Canada
Canada's #1 provider of online Wills, Power of Attorney & Living Wills.
Thousands of legal documents every week.  Over 14 years in business.
September 19, 2014  
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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I create legal documents using this site?

Our services can be used to generate a custom-made 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.

What makes LegalWills.ca different from other web sites and do-it-yourself kits?

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 reasons why:

  • 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. 

  • Incredible value for money.   Our membership pricing model 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. 

  • 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 Keyholder® Advantage.

  • 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 time. 

  • 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 than 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 the Will.”
--- Keith Sutton, Surrey, B.C.   Read more testimonials

Do I need a Will?

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.

Can I make a joint Will?

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.

Is the MyWill™ service suitable for me?

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 implications.
  • 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.

Can I also create a Power of Attorney or Living Will?

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 Will, Expatriate Will, Power of Attorney and Living Will.

Why should I trust LegalWills.ca with my personal information?

All of your information stored at LegalWills.ca 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 LegalWills.ca 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.

How secure is it?

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 on your web browser.  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.

Can my information get destroyed or lost?

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 at risk.

Furthermore, physical protection of our primary systems includes:

  • Fire detection and fire suppression systems with dry pipe pre-action sprinkler systems
  • 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 operations
  • 24x7 monitoring and support of network connection and server availability
  • 24x7 uniformed guard service with interior and exterior closed-circuit television surveillance
  • Electronic access at all data center entrances, including biometric hand scanners
  • 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.

What if I am not satisfied with my purchased membership?

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.

Do you accept personal cheques or money orders?

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.

Is my credit card information safe?

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.

Do I need a lawyer?

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.

Do you offer legal advice?

LegalWills.ca 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.

Does it matter where I live?

Services such as MyFuneral™, MyLifeLocker™ 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™, MyExpatWill™, MyPowerOfAttorney™ and 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 documents reviewed.

Will I end up on a mailing list?

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 LegalWills.ca, 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®.

What will happen if LegalWills.ca goes out of business?

LegalWills.ca 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 LegalWills.ca 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 LegalWills.ca will 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.  But LegalWills.ca has every intention of being here to stay!

What if I decide I no longer want to use LegalWills.ca?

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.

Why are my changes not being reflected when I view them online?

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.

How do I get the 40% discount for my spouse/partner?

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 applied. 

Note that each membership is separate --- each person must join separately and create their own account.

When I try to login I get a "Page not accessible" error, or get stuck on a "Leaving so soon?" page

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.

How do I renew my membership?

To renew your membership, you should login to your account by going to http://www.legalwills.ca/ 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.

I have paid. How do I now access my Will?

First, you should check to see that you have an account with us.  You may have received confirmation of this in an email from LegalWills.ca.  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 support@legalwills.ca, and we can set up an account for you.

Can you send me a Will Kit?

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.

I'm confused about the payment options and the term "membership". What does this mean?

Another way to look at it is that the cost of the Will service is $34.95 CAD and this includes use of our free services such as the MyMessages™ and MyFuneral™ services. Also included in this $34.95 CAD 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 $34.95 CAD, 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.

Who can serve as witnesses to the signing of my Will?

You need two witnesses to the signing of your Will. 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. Friends and co-workers can serve as witnesses, provided that they are not a beneficiary in your Will. Furthermore, there is no requirement to have a lawyer or notary sign your Will to make it legal.

What if I have more questions or I need help using the LegalWills.ca services?

Simply send us an email at support@legalwills.ca.  We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.