is Legalwills Canada?
Legalwills is a popular online provider of wills, powers of attorney, and living wills. The company serves the provinces and territories of Canada.
They aim to provide a cost-effective yet simple way for customers to create legal estate planning documents. They’ve been around for 22 years and served over two million clients.
Traditionally, creating a will involved getting in touch with a lawyer and making a trip to their office. These days, that isn’t necessary when creating your final will and testament.
Is it a good idea to have legal counsel guide you through the process? Probably, especially if you have complicated financial matters or specific wishes, but it’s not a necessity.
An online will is a legitimate document as long as it’s printed and signed in the presence of two witnesses. Those witnessing the will should not be listed as beneficiaries and should also sign the document.
Creating an online will is easy, legal, and cost-effective. That’s why so many people are turning to online estate planning instead of the traditional kind. Let’s explore some of the features of Legalwills and why it’s so popular.
Having a lawyer draw up your will can cost hundreds of dollars. Legalwills found a way to simplify the process and not charge you an arm and leg. Their basic package costs only $39.99.
There are packages geared towards additional extras like funeral wishes, power of attorney, and living wills, but it will cost more. Here’s a breakdown of the cost of each package.
- Standard – Basic last will and testament for a price of $39.99.
- Advanced – Last will and testament as well as funeral wishes and a final message for $69.95.
- Complete Estate Plan – Includes the legal will, power of attorney, and living will, all for $99.95.
- Premium Estate Plan – Includes everything the Complete Estate Plan does, as well as a digital vault and a life locker to store important information. This top-level plan costs $129.95.
If you’re unhappy with the product, you can get your money back. Legalwills offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with your purchase.
With such sensitive information needed, security is always a concern. However, Legalwills uses state-of-the-art encryption and securities technology to protect its customers.
In addition, two-factor authentication is required for log-ins and helps protect customers from unauthorized access.
One of the biggest advantages of Legalwills is that it’s all online. This means customers don’t have to leave their homes. They don’t have to make appointments with lawyers and take time out of their busy schedules.
The convenience factor can’t be overlooked and is one of the reasons the company is so successful after all these years.
Other online will services might charge you if you need to make changes. However, Legalwills wanted to make it easy for customers to update their information as circumstances change.
That’s why they offer unlimited updates for free for one year. After that, you can update anytime as long as you’re a member. A one-year membership is $11.95.
It’s important to remember that if you make changes to your will, you reprint it and sign it. Otherwise, it is invalid.
If you’d like a lawyer to skim over your will and offer any feedback, that’s an option. For a small one-time fee, a qualified lawyer can review your estate planning documents and offer you their opinions.
Willful is a similar online platform allowing you to create estate planning documents. While both Willful and Legalwills have many similarities, their differences set them apart.
Willful offers three different plan options, and each of them is more expensive than Legalwills. Their Essentials package is comparable to Legalwill’s Standard option and costs $99.
The Premium plan includes a legal will along with power of attorney for $149. The most expensive Family plan is geared towards couples and costs $250.
Both sites have easy-to-use websites, but the slight edge goes to Willful. The website is user-friendly, and creating a will is straightforward and well thought out.
The downside to Willful is that it’s not available throughout Canada. Only residents of British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario have access to the products, a huge downfall of the company.
Willful also offers a live chat feature, but no live phone call. With Legalwills, it’s the opposite; it has a live phone feature, but no live chat. Legalwills also has glowing reviews for its responsive email support. I would give a slight edge for customer service to Legalwills, but if you like live chat they don’t have that option.
Both companies have pros and cons but choosing one depends on your needs. If price and customer service is your main concern, Legalwills might be a better option. If easy website navigation is your top priority, you can’t go wrong with Willful.
Epilogue is another online estate planning service that has similar options. One of the biggest differences between Epilogue and other sites is that its founders are both estate lawyers themselves. Their goal in creating the site was to encourage people to plan for the future by making it easy and convenient.
There are two packages available at Epilogue. The first is the basic will, featuring customizable plans, funeral wishes, and more. It costs $139. The other plan contains the will as well as other incapacitation documents like health and financial powers of attorney. This package comes in at $179.
Epilogue doesn’t charge you to make changes to your will, but neither does Legalwills, as long as you’re a member. The main difference between the two is the price.
While Legalwills is far cheaper than Epilogue, it doesn’t have the expertise of two experienced estate lawyers behind it. Their extensive knowledge and prior work background might sway potential customers to use their services. Check out Epilogue here.
Legalwills is a legitimate business and has been for over 20 years. With services to most Canadian provinces and territories, Legalwills makes it easy for Canadians to create a will and other estate planning documents from the convenience of their own homes.
Customers on Trustpilot give Legalwills a glowing review. With an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars, most reviewers said they were happy that the site was so easy to use. Others commented that the price was right and much cheaper and quicker than going to a lawyer’s office.
Reviewers that left poor comments do not understand how the whole process works. One user, in particular, felt that Legalwills was just trying to trick her out of money by expecting a yearly fee.
The reviewer assumed she could keep her will on the site after paying the base fee. While the will is kept safe and secure – remember it isn’t valid unless printed out and signed!
If you wish to make changes to that will, you will need to be a member – that might mean renewing your membership for a small fee.
Preparing a will is an important part of estate planning. If you do not have a will when you die, then decisions could be made contrary to your wishes. To prevent that from happening, drafting a legal will is the best way to ensure clarity after you pass.
Will make it easier to distribute your assets, save time and stress for remaining family members, and provide clear, concise instructions, reducing conflicts.
No, Legalwills doesn’t offer legal advice. If you think your situation is complex, it’s probably in your best interest to speak to an estate attorney who can provide the necessary guidance.
As noted earlier, Legalwills does not offer legal advice, something clients expect when they visit a lawyer. Because of this, rates are much cheaper if you’re just looking to create a will for a simple situation.
In addition, lawyers also customize each will based on the client’s preference. Legalwills doesn’t add custom clauses. That cuts down on costs, making it more affordable.
Creating an online will doesn’t take long. First, you’ll need to take a small quiz, and then you’ll get recommendations for the package that best suits you. From there, you’ll need to provide personal information and answer more questions to continue.
Legalwills make it convenient to prepare a will and other estate planning documents. There are three options to choose from, and all are inexpensive.
Creating a will not only make your wishes known but also creates less stress and conflict for the remaining family members. If you want to create a will without the hassle of lawyers and appointments, give Legalwills a try.