Canada's #1 provider of online Wills, Power of Attorney, and Living Wills

MyWill™  - Write a Last Will and Testament in District of Columbia

"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

This is NOT just a do-it-yourself legal will kit.
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We have removed the obstacles to writing a Will.  It is convenient, low cost, and simple.  The MyWill™ service steps you through a series of questions in a "wizard" format.  All questions are written in plain language, so you don't have to be a legal expert to create your own Will.  You simply answer the questions, complete the details, and we automatically and instantly format a document that forms the basis of a legal Will, custom-made for your local jurisdiction.  If you live in Canada, this document can then be printed and signed in front of witnesses to become a legally binding document.  There is also plenty of supplementary information to help answer all of your questions.

Make unlimited updates free of charge.  Don't pay a lawyer every time you need to update your Will.  We allow your Will to be kept securely online at LegalWills.ca so that you can make unlimited updates for as long as you are a member here.  For example, if you have a significant change in your life you can revoke your previous Wills and create a new, updated version.  If you change your marital status, have a new child, make a significant purchase, move homes, or get a pet --- all of your revised wishes can be captured in a new version of your Will.  Not only will you have a legal Will, but it will always be kept up to date.

You can still have it reviewed by a lawyer.  We have worked with lawyers in Canada to bring you the MyWill™ service and to ensure that it is of the highest quality.  But if you wish, we can still arrange for your Will to be reviewed by a lawyer, who will check the document for consistency and completeness.

Do not put it off any longer.  The vast majority of people do not have a Will.  Some people feel that they do not need one because they believe that the distribution of their estate is obvious.  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.

 

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MyWill™- Frequently Asked Questions

For an informative and eye-opening comparison of the MyWill™ service to do-it-yourself legal will kits, read about it here

Quite frankly, there is no comparison.  We have evaluated many existing do-it-yourself legal will kits, 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 will kits provide consumers.  We have designed the MyWill™ service to be of the best quality available today.  Furthermore, 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.

First of all, by making use of the MyWill™ service conveniently online over the Internet, there is no need to purchase a do-it-yourself legal will kit in the first place, nor do you need to purchase an upgraded version every year.  Incredible value for money.  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. 

In addition, the MyWill™ service provides you with complete instructions and answers your questions in everyday language, free of legal industry jargon.  We have developed this service based on the requirements of the public, not dictated by the legal profession.

Furthermore, our unique approach allows you to make use of the ultimate convenience of the Internet to create 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

By storing your Will online, 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.

Combined with this is 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 LegalWills.ca ensures that the contents of your Will are made available to the specific people designated by yourself, and only at the appropriate time.

If you wish, we can even 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. 

Do-it-yourself legal will kits simply do not compare.  Also, take a look at the news article warning about the use of do-it-yourself legal will kits.

The MyWill™ service steps you through a simple question and answer wizard, formats your answers into a readable format, and allows you to make unlimited updates to your Will while allowing you to store your information securely online.  You can then designate your own personal "Keyholders® ", who with their unique ID can unlock your Will at the appropriate time.

The complete pricing structure is available on our Prices page.

The MyWill™ service can be used to generate a custom-made Last Will and Testament in Canada (except Quebec).  In order to make this 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. 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.

Although the unsigned version of your Will stored online at LegalWills.ca is not a legal document, if you wish you can allow one or more of your designated Keyholders® to have access to the Will that you have created here at LegalWills.ca.  This could be important if your legally signed copy cannot be located (for example, if it burned in a house fire).  In this situation, your LegalWills.ca Will can still provide some guidance to a loving family, as they can understand how you wanted your property to be distributed.

However, "digital signature" laws are moving rapidly and we are closely monitoring these laws to support the future electronic notarization of documents, including the digital signature of your Will.  It is only a matter of time before this becomes standard practice in preparing legal documents.

More details on the process to be followed for creating a legal document are included in the help text of the MyWill™ service. If these instructions are followed, then your Will is a legally binding document.

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 wizard.

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 wizard.

It is important to review your Will every few years and after any new financial or personal events, such as a significant business arrangement, a wedding, the birth of a child, a divorce or if you move outside of your state, province or country.

You can choose to have a 1-year, 10-year, 25-year or Life membership at LegalWills.ca, during which time you can make as many updates or amendments to your Will as you wish at no extra charge.  More details regarding the membership packages available can be found when making your purchase.

This really depends on the complexity of your Will.  The essence of a Will is simply stating that you leave something to somebody.  If you are leaving everything to one person, and you have no other dependents or family members, particularly from previous marriages, your Will could be very simple and quick to create.

However, LegalWills.ca will also allow you to create quite complex Wills that will require a great deal more thought and consideration.  In this case we would also recommend that you have the Will reviewed by a professional lawyer, which will be a longer overall process, but can still be done conveniently from our web site. 

You do not need to complete your Will in one sitting.  You can answer a couple of questions and then store these wishes securely online here at LegalWills.ca until you have a few more minutes to answer additional questions.  If you prefer, you can spend many weeks or months making unlimited updates until you are happy with your final results, at which point you could have your final copy reviewed and signed.

All of your information stored at LegalWills.ca is 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 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.

All data passing from your computer to LegalWills.ca 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, 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, LegalWills.ca uses an industry standard high security streaming-encryption algorithm known as "RSA" to encrypt all of your information before it is stored online.  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 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.

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 here at LegalWills.ca.  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.  To die without a Will is irresponsible and places a tremendous burden on your survivors.

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 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.  However, even in these circumstances there is value in stepping through the MyWill™ wizard in preparation for a consultation with an attorney.

We are unable to draw up a Will specifically for you, as the courts would regard this as entering into a "client-attorney relationship".  In doing this we would be guilty of "Unauthorized Practice of Law," as legal advice can only be given by a person licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction.  This is a serious offense.  However, you do not need to have a lawyer to create your Will, and at LegalWills.ca we give you the tools to create a Will based on your family situation and your plans for your estate.  Furthermore, the legal wording contained in all of the Wills that can be created at LegalWills.ca have been produced and reviewed by lawyers.  By using our intuitive question and answer wizard you will be able to create a legal Will that satisfies your requirements.  In addition, we offer an optional service which allows you have your completed Will reviewed by one of our lawyers, who is able to check for consistency and completeness within your final document.

Some people may benefit from more extensive estate planning techniques, such as: setting up trusts, limiting probate, and tax reduction schemes.  However, these usually require detailed (and often expensive) professional guidance.  Quite often, younger people and people with straightforward plans for their estate do not pursue the creation of extensive estate plans. Others postpone extensive estate planning for later in life, when their financial and family circumstances settle down.  Nevertheless, regardless of your age or your financial situation, it is imperative to have a Will.  Detailed estate planning can come later.

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 are in Quebec, you can consider downloading a Quebec Will Kit from QuebecWillKit.ca.

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.

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.

There is a considerable amount of information included in the on-line help of the MyWill™ wizard.  This will answer most of the common questions regarding the steps included in creating your own Will. 

For information about the other services available, or about LegalWills.ca in general, you can browse this web site or send an email to support@legalwills.ca.  We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

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