Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Our services can be used to generate a customized Will, Power of Attorney and
Living Will in Canada (except Quebec).
In order to make these into legal documents,
you should first print them, and read them thoroughly. Make sure that they accurately
reflect your wishes and that you understand everything that is contained in the
documents. According to the current laws in most jurisdictions, in order to be a
legal document your Will must be signed in the presence of at least two witnesses,
and the two witnesses must also sign the Will, in the presence of the "testator"
(yourself) and in the presence of each other. You and the witnesses should also initial
each page, so that it is not possible to alter any pages after the Will has been signed.
In most jurisdictions, a witness cannot be a beneficiary of the Will, they cannot be
the spouse of a beneficiary (at the time of signing), they cannot be a minor,
and, like the "testator" (you), they must be of sound mind. There is
no legal requirement to use the services of a lawyer or have the document notarized
in order to create a legal Will, Power of Attorney or Living Will in Canada.
More details on the process to be followed for creating a legal document
are included in the help text of the
MyWill™ and MyExpatWill™ services.
If these instructions are
followed, then your Will is a legally binding document.
For an informative and eye-opening comparison of the MyWill™ service to
do-it-yourself legal will kits, read about it here.
What makes us different from other web sites and
kits? Quite frankly, there is no comparison. Here are just a few
We have designed
our Legal Will creation service to be of the best quality available
today. We have evaluated many existing do-it-yourself kits
and web-based services,
including several of the most popular Canadian
legal will kits. We were shocked by the poor quality, limited instructions, and
low value for money that many of these do-it-yourself kits provide consumers.
Our pay-one-price membership
model protects your investment for the rest of your life. Our
membership pricing model also allows us to provide you with the most value for
your money at prices that are unprecedented in the legal industry. We
worked with lawyers to bring you this service, and we paid for their legal
services so you don't have to. By making use of
our services conveniently online over the Internet, there is no need to
purchase a do-it-yourself kit in the first place, nor do you need to
purchase an upgraded version every year.
Plain language help and instructions. In addition, all of our services provide you with complete
instructions and answer your questions in everyday language, free of legal
industry jargon. We have developed our services based on the requirements
of the public, not dictated by the legal profession. Our wizards, help and
information are also designed to be the best on the market and are kept
up-to-date on an ongoing basis.
Create your Will from the comfort of your own
home. No lawyer required. Our unique approach allows you to make use of the
ultimate convenience of the Internet to write your Will at your own pace,
online, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and to make changes online at any time
free of charge.
Free unlimited updates. Don't pay a
lawyer every time you need to update your Will. We allow your Will to be kept
securely online so that you can make free unlimited updates for as long as you
are a member.
You can still have it reviewed by a lawyer.
We have worked with lawyers in Canada
to bring you the
MyWill™ and MyExpatWill™ services
and to ensure that they are of the highest quality.
But if you wish, we can still arrange for your Will to be reviewed by one of our lawyers,
who will check the document for consistency and completeness.
The Keyholder® Advantage. You can
take advantage of our unique messaging service which allows you to describe the
exact location of your Will and to provide a detailed list of assets for your
Executor. All for no extra charge. When you pass away, let us worry about
communicating this information to the people you specify. There is simply no
other company that provides such a complete and convenient service to their
customers. For more information, read about The
We employ a strong focus on protecting the privacy
and security of your information. We use industry standard encryption
algorithms for storing all of your private information, and the design of
our services ensures that the contents of your information are made available to
the specific people designated by yourself, and only at the appropriate
Keep informed and up to date. If you wish, we can inform you by email about any changes
in legislation which may have occurred in your jurisdiction that may require
changes to your Will. Or we can send you simple email reminders, no more
once a year, to remind you to consider updating your Will if any significant
changes have occurred in your life.
Other web sites and do-it-yourself kits simply do not compare.
Also, take a look at the news article warning about
the use of do-it-yourself will kits.
“I used your service to write a Will
for my dear wife Christine who passed away this year. The Will was easy to
fill out and very straightforward. I never had one problem arise because of
--- Keith Sutton, Surrey, B.C. Read
Here are a few common reasons that people indicate there is no
point in writing a Will:
"I don't really care who gets my estate.
I'll be gone anyway."
Without a Will, your property may not go to the people that you wish to
benefit. In most countries there is a law that decides how property should
be distributed if a person dies 'intestate' (without a Will). The actual
administration of your estate will also be complicated and difficult. The
courts will usually decide who will act as a personal representative or
'executor' for distributing your possessions, and the laws in your local
jurisdiction will determine who will get what. This may lead to acrimonious
legal disputes between your survivors. Note that if you have no heirs, all
of your assets, property and possessions can pass to your local government.
The effort required to draft your Will is insignificant compared to the
difficulties that dying without a Will presents to your survivors.
"It's obvious who will get my estate. It
will go to my spouse."
Local laws will determine who will receive your possessions, which may or
may not reflect your intentions. If you die without a Will and you are
married, your assets will not automatically go to your surviving
spouse. Local laws may determine that others, including children, may
be entitled to a share. This will be determined by the laws of "Intestate
Succession" which vary from state to state, province to province,
country to country, and will frequently lead to messy legal cases.
"I don't have an estate of any value."
Even if you don't believe that you have an estate of any value, your
death itself may generate a sizeable benefit. For example, your
beneficiaries may be entitled to the proceeds of a life insurance claim, a
wrongful death suit, a claim in the event of some negligence resulting in
your death. These can be significant sums of money.
Quite clearly, there is never a situation where a Will is
unnecessary. In many cases, this can be a simple declaration of your
wishes for how your estate should be distributed, and this can be achieved by
working through the MyWill™ wizard on this web site. You should draft a
Will while you are still young and healthy, even if you don't feel that your
assets are substantial. There is absolutely no benefit in waiting until
you are older.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of people do not
have a Will. Some people feel that they do not need one because of one of the
above reasons. Others find it to be too time consuming to get organized,
find a lawyer, arrange appointments and attend meetings during their already
busy schedules. Many feel that the lawyers' fees surrounding the creation and
maintenance of a Will are too expensive.
Whatever your reason may be, you should know that it
is extremely important that you have an up to date Will. If you die without a
Will, the courts will decide how your estate is distributed, and this may not be
in the best interests of your loved ones. It is impossible for us to know how
your estate will be distributed, but we do know that if you have a Will, then
the decisions are in your hands.
To die without a Will is irresponsible and places a
tremendous burden on your survivors. Do not put it off any longer.
A joint Will is a single document, signed by
"co-testators" (usually spouses), intended to reflect the wishes of
both parties. This is generally considered to be an extremely bad idea, and
probably worse than having no Will at all. Often, the intent of a joint Will is
to declare that each person would leave everything to the surviving partner, and
in the event that both partners are victims of a common disaster, everything
would go to their children. The problem is that it is unclear whether a
surviving partner can revoke a joint Will and many messy legal cases have arisen
as a result of this confusion.
In short, do not make a joint Will, as there could be problems if either
party changes their mind, or wishes to amend the Will. There may also be
problems if the surviving spouse tries to make any changes to a joint Will, as
they may be bound to the original terms. Furthermore,
there is no reason to create a joint Will, as there is no disadvantage to drawing
up a separate Will for each partner.
Although the MyWill™ question-and-answer wizard is
applicable for most cases, there are circumstances where it is advisable to seek
legal advice. In particular:
- If you are a resident of Quebec.
- If you are involved in a matrimonial dispute, or wish to disinherit your
spouse or children.
- If you have a history of mental illness, or the question of your mental
capacity may be raised in objection to the statements in the Will.
- If you own personal property or real estate in multiple countries.
- If you are under the age of adulthood.
- If you have complicated business investments (e.g. you are part owner of
property or businesses where ownership may be challenged).
- If you are about to be married and are preparing a Will in contemplation
of that marriage.
- If you have a large, complex estate and feel that you
would benefit from some advice on estate planning and tax reduction.
- If you own a farm, as there may be significant estate planning
- If you need to provide for long term medical care for a dependent.
- If you have any litigation pending which involve large sums of money or
where a prison term is possible.
- If you think that somebody may challenge your Will in court or you have
any other doubts about your situation.
In the above situations and in other more complex situations
(the above is not an exhaustive list), it would not be advisable to rely on
the output of the MyWill™ wizard as an accurate expression of your wishes.
Instead, you should consult with an attorney in these cases.
Yes. A Power of Attorney (also known as a
Power of Attorney for Finances) and Living Will (also known as a Power of
Attorney for Health Care), are very important documents that should be created
and updated at the same time as your Will.
This web site allows you to create a
Power of Attorney and
All of your information stored at
is private, safe and
secure. Your information is so highly encrypted that nobody has access to
this information other than yourself and your trusted Keyholders® using their
randomly generated personal key. Even the owners and administrators of
are not able to access your private information due to the
software design and encryption methods used.
Note, however, that some services require temporary decryption of a member's documents
as part of the operation of providing that service.
For example, if the member wants to have their Will reviewed by one of our legal
professionals, or wants to have their documents printed and mailed to them, then
the software will automatically decrypt these documents as part of the member's
instructions to have these services performed.
This web site uses state-of-the-art digital encryption and security
technologies to protect your privacy and security. All data passing from
your computer to this web site is authenticated and encrypted using 128-bit
"SSL encryption". This is the most advanced level of encryption available
today, and it means that any information sent from your computer is scrambled in
a way which makes it completely unintelligible if intercepted. When you
are on a secure section within the web site (i.e. after you have
logged in as a member), a padlock will appear at the bottom of your web
browser's screen. This is your assurance that the encryption is in place
and that you are communicating across a secure link.
Furthermore, this web site uses an industry standard high security
streaming-encryption algorithm known as "RSA" to encrypt all of your information
before it is stored online. RSA is a public-key cryptosystem developed by
MIT professors Ronald
Rivest, Adi Shamir and Leonard Adleman. To give you a
feeling for the level of security provided by this encryption, it has been
estimated that with the most efficient algorithms known to date, it would take a
computer operating at 1 million instructions per second over 300 quintillion
years (that's 3 with 20 zeros behind it!) to break the encryption. That's
several trillion times longer than the age of the Earth.
All of our data is securely stored in a highly encrypted format on database
servers. To protect against catastrophic data loss, daily backups are
performed on each of our servers. Hence, if
any one of our servers experienced technical difficulties, the data would not be
Furthermore, physical protection of our primary systems includes:
- Fire detection and fire suppression systems with dry pipe pre-action
- N + 1 redundant power supplies, providing dual power feeds and backup
batteries, water coolant systems and generators
- N + 1 redundant climate control, providing primary and backup chiller
units, cooling towers, and water storage
- Local network operations center (NOC) for monitoring all data center
- 24x7 monitoring and support of network connection and server
- 24x7 uniformed guard service with interior and exterior closed-circuit
- Electronic access at all data center entrances, including biometric hand
- Electronic key management systems and individually keyed cabinets
As you can see, we take the security and privacy of all of our member
information very seriously.
We are proud to offer a 30-day, no questions asked, 100% money
back guarantee on all paid memberships. If after joining as a member
you do not feel that you have received valuable information and value for your
money, we will gladly refund the cost of your membership.
Yes, we accept all major credit cards, as well as personal cheques
or money orders. If you are making a purchase, you will be provided with
further instructions regarding your options.
Absolutely. Your credit card information is only used for
purchases and it is never stored by us. Furthermore, all credit card purchases
are through a secure gateway which protects all of your transactions by powerful
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption technology and Private Communication
Technology (PCT) security standards supported by Internet Explorer,
Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and other popular browsers. SSL encrypts your credit card
number, name, address, and telephone number before they travel over the
Internet, and this information is never stored, nor is it recorded by the secure
site. This makes doing business over the Internet as secure as purchasing by
telephone or handing your credit card to a waiter in a restaurant.
There is no requirement to use the services of a lawyer or notary public to
prepare your own legal Last Will and Testament. The law that defines the legality
of a Will is written specifically for each Province, State and Country, but in summary
the law requires that the Will is written on a piece of paper and signed in the
presence of two witnesses who cannot be beneficiaries to the Will. Lawyers can
certainly help you to prepare your Will, but everybody has a legal right to write
their own Will. If you create a document using our service, it must be printed,
signed and witnessed according to our instructions, and then it becomes a legal
Last Will and Testament.
is not a legal firm. We do not offer legal advice.
If your situation is complex, or you have any questions regarding your funeral
service, estate planning, Will, Living Will or Power of Attorney, we strongly
recommend that you talk to a practicing lawyer in your area.
Services such as MyFuneral™,
and MyMessages™ do not create legal documents and
make no assumptions about your country of residence.
We have worked extensively with lawyers in Canada to ensure that the legal
documents created by the MyWill™,
MyLivingWill™ services are up to date
with the laws in all of the provinces in
Canada, including: Alberta,
British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland,
Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island,
Saskatchewan, and Yukon Territory. Hence, our
services can be used to generate legal documents in any Canadian province with the
exception of Quebec.
If you have any doubts about the legal standing of any documents in your
jurisdiction, feel free to seek legal counsel in your area to have your
If you choose, you can receive occasional email updates from
us regarding any new services that become available, special
offers available only to our members, or any other information
that we feel might be of interest to our members. These will likely be
sent out once every few months. You can of course choose not to receive
any emails and we will not send you any information unless
requested to do so.
We absolutely do not share member information with
any other organization. We have no affiliate companies, partners or
interests in any other organizations. You will not receive any other
mailings based on a membership at this web site.
In accordance with our very strict privacy policies here at
we will never send any postal mail or email to any of your
Keyholders® outside of your wishes, nor will we ever attempt to contact any of
your Keyholders® in any way. Furthermore, we will not resell, trade, lease
or rent to third parties any personally identifiable information about you or
about any of your designated Keyholders®.
has funding set aside to support the cost of hosting member
information for a number of years into the future based on today's prices.
This money is used as an insurance policy to ensure that even if
ceases to accept new members, that existing member information
will still be maintained. At today's prices (which we anticipate to fall)
even if LegalWills.ca
received no additional revenue, hosting of member data
is secured for another 25 years. Our intention is to increase this fund to
support ongoing costs for a minimum of 100 years, which is well beyond the
advance directive needs of any of our members.
Nevertheless, if for whatever reason you believe that
cease to exist in the future, you can still make full use of our services by
viewing and printing your documents and storing them in a safe place. When
they are needed, assuming that your loved ones know where to look, they can
still access your documentation. If used in this way, our pricing
structure still makes the creation of these documents very cost effective for
all of our members, with no dependency on the
LegalWills.ca web site.
has every intention of being here to stay!
When logged in as a member, there is a link on the member home page which allows you to delete
your entire membership. Clicking on this link will result in the permanent deletion of your entire account,
including all of your member information, and any documents or files you have created.
If you make changes to a document, but you can only
see an "old" version when you view it online, this is because you have "caching"
enabled in your web browser. In certain circumstances, this causes your
browser to access a temporary "cached" version from your hard drive
instead of retrieving the latest one from our web server. If you are using
Internet Explorer, you should clear your cache by selecting Tools > Internet
Options > Temporary Internet Files > Delete Files. If you are using a
different web browser, check your browser's documentation for instructions on
how to clear the cache.
You will have been provided with a Reference Code in your order confirmation
email. If you no longer have this email or did not receive it (likely due to
spam blocking software), you can obtain your Reference Code by logging in and
clicking on the link at the top of your member home page that says "Your
spouse/partner discount (40% off any membership) is still available". When
your spouse/partner steps through the checkout process, copy and paste this code
into the “Reference Code” box and the 40% discount will be automatically
Note that each membership is separate --- each person must join separately
and create their own account.
This is an occasional problem caused by our use of session cookies. It most
commonly occurs when multiple browser windows are open and you log out of one
window. It can also occur when two people with different accounts are sharing
the same computer. The resolution is to close all browser windows between
sessions. Then re-open the browser and login. If this does not resolve the
problem, then please contact us.
To renew your membership, you should login to your account by going to
and clicking on the "Member Login" button located at the top-right corner of the page.
Enter your UserID and the Password you selected when you created your account.
Once you have logged in, click on the MyAccount™ service and then select an option
to add additional years to your membership. From here you can step through the payment process.
First, you should check to see that you have an account with us. You
may have received confirmation of this in an email from
If you have a User ID and Password, then you can log into the site by clicking
here. Once you have logged in, scroll down
to click on the MyWill™ service, and from here you can click on "View
your Will" or "Download and Print your Will (PDF file)". If you have paid and do not
have a User ID or Password, contact us by sending an email to
and we can set up an account for you.
We do not mail out Will kits. We believe that blank forms are a bad
idea and usually lead to legal problems.
There used to be a kit advertised widely on television and radio but this was
heavily criticized and is no longer available. We have developed a truly
interactive service that generates a custom document based on your answers to a
series of questions. This document can then be printed, signed and
witnessed to become your legal Will. You can also store this document
online and make updates to reflect changes in your personal or financial
situation. Each time an update is made, the document must be printed,
signed and witnessed and the previous document should be destroyed.
Another way to look at it is that the cost of the Will service is
and this includes use of our free services such as the MyMessages™ and MyFuneral™ services.
Also included in this
is the storage of the document online for one year. This means that you do not necessarily have
to complete the document all in one sitting, and if in a week or two's time you realize that you
have forgotten something, you can simply log back in with your user ID and Password, make a change,
print off a new version and sign it in front of witnesses again to have your new Will.
You also have the option of storing your document online for longer, and this would be useful
to make sure that you always have an up-to-date document to reflect any changes in your personal
or financial situation. You can choose to store it for 5 years, 10 years, 25 years or Life
(or simply pay to renew each year), and all the time that you have it stored online you have a
"membership" and you can login at any time to make an update. It is important to
review your Will every once in a while and this ensures that it will always be current.
However, these are all optional. If you wish, you can just create the document for
print it off and not store it online at all. Or you can just ask to have all of your
information removed once you are happy with the final document. However, this is an
irreversible step and once you do this, you will no longer be able to login and work on
your document. It will be removed from our system completely.
In order to make a Will that you create on this web site into a legal
document, you should first print it and read it thoroughly. Make sure that it
accurately reflects your wishes and that you understand everything that is
contained in the document. Once you are happy that it reflects your wishes, you
must sign your Will in the presence of at least two witnesses, and these
witnesses must also sign the Will, in the presence of the "testator" (yourself)
and in the presence of each other. You and the witnesses should also initial
each page, so that it is not possible to alter any pages after the Will has been
signed. A witness cannot be a beneficiary of the Will, they cannot be the spouse of
a beneficiary (at the time of signing), they cannot be a minor, and, like the
"testator" (you), they must be of sound mind. More information about this procedure and the restrictions on who can be
witnesses is included at the end of the
MyWill™ and MyExpatWill™ wizards.
In Canada, after you have passed away the executor of your Will must prove that your
Will was signed properly. In order to do this, at least one of the witnesses
must confirm under oath that the Will was signed and witnessed correctly.
Another more convenient approach, however, is to have the witnesses sign under
oath (in the presence of a Notary Public) an "affidavit" which can then be
appended to the Will. This is an optional step, but it eliminates the need for
the witnesses to testify in court at the probating of the Will. Again, a
detailed description of this procedure is included at the end of the
MyWill™ and MyExpatWill™ wizards.