Online will Canada

As our world becomes increasingly digitized, the importance of navigating online becomes essential. This includes preparing for what’s best for ourselves and our loved ones. We need to protect both our digital and physical assets. This is where online Wills come into play. It is a testament to the marriage of technology and legal paperwork that we can now create online Wills.

You do not need to go with some online Will template that is a boilerplate option. You will want to work with a proper legal platform offering the best online Will option in Canada. When you create your Canadian Will online, you will want to ensure that it legally holds up in court or during a dispute. There should be instructions regarding what to do once the Will is complete.

What’s in a Will?

Breaking down Wills

Are Online Wills legal?

What service should I use?

In the End

What is included in a Will?

Let’s take a closer look at what a Canada online will looks like: it requires exactly the same type of requirements of that a traditional paper Will. You should start with the first and last names of the beneficiaries. Your beneficiaries are the recipients of the assets you are leaving behind once you pass away. There should be a breakdown of the assets each beneficiary is meant to receive. This breakdown can include either specific items or a percentage of assets.

You also want to include someone responsible for carrying out the wishes that you have requested in your Will. This person is called the Executor of your Will. This person is responsible for distributing your assets and managing your requests.

If there are minor children involved, you can also appoint a Guardian for those children (in the event of your untimely departure from this world.) Finally, if there are any special instructions, requests, or actions that your beneficiaries or Executor need to be made aware of, those should also be included in the Will.

Understanding the mystery of Online Wills In Canada

Online wills can also be known as electronic Wills or even digital Wills. These are stored electronically. They can even be delivered electronically. You simply have to print out the Last Will in question and make sure that it’s signed and witnessed in the right places.

Another benefit of creating an online Will versus a traditional written Will is the convenience factor. Online Wills can be made from the comfort of your own home (or office), which removes the need for any type of in-person meeting as well as any costly meetings with lawyers.

Another major plus point is just how accessible creating an online Will is. It is perfect for those who may live in remote areas (or have reduced mobility). Online Wills may allow people living in (relatively) inaccessible areas the convenience of creating their Will online. They would simply have to have access to a computer, the Internet, and a printer. This also goes into the benefit of cost-effectiveness. An online Will tends to be significantly cheaper than creating a traditional Will.

You may think creating a Will is a complex, taxing process, but you would be wrong. Many services today offer an online Will kit for Canada. You may want a service providing you with a step-by-step guide to create your Will. These services will take you by the hand and guide you through a platform that helps simplify the creation of your Will. Before creating your Last Will, you need to know what your assets are, who your beneficiaries are, your Executor(s), Guardian(s), etc. Have your information ready before you start.

Online Wills offering customization options that cater to your specific needs are the best option for you. Online Will services allow you to create a Will that is tailored to your circumstances. Your Will can be tailored to your wishes.

The legality of the Will may vary from province to province. You may want to check directly with your provincial laws to see the rules and current legislation. But any credible Will service will have the proper instructions to follow in your province/territory of residence. You can print the Will and signing instruction letter out. Just follow any instructions in letter that comes with it. Be certain the letter is tailored to your province/territory of your residence. With that said, if you feel as if you require legal advice, you may still want to consider speaking with a legal professional. This too, is covered by credible online Will services. When you create your Will, these online Will services may have lawyers you can consult with (for a fee). The cost of using these lawyers may be a lot cheaper than going through a lawyer directly. There are always options available.

If you follow the instructions provided by the online Will service, the Executor should be able to access your Will with no issues. Once the Testator (the person who drafted up the last Will) passes away, the Executor should know what to do: the Executor should know where to find the Will, what the next steps are, etc. This will help streamline the process of Will creation.  

It is important to note that there are fundamental requirements for the Will to be considered legal. They are as follows:

The first specification is to ensure that whoever is creating their Will is of sound mind; that their mental capacity is not in question. The Testator needs to be able, within the legal framework, to understand what they are doing. There may also be requirements to have witnesses present and sign off on the Will. These witnesses, may or may not able to be beneficiaries themselves. This information should be included in your Last Will.

Another legal requirement circles back to storage requirements. As mentioned above, the document should be securely stored and yet, easily accessible.  The right people should be able to access the document when necessary.

What to take into consideration when choosing an online Will service in Canada

If you have already made up your mind and want to go completely digital with this critical document, the next step is finding the right platform for you. It all starts with finding one with a strong reputation. You’re looking for a track record, testimonials, and reviews of their products and services. This allows you to better understand whether the service in question is the right fit for you. You are looking for people with a background in legal expertise and are familiar with Canadian laws/laws related to Wills, etc.

Beyond this, you want to do your due diligence on the security features these online platforms have. Make sure they are robust with the right type of encryption and authentication features and have a proper team managing their cyber security.

The final item you’re going to want to take a look at is pricing. You clearly want to compare the cost to the quality of service. Just be comfortable with everything before proceeding.

In the end

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re not old enough to set up a Will. Creating your online Will in Canada can be done as soon as you have loved ones you care for and assets in your possession. This also applies to both Millennials and GenZ; yes, these two generations are struggling financially, and yes, they have a rocky start in comparison to the post-war baby boomers of the 50’s and 60’s. But, and this is a big but, at some point in their lives, there will be a time when they accumulate at least some of their wealth. This could be in the form of digital assets (such as bitcoin), or physical assets (such as jewelry, antiques, etc.)  As life circumstances change and evolve, you may want to create a Will at some point in your life. Additionally, creating a Will has many tax benefits. A Will can also eliminate any family squabbling that could occur after your passing. There is no reason to postpone such an important document as you may never know when your time comes.

Even with an online Will, nothing is set in stone, and you can periodically review your Will to ensure the document is kept updated. Maybe your children are no longer minors, or there are additional assets to add to your Will. You can easily update these items through your online Will. You can do this without the need to go through expensive revisions through a lawyer.

This is a revolutionary option that can help protect generational wealth in an easy-to-use format. There’s no fear of losing your documentation as the documents will be stored digitally. Whenever you’re ready to consider doing your Will online, feel free to reach out to us. We will be prepared to handle your inquiries and help get your online Will setup in no time. We can help you make the best-informed decision about online Wills and, more importantly, ensure that you’re going to secure your legacy and protect your loved ones.

Estate Planning in Canada

We all have something of value to pass on to our loved ones; that is what estate planning does and why you should plan for your estate as soon as possible. Our estates are comprised of our assets, items and all of the things that we all own. This can include anything and everything from investments, homes, cars, savings accounts, personal possessions, furniture, life insurance, etc. All of these things add up to create our personal estate(s). It’s very important to plan on how to manage all of these assets, and how they’ll be distributed when you pass away. This is where estate planning comes into play.

No matter which province you live in, whether it be Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, or Newfoundland, estate planning is incredibly important. Estate planning can be used as a way to not only manage your assets, but also to ensure that your assets go to the right people. 

What is Estate Planning?

Key Components of Estate Planning

Effective Estate Plan

FAQs

What is Estate Planning? 

Estate planning allows you to manage your assets and estate before you pass away. If you die or become incapacitated, the person in charge of your estate, or in the event of working with an estate planning professional (if you are working with one) will have all the necessary directions and guidelines on what to do and how to complete the process.

Estate planning consists of more than simply preparing a Last Will because aside from choosing how your wealth is distributed, estate planning can also settle your debts and estate taxes. Estate planning also covers other things: the guardianship of your pets and minor children, for example. Following an estate planning checklist will help streamline the process while also helping you save time and ensure everything is managed appropriately.

How Important is Estate Planning?

Having an estate plan is of the utmost importance! If you’re looking to safeguard the future of your family, you will want to that your wealth is distributed properly. An estate plan offers control over asset distribution. It also protects your heirs by ensuring that their future(s) are taken care of.

Without proper estate planning, it can be hard to reduce the financial burdens incurred on your family when you pass away. It can also be hard to ensure that your money and wealth are distributed as per your final wishes. Thankfully, estate planning helps you gives you complete control over how you allocate your wealth in the event you pass away.



Key Components of Estate Planning 

Every estate plan is unique; however, some components tend to be a part of each plan, and here are the main ones.

Wills and trusts

A Will is a legal document that allows you to distribute your assets once you pass away. Wills are also important if you want any specific funeral arrangements, a specific guardian for your kids, and so on. You can also opt for a trust, which is a written document that ensures that the property be held by one (the “trustee”) for the benefit of another (the “beneficiary.”)

Power of attorney

A Power of Attorney document allows someone else the authority over your financial affairs and property. This document allows you to specify the details of what powers and duties your Attorney (the person you have appointed to look over your financial affairs), can or can not engage in. You can read more about how a PoA works. You may also want to think about completing a Power of Attorney for Personal Care. That will help round out your entire estate plan.

Healthcare directives

The Power of Attorney for Personal Care (otherwise known as a “Living Will”) is a document that allows you to specify what actions someone can take on your behalf. In the event of your incapacitation (unable to make decisions for yourself), the Living Will kicks in. Normally, healthcare directives are very common in the event of illness, coma, or any other situation where an individual is unable to speak on his/her behalf.

Steps to Create an Effective Estate Plan 

Establishing a proper estate plan can be very difficult and time-consuming. Here are some steps you can take to help you create an efficient estate plan.

Identifying key roles: executors, guardians, beneficiaries

When you start the estate planning process in Ontario, the most important thing is to identify the individuals who are going to be an integral part of your estate plan. The Executor is the individual who administers your estate and follow your wishes (in the Last Will and Testament.) The guardian is the individual who takes care of minor children and raises them once you pass away.

Beneficiaries inherit various items/assets. You may need to have physical witnesses when the estate planning process is just starting. For your PoA, you also need to have someone appointed as the Power of Attorney if you can’t make financial and health decisions. 

Determining estate distribution

Another major aspect of estate planning comes in the form of asset distribution. You may want to create a list of each person in your life who you are going to leave behind something for. It’s also possible to offer charitable donations through your estate plan. This can be done through your Last Will and Testament.

Outlining additional wishes

Aside from asset distribution, you may also have other special wishes to take into consideration. In that case, you may wish to create a separate document with any specific wishes you might have. That includes anything related to burial/funeral arrangements, how you distribute your valuables, or other things that were not a part of the initial process of asset distribution.

After finalizing all of the aforementioned tasks, your focus has to be on preparing the legal documents, ensuring that they are properly witnessed, signed and (if necessary, notarized.) It’s not a major part of the process, but it is important and something to keep in mind. 

Common Mistakes in Estate Planning 



Estate planning in Ontario doesn’t have to be a difficult process. It’s extremely important to know the most common mistakes in Estate planning, and how to avoid them when yourself.

  • It’s also common for people not to include any funeral arrangement preferences in their Last Wills, which can become an issue for bereaved loved ones. This can go into a separate list. It’s separate from the Will itself.
  • Not discussing issues beforehand with family and friends can also present a challenge: you want to be sure that the people who have appointed for certain roles (i.e. Executor) are going to be accepted by other members of your family. It’s best to have this discussion beforehand.
  • Some people also forget about setting up a healthcare representative or a financial Power of Attorney. You will want to have these two documents as part of your estate plan.
  • It may be beneficial to have multiple beneficiaries.
  • If you already have an estate plan in place, it makes sense to review it periodically. You should update your plan whenever required.

FAQs 


Is estate planning necessary?

Ideally, everyone should have an Estate plan. An Estate plan makes it very easy to manage your assets and ensures that someone else can make the right health-related decisions. In addition, an estate plan allows you more flexibility and control over managing and handling your assets.

Do you need an estate plan if you have a living trust?

Yes, because you want to ensure everything is handled the way you want. An estate plan is there to manage everything once you pass away.

Can you modify your estate plan?

Yes, the estate plan can be modified as many times as you want during your lifetime. The focus is on keeping it accurate and updating it with your wishes.

When is it a good idea to start an estate plan?

Now! Now is the perfect time to get started with an estate plan. There are certain times during your life when an estate plan can become a priority. That can be when you are acquiring new assets when you get married or have a child, when your children come of age, or when you retire.

Do you need a lawyer for estate planning?

If you need legal advice, an estate planning lawyer may work for you. Be sure to seek out legal advice whenever necessary!

Remember, you can always set up your Wills and estate plan online in Canada with just a few clicks!

International flags. Executor outside Canada.

Who is going to be the Executor for your Will? While your mulling over that question, have you considered picking an Executor who lives near you? Or have you decided on an Executor who lives in another city or even another country? What would the difficulties be in having an Executor who doesn’t live near you? Many Canadians have asked as to whether or not they can appoint a foreign Executor for their will. This article breaks down the intricacies and considerations of such a decision.

Global Ties

Legal Standpoint

Bond Requirement

Challenges

Guidance

Staying Updated

Balance of Trust

1. Introduction: Global Ties in a Local Will

As families spread out and friendships form across borders, it’s natural to consider having individuals who live in other countries to be the Executor for your Will.

Canadian law does permit the appointment of a foreign Executor. However, it is essential to understand that provincial laws govern Wills and estates, meaning the exact regulations can vary from one province to another. It’s important to do your research and due diligence before making a final decision on this.

3. Bond Requirements: The Financial Implication

While appointing a foreign Executor is legal, most Canadian provinces require foreign Executors to post a bond. This bond acts as a form of security to ensure the proper administration of the estate. The bond’s cost can be significant, often equating to the estate’s total value.

4. Practical Challenges: From Time Zones to Travel

  • Geographical Barriers: Administering an estate from abroad can be logistically challenging.
  • Time Zone Differences: Communicating with Canadian entities may require flexibility.
  • Physical Presence: Some aspects of estate administration might require the executor to be present in Canada, leading to potential travel costs and delays. You may find it easier to appoint someone close to you, in the event of an emergency.

5. Legal Complexities and Tax Implications

Different countries have varying estate and tax laws. If your chosen Executor resides in a country with a vastly different legal system, it might create complications. This may be particularly true when it comes to tax obligations in Canada and the Executor’s home country.

6. Professional Guidance: The Role of Canadian Legal Counsel

Given the complexities involved, foreign Executors often benefit from engaging with a Canadian legal counsel. This not only ensures compliance with Canadian laws but also streamlines the estate administration process.

7. Staying Updated: Changing Laws and Regulations

The landscape of estate law, especially concerning international ties, is ever-evolving. Review your Last Will and stay informed about any provincial or federal changes are essential. This may help you in finalizing your decision over whether or not to choose a foreign Executor.

8. Conclusion: The Balance of Trust and Practicality

While appointing a foreign Executor for your Canadian Will is feasible, it’s a decision that must be weighed with the difficulties of travel, or legal implications that a foreign Executor can bring. Always do your research.

A ship in stormy waters

Samantha, a single mother of two young kids, died unexpectedly at the age of 35. She had often spoken about her wishes for her children’s upbringing and how her assets should be divided. However, she never put those wishes in writing. Without a Will, her family had to grapple not only with their grief but also the complications of intestacy laws.

Understanding Intestacy

Impacts of Intestate

Intestacy laws in Canada

FormalWill.ca

Understanding Intestacy

Definition: Intestacy, in its essence, is when someone dies without leaving a Will. The aftermath isn’t just about assets; it’s about memories, wishes, and legacies.

Laws Governing Intestacy: Different regions and countries have unique laws for intestacy. For instance, in Ontario, Canada, the Succession Law Reform Act governs the distribution of assets for those who die intestate.

Lady Justice

The Impacts of Dying Intestate

1. Unplanned Asset Distribution: Statistics from Canada reveal that nearly 50% of adults do not have a Will. This means that countless families are left with assets being distributed according to the law rather than personal wishes.

Story: Consider Mark, a businessman who wanted his life’s earnings to fund a local children’s hospital. However, dying without a Will meant his distant relatives, some of whom he hadn’t spoken to in years, became the primary beneficiaries.

2. Delays: Probate processes without a Will often take longer. A 2019 study showed that intestate probate proceedings in Canada could extend by an average of 6-12 months compared to cases with a clear Will.

3. Potential for Increased Family Conflicts: The lack of a will can fuel family disputes. In a recent case in British Columbia, two siblings entered a prolonged legal battle over their parent’s estate, costing thousands in legal fees and deepening family rifts.

4. Guardianship Concerns: For parents, this is critical. In Samantha’s case, her sister and mother both wanted custody of the kids, leading to emotional court battles.

5. Tax Implications: Without structured estate planning, the tax implications can be dire. For larger estates, this can mean a significant amount of money being lost to taxation.

Shatter vase

Intestacy Laws in Canada

Case Study: The Chen Family: Mr. Chen died intestate in Vancouver, leaving behind a wife and two adult children from a previous marriage. British Columbia’s Wills, Estates and Succession Act dictated a split where the wife received the household’s spousal share, but the remainder was divided between the two children. This led to significant friction, as the property’s value had appreciated greatly over the years.

Canada map

Case Study: The Robertson Estate:

Background: James Robertson, a successful entrepreneur from Calgary, Alberta, passed away suddenly at 60. He had a significant estate, including several properties, investments, and substantial savings. James had verbally expressed wishes to leave specific assets to family members, charities, and old employees.

The Challenge: Without a Will, these verbal intentions meant nothing legally. James’s estranged wife, from whom he had been separated (but not legally divorced) for over a decade, stood to inherit the bulk of the estate.

The Outcome: A prolonged legal battle ensued, with various parties laying claim to different assets. The legal fees alone diminished the estate’s value by 15%. One of his properties had to be sold to cover the legal expenses.

“Verbal intentions, no matter how sincere, hold no legal weight when distributing an estate. The lack of a written will is often a recipe for complex and painful disputes.” – Dr. Elise Donovan, Estate Law Expert.

Case Study: The Gupta Family:

Background: Anita and Raj Gupta, first-generation immigrants in Toronto, built a life with their three children. Anita managed several successful local businesses, while Raj was a renowned professor.

The Challenge: When both passed away in a car accident, they left behind a considerable estate but no Will. Their eldest son, Arvind, based in India, was unfamiliar with Canadian intestacy laws. Their daughter, Meena, had special needs, requiring lifelong support.

The Outcome: Intestacy laws did not account for Meena’s unique needs. Arvind had to undertake a complex, transcontinental legal process. The estate, which could have been structured to provide for Meena’s care, was divided evenly, leading to challenges in ensuring her long-term care.

“Every family’s situation is unique. Intestacy laws, however, apply a one-size-fits-all approach, which can lead to unintended and unfortunate consequences.” – Marcus Lim, Financial Planner.

FormalWill.ca: A Solution to Avoid Intestacy

“Using Formalwill.ca was seamless. After my cousin’s estate chaos due to the lack of a will, I knew I had to act. The platform guided me throughout the process, and now I rest easy knowing I’ve protected my family.” – Sarah P.

Daniel Thompson, a teacher from Montreal, shared, “I kept postponing creating a will, thinking it’d be complicated. Formalwill.ca demystified the process. Within hours, I had a legally compliant will, ensuring my family wouldn’t face legal hassles.”

“The rise of platforms like Formalwill.ca reflects the digital age’s convenience. Simplifying estate planning makes it accessible, ensuring individuals can align their assets with their wishes effectively.” – Linda Fernandez, Estate Attorney.

Yellow umbrella

Dying without a Will can lead to unforeseen complications, heartaches, and financial losses. By understanding the ramifications and seeking solutions like Formalwill.ca, you can ensure a legacy that truly reflects your wishes.