THE BEST OF THE BEST.
Read why we chose LegalWills.ca as our TOP PICK for
What we like
The Will service at LegalWills.ca is actually the most flexible and versatile of all of the online service providers we reviewed.
It is the only service provider that has lifetime interest trusts,
flexible mirror Will options, as well as services to cover assets outside of Canada.
We also love the complementary services like the LifeLocker asset inventory, the digital Vault and Messages services that allow you to create posthumous messages.
LegalWills.ca also happens to be one of the most affordable options.
We are also impressed by the company's longevity, having been offering their services for over 20 years.
We noted that some customer reviews were from people who had taken LegalWills.ca documents through the probate process without any issues arising.
There are some unique options within the services at LegalWills.ca that are not offered by any other service provider.
For example, the Executor selection allows for three first choice Executors and up to three alternates.
It also allows for those alternates to step into the role sequentially, or together.
This means that a common scenario of naming one's spouse as the first choice,
with children as joint alternates is comfortably supported through this service.
It's a simple scenario that is not supported by any other online Will service.
Furthermore, support for blended families is a critical component of the service at LegalWills.ca that is not supported by any other online service provider.
LegalWills.ca is also the only service reviewed that allows users to secure their accounts with 2-Factor Authentication,
which is critical for protecting your sensitive data from unauthorized access.
What needs work
We did find some of the processes to be a little confusing.
There were a couple of times when we just got confused as to where we were navigating around the site,
but that could have been because we were exploring the services for the review rather than actually using the services.
We were also a little unsure about the flexibility within the Will service, and whether it gave us too much scope to do something wrong.
The "none of the above" option is great, but it was possible to just do this incorrectly.
Other services limit the options, but you are certain to get a Will that works.
Writing a Will at LegalWills.ca
The first point to make is that LegalWills.ca is the only online Will writing service in Canada that
supports all Canadian Provinces and Territories in both English and French.
Other services like LawDepot and FormalWill support all Provinces, but only in English,
while Willful supports French in Quebec, but still only supports a subset of Provinces in English,
and no Provinces outside of Quebec in French.
LegalWills.ca has perhaps the most confusing sign-up process because there are so many options.
They allow you to start the process of preparing a Will, or alternatively, just buy a package, or alternatively, build your own package.
The "get started" page can create some doubts as you don't know whether you will lose any information if you do not create an account first.
The onboarding requires a certain amount of trust that everything will be okay.
You are not required to create an account before starting the process, which is perhaps a good thing,
but it does mean that it is possible to lose your work if you do not create an account.
Once into the Will service, it is very intuitive and flexible.
There is a lot of great information on every page of the service explaining the options as well as some useful
background information on relevant pages like guardianship, executors, pet trusts and charitable bequests.
Selecting the Executor at LegalWills.ca with sidebar help text
If you are married, but your spouse is not the biological parent of your children,
you have to be very careful with simply making your spouse the main beneficiary of your estate.
After you have died, your spouse may live for years or decades longer, and their estate distribution will be determined by their own Will.
Of course, their estate now includes your own estate. It is a real possibility that your spouse may not include your children in their Will,
which would mean that your children would not receive any of your estate at all.
The solution for all of this is a "lifetime interest trust", which is supported through LegalWills.ca.
We also like several of the service options available at LegalWills.ca, including the option to have your final document reviewed by a lawyer,
and also have the document printed and mailed to you.
LegalWills.ca also allows the document to be downloaded as both a PDF and a Microsoft Word file,
so if there are some clauses that aren't quite right for you, or if you want some clauses added or removed from the final Will,
you can do this by manually editing the Word version of the document.
Pricing and Packages at LegalWills.ca
LegalWills.ca allows you to select from a package or build your own package.
If you wish, you can just buy a Financial Power of Attorney without purchasing a Will if that is the only document that you need.
However, the packages do provide some bundling discounts.
The Will service starts at $39.95, but keep in mind that this only includes one year of unlimited updates to your document.
Other service providers like Willful and Epilogue allow a lifetime of unlimited updates to your Will for $99 and $139 respectively.
LegalWills.ca allows you to order additional time beyond the first year, but this is extra.
LegalWills.ca offers single as well as couple's pricing, as do Epilogue and Willful, but couple's pricing is not available at LawDepot or FormalWill.
Complementary services at LegalWills.ca
This is another department that LegalWills.ca really sets itself apart from all of the other online Will services providers.
All leading online service providers offer a Last Will and Testament service, Healthcare Power of Attorney (Living Will) and Financial Power of Attorney.
Many people regard this as a "complete estate plan".
There has been a recent technology trend in allowing people to keep an online inventory of assets and make
that inventory available to family and loved ones posthumously. The market leader for this service has been Everplans in the US,
but there are a number of other companies who have reinvented slightly different approaches to solving this important problem.
How do you make sure that your Executor and Power of Attorney know the extent of your assets when they have to manage your affairs?
How do you ensure that no assets go undiscovered?
LegalWills.ca is unique in the online Will writing industry in that they incorporate Everplans functionality into their estate planning tools.
LegalWills.ca offers a Digital Vault, a LifeLocker service to keep an inventory of assets, a Messages service that distributes messages to loved ones posthumously,
all controlled by a proprietary "Keyholder" service.
LegalWills.ca also offers a document review by a lawyer, as well as an option to print and ship the document to your home.
Customer support at LegalWills.ca
LegalWills.ca does offer Canadian based support and claims to offer phone, email and live chat support.
But we found that compared to other service providers, their live chat was not as often online.
However, the responsiveness of the email tickets was excellent, as well as the quality of their responses.
Live phone support was also excellent.
LegalWills.ca collects reviews on Google, Trustpilot and Facebook.
It has an exceptional 4.9 stars on Google, a 4.7 Trustpilot rating and 5 out of 5 on Facebook.
The volume of reviews is impressive with around a thousand on each of the Google and Trustpilot platforms.
Even some of the critical reviews on Trustpilot were simple misunderstandings (one was for a completely different company).
There is no doubt that customer experience has been a positive one for the vast majority of LegalWills.ca customers.
LegalWills.ca is not the simplest or fastest online Will service to use, but it is the most complete and one of the most affordable.
It offers the most flexibility in the Will service, and we really like the complementary services like LifeLocker and the Digital Vault.