Making a will can be an overwhelming task, especially if you’re not sure how to get started. Shopping around for a lawyer with reasonable rates can be time-consuming if not impossible. It can also take much longer to negotiate the details of your will if you work with a busy firm.
Lucky for you, Epilogue was launched to solve this problem. It’s an online platform that lets you make a will and designate a Power of Attorney in less than 20 minutes. And the best part is you can get your legal documents in place for a fraction of what you’d pay with a lawyer.
- Think about Epilogue if you want a quick turnaround on your will and you’d rather not pay hundreds of dollars in lawyer fees.
- Choose something else if you’d prefer to deal with your will in person or you don’t live in a province that Epilogue works with (currently, it only works in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, P.E.I, and Saskatchewan).
What is Epilogue?
Epilogue is an online estate planning company, founded by two tax and estate lawyers, that lets you create wills or powers of attorney from the comfort of your own home. All you need to do is answer a couple of questions about your personal situation and family life. Epilogue’s software will then generate a custom will or power of attorney for you based on the information you input.
The wills and powers of attorney you create with Epilogue become legally binding after you follow the signing instructions included, and you don’t need a lawyer to sign off on them. Just be aware that Epilogue is geared towards people with simple and straightforward estate planning needs. This means that it won’t be the best fit for you if you have a complex financial situation or cross-managed assets (such as foreign property or bank accounts).
How much will I pay to use Epilogue?
Epilogue offers a mid-level price for its online wills and powers of attorney. It’s not the lowest on the market, but it’s also not the highest.
The price you’ll pay for Epilogue’s service depends on which plan you’re interested in. The also offer pricing based on whether you’re an individual or a couple.
1. Will only
The “Will Only” plan lets you create one customized legal will. The will also includes
detailed signing instructions as well as any necessary affidavits (such as the Affidavit of
Execution in Ontario). There is also a separate document that lets you express your funeral and burial wishes.
You’ll pay a one-time fee of $139 for this plan, which doesn’t include power of attorney documents. If you choose the couples package, you both get a custom will document for a total cost of $229.
2. Will + Incapacity Documents
The “Will + Incapacity Documents” plan lets you make a will and designate your powers of attorney. You’ll have the chance to make decisions about end-of-life medical care. You’ll also get to appoint someone to handle your finances in the event that you become incapacitated.
This plan will cost you a one-time fee of $179. If you select the couples plan,
you and your partner get your own set of Wills and incapacity documents for a total cost of $289. (The title of the incapacity documents you receive varies between provinces.)
Compare Epilogue plans
The following table summarizes what you can expect to get with each Epilogue plan:
|What’s Included||Will only||Will + Incapacity Documents|
|Total cost||$139 per person or $229 for couples||$179 per person or $289 for couples|
|Plan your estate and allocate property and assets||✓||✓|
|Make your funeral wishes known||✓||✓|
|Choose caregivers for your children and plan for their inheritance||✓||✓|
|Access Epilogue’s educational blog||✓||✓|
|Make unlimited changes to documents for free||✓||✓|
|Plan for medical emergencies should you be unable to make decisions for yourself||✓|
|Name your powers of attorney to manage your finances and property||✓|
|Name your powers of attorney to handle healthcare decisions (living will)||✓|
Is Epilogue safe to use?
Epilogue is safe to use and has strong security measures in place to protect your personal data. For example, passwords are “hashed” with bcrypt technology to avoid security breaches and all information that goes into the software is scrambled using encryption so that only authorized users can access it.
These are sensitive documents so it’s recommended that you keep them in a safe place that is waterproof and fireproof. You should also include instructions for how to access them in the event of your death or an emergency.
What are the benefits of Epilogue?
Epilogue lets you take advantage of a handful of benefits when you sign up for its service:
- Fast turnaround. Create legal documents such as a will or power of attorney in less than 20 minutes using Epilogue’s online software.
- Affordable plans. Pay hundreds less to draft and sign your will or power of attorney than you would with a lawyer.
- Approved legal documents. Relax knowing that the legal documents you create with Epilogue’s software conform to the laws and regulations of your province.
- Free revisions. Avoid paying extra when you make changes to your will with unlimited edits and revisions.
- Cheaper couples plans. You'll save between $49 and $69 if you sign up as a couple.
- High-quality document. Documents are vetted by experienced estate lawyers
- Reliable customer support. Available via email, phone, and live chat.
What should I watch out for with Epilogue?
There are a couple of drawbacks to be mindful of before you sign up for a plan with Epilogue:
- More expensive than some competitors. Epilogue is not the cheapest service among its competitors, though it’s not the most expensive either.
- No in-person service. You won’t be able to visit Epilogue to negotiate your will or other legal documents in person as the service is completely virtual, which is true of all online estate planning services.
- Documents must be printed to validate. Like all all online estate planning services, you’ll have to print your documents and sign them along with two witnesses to make sure they’re valid.
- No free will registration. Unlike some other online will services, Epilogue doesn’t offer free will registration with the Canada Wills Registry for its premium plans.
- Only available in some provinces. You can only access Epilogue if you live in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, P.E.I, and Saskatchewan.
- Not suitable for complex situations. Epilogue is only suitable for simple wills and won’t be a good solution for complex situations (read more in the box below).
When might I want to avoid Epilogue?
You may want to avoid online wills in general, if you have more complex estate planning needs. These include the following scenarios:
- You want to add custom clauses or documents to your will
- You have to accommodate a separation agreement when allocating assets
- You plan to have a Henson Trust as part of your estate planning (which is a discretionary trust for people receiving certain government benefits in connection with a disability)
- You want to employ dual wills to bring down the amount of estate administration tax that your estate has to pay in the event of your death
- You have complex assets such as foreign property or bank accounts
How to apply for an Epilogue plan
Signing up for a will or power of attorney with Epilogue is a simple process. Follow these steps to get started:
- Head to the Epilogue website and click the orange ‘Get started’ button.
- Identify which province you’re from on the page that opens. You’ll only be able to proceed with your application if you live in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, P.E.I, and Saskatchewan.
- From there, Epilogue will ask some questions about your marital status and dependants. It will then recommend a plan for you based on the information you put in.
- Once you select your desired plan, you’ll have to input basic personal information such as your full name and email address. You’ll then be prompted to create a password, which you’ll use to access your Epilogue dashboard.
- Once you’ve got your login details squared away, you can fill in the rest of your application. This includes inputting the following details:
- Family information. Enter additional information about your marital status along with details about your children, pets and appointed legal guardians.
- Assets and properties. Specify how you want your estate to be distributed among family members, friends or charities.
- Legal arrangements. Appoint the executor of your will, will, name guardians for your children and pets, and assign a person to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf.
- Submit your application and pay online using a credit card.
- Print your will and power of attorney and sign all documents according to the detailed signing instructions included. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to do this any time you make changes.
- Store original copies in a safe place and make sure someone knows where to access them.
Epilogue offers a convenient and affordable way to create a will from the comfort of your own home. You can also use this service to create powers of attorney for an additional fee. It’s also not recommended that you use this service if you have complex estate planning needs.
Frequently asked questions