Willful Online Wills review
Pay a small fee to apply for a legally-valid will or power of attorney with this reputable online service.
Making a will may not be the most pleasant undertaking, but it’s a crucial part of planning for your family’s future. Lucky for you, there’s a quick and easy way to customize your will online without needing to pay exorbitant fees or visit a stuffy law firm in person.
This innovative company works at the forefront of estate planning in Canada and allows you to create a legally-valid will for as little as $99. You can also use this service to appoint a power of attorney for personal care and property for an additional fee.
- Think about Willful online wills if you want to plan your estate quickly and you’d prefer to avoid expensive lawyer fees.
- Choose something else if you’d rather work directly with a legal team or you’re not comfortable filling out forms online.
What is Willful?
Willful is an online estate planning company that launched in 2017 as an alternative to traditional wills. It lets you customize your will virtually using specialized software. It also allows you to appoint powers of attorney to make key decisions on your behalf in the event of your death or an emergency.
The wills and powers of attorney you create with Willful are legally binding and completely legitimate. That said, they are designed to accommodate simple and straightforward financial situations. For this reason, this service may not be the best fit for you if you have complex needs or cross-managed assets (such as foreign property or bank accounts).
How much will I pay to use Willful online wills?
The price you’ll pay to use Willful depends on which type of plan you want to sign up for. There are three main plans you can choose from depending on your needs and how much you want to spend:
1) Essentials plan
The most basic plan you can sign up for with Willful is its Essentials plan. This plan allows you to create one personalized legal will using Willful’s specialized software and templates. This document is designed to let you outline how you would like your assets distributed after your death. You can also use it to appoint a guardian for your children (or pets!) and plan for their inheritance.
You’ll pay a one-time fee of $99 to create your will under this plan. This fee includes free edits and updates to your will anytime that you need. Just remember that you’ll need to print your will and sign it along with two witnesses anytime changes are made to ensure that it remains valid.
Note that in Quebec a will costs $99, while a notarial will costs $349.
2) Premium plan
Much like the Essentials plan, the premium plan includes one personalized legal will along with a number of extras. This includes a “living will” that lets you state your wishes for end-of-life medical care so that your family doesn’t have to be burdened with making these decisions on your behalf when the time comes.
It also includes a power of attorney for finance and property, which is a legal document that gives someone else the power to make decisions for you in an emergency. For example, if you get into an accident or are suffering from a degenerative disease and can no longer manage your estate or financial matters on your own.
This plan comes with a one-time fee of $149, which includes free will tracking with Canada Wills Registry. This is a service that allows you to store information about the physical location of your will so that it can be accessed quickly and easily in the event of your death.
3) Bundled plan
The bundled plan offers the same benefits as the premium plan, but it gives you a small discount for signing up with multiple people. With this plan, you'll save 16% on each plan you buy, and you can sign up with as many as 6 people at once. All you need to do is allocate additional plans from your account by sending them to recipients via email invitations.
From there, each person will get a separate login and will be able to create their own individual plan. This is the most popular plan for couples and families, and you can expect to pay $125 per person to get your documents set up.
Compare Willful plans
The following table summarizes what you can expect to get with each Willful plan:
|What’s included||Essentials ($99)||Premium ($149)||Bundle ($125)|
|Take care of your estate and allocate property||✓||✓||✓|
|Make your funeral wishes known||✓||✓||✓|
|Choose guardians for your children and plan for their inheritance||✓||✓||✓|
|Choose guardians for your pets and plan for their care||✓||✓||✓|
|Access educational articles, blogs and videos to help you create your documents||✓||✓||✓|
|Unlimited changes to documents||✓||✓||✓|
|Plan for medical emergencies should you become incapacitated||✓||✓|
|Name your powers of attorney to manage your finances and property||✓||✓|
|Name your powers of attorney to handle healthcare decisions (living will)||✓||✓|
|Outline your medical emergency wishes or choose to let your representative decide||✓||✓|
|Get a discount for registering multiple users under one plan||✓|
Is Willful safe to use?
Willful is completely safe to use and employs AES 256 encryption to protect your personal information. This is an encryption system that scrambles your personal data using mathematical calculations to turn data into code. This means that only authorized personnel working at Willful online wills can access the original data you input into your application.
The only risk with Willful is that it doesn’t store your will or powers of attorney for you online or in a physical location. For these documents to be legal, you need to print them out and sign them along with two witnesses. You’ll then need to keep them in a safe place with instructions for how to find them in the event of your death or an emergency.
What are the benefits of Willful?
Willful offers a number of unique benefits with its three main plans. These include the following:
- Fast application. Create a will and power of attorney in as little as 20 minutes from the comfort of your own home.
- Affordable plans. Pay as little as $99 to develop a first edition of your will, which is hundreds less than what you’ll pay to have a will drafted by a lawyer.
- Legally binding. Rest easy knowing that your will and powers of attorney are legally binding in the province where you file your application.
- Free edits and changes. Access your will and other documents at any time to make changes and edits for no additional fees.
- Discounts for bundling. Enjoy a discount on premium plans when you sign up as a couple or group.
- Positive reviews. Rest easy knowing that Willful online wills has positive online reviews from customers, independent review sites and national news agencies.
What should I watch out for with Willful?
There are a couple of drawbacks to Willful online wills that you may want to consider before purchasing a plan:
- Not suitable for complex situations. Willful is designed for simple wills and powers of attorney, so it’s not suitable for complex situations (read more in the box below).
- No in-person service. You won’t be able to visit a lawyer or get legal advice in person while you’re navigating the creation of your will.
- Documents must be printed to validate. You’ll have to print your documents and sign them along with two witnesses to make sure they’re valid.
- No online storage. You can’t store your documents online for safekeeping, which means you’ll have to figure out a safe place to keep them (such as a safety deposit box).
- Not available Canada-wide. You can only access Willful online wills if you live in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
When might I want to avoid Willful online wills?
There are certain situations where you might want to look at seeking independent legal advice from a specialist or lawyer to create your will or power of attorney. These include the following scenarios:
- You want to add custom clauses or documents to your will
- You need to integrate a separation agreement into your will
- You plan to have a Henson Trust as part of your estate planning (which is a discretionary trust that protects your disability benefits)
- You want to employ dual wills to help decrease the amount of estate administration tax that your estate has to pay in the event of your death
- You have an out-of-province executor designated to administer your estate
- You have complex assets such as foreign property or bank accounts
How to apply for a Willful plan
Signing up for a will or power of attorney with Willful is a fairly straightforward process. There are a couple of steps you can take to get started:
- Click the green ‘Go to site’ button above to be securely redirected to the Willful online wills main website. Click the ‘Get started for free’ button.
- Select the plan you’re most interested in and click the blue “Choose plan” button to be redirected to an application form.
- Fill out the following sections on this form:
- Basic personal information. Input basic details such as your full name, address, date of birth and gender.
- Family information. Enter additional information about your marital status along with details about your children, pets and appointed legal guardians.
- Estate details. Provide information about your assets and specify how you want your estate to be distributed among family members, friends or charities.
- Legal arrangements. Appoint the executor of your will, assign a person to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf and outline your final burial wishes.
- Submit your application and pay online using a credit card.
- Print your will and power of attorney and sign all documents along with two witnesses.
- Store original copies in a safe place and register your will with the Canada Will Registry if this is included as part of your plan or pay an additional fee for this service.
Willful is a fast, affordable and convenient way to create a will in under 20 minutes.
You can easily apply from the comfort of your home to get a legally-binding will in many Canadian provinces. You can also use this service to get a power of attorney or a living will if you opt for a premium or bundle plan. Just be aware that you’ll have to print your documents yourself and sign them along with two witnesses in order to make sure they’re valid.