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Are Canadian Will Kits Worth It?

Are Canadian Will Kits Worth It?

Allow me to start off by sharing a rather inconvenient truth; that is, at some point in the future, we are all going to die. It isn’t something any of us want to think about, let alone discuss. But when it comes to personal finances, death is an eventuality that we all need to be prepared for.

Unfortunately, not enough Canadians are taking the necessary steps to ensure that they are the ones deciding what happens to their estate when they pass on. The best way to do this is to create a legal will.

In this article, we’ll examine a popular DIY will preparation method – the will kit – often called a blank form will kit. I also share a couple of will kit alternatives. But first, let’s take a closer look at why you need a will in the first place.

Do You Have A Will?

If you can answer yes to this question, you’re in the minority. Recently, the Angus Reid Institute conducted a poll on wills in Canada, with some startling results. Over 50% of adult Canadians do not have a will at all, while the number is closer to 90% for Canadians under the age of 35.

Canadians list several reasons why they don’t have a will, including feeling as though they are too young, don’t have enough assets to warrant making a will, or that they are simply too uncomfortable in dealing with the entire subject.

The Benefits Of Making A Will

Here are a few reasons why you should consider making a will:

  • It ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes
  • Makes it easier for your family when you die, by saving time and reducing stress
  • Gives parents control over deciding how minor children will be cared for
  • Without a will, decisions will be based on law, perhaps contrary to your wishes
  • A will provides clarity to your family and can help prevent conflict
  • Makes it easier to include beneficiaries that may be outside of the family

What Is a Will Kit?

A will kit is a fill-in-the-blank document that you purchase for the purpose of creating a do-it-yourself will. Generally speaking, a will kit is considered to be legally binding as long as certain rules are followed:

  • The person creating the will (testator) is of sound mind.
  • The person creating the will is above the age of majority
  • The will must be signed with ink (no e-signatures) by the testator and the witnesses.
  • The will must be an original, physical copy (photocopies are not allowed).

How Blank Form Will Kits Work

Now that we’ve established why having a will is so important, let’s take a look at a do-it-yourself solution that’s been around for years, – the blank form will kit.

You can find blank form will kits at popular office supply stores, like Staples, for example. The appeal to these kits lies in their affordability. When faced with the prospect of paying a lawyer $750 or more to make your will, a $25 blank form will kit can seem like the perfect alternative.

Of course, they also advertise that they are 100% legal, creating the perception that they will stand up if challenged in court.

The Pros and Cons of Will Kits

Legal will kits have some advantages, but they are also fraught with potential problems. Here’s a list of pros and cons to consider before you purchase a legal will kit.


Legal will kits are affordable

You can purchase a legal will kit from an office supply store such as Staples, for around $25. While it would be nice if every Canadian adult could afford to hire a lawyer to draft their will, it’s not realistic. That’s why affordable will solutions are so important.

No need to involve estate lawyers

A Will kit allows you to create a legally binding will without involving experienced estate planning lawyers. Of course, bypassing a lawyer comes with its own risks, which I’ll address further down.


They only work for basic estates

Blank form will kits are usually only a couple of pages long, and are not designed to accommodate anything that is non-standard. If it’s as simple as granting 100% of your estate to your significant other, they may work, but what if that person passes away before you, or you have minor children, and you want to make sure they receive the proper care after you’re gone?

They are Too Confusing

While paper-based legal will kits may appear simple and straightforward, there is very little instruction provided, so filling them out can be very confusing. What you’ll get is a generic form with lots of blank spaces to fill in, without any solid advice on how to properly complete the document.

They are Easily Challenged in Court

While it’s true that a blank form will kit may be considered legal if it’s been signed and witnessed properly, that doesn’t mean it won’t be challenged in court. Without clear instructions and the benefit of a professional, errors are far more common. Because of this, blank-form wills are often successfully challenged in court, by family members who may interpret your wishes differently than you intended.

What Is an Online Legal Will?

An online legal will is not the same as a legal will kit. Online wills are completed online using interactive software that guides you through the process. The experience of completing an online will is similar to doing your taxes through a tax software program, like TurboTax or Wealthsimple Tax.

Generally, online wills are more expensive than paper-based legal will kits, but they are still more affordable than going through a lawyer. Prices range from around $39 for a basic will to more than $300 for a complete estate package for a married couple (last will and testament, power of attorney and living will, funeral and burial wishes.)

How Online Will Kits Work

Online will kits offer affordable estate planning while solving many of the problems of store-bought, blank-form will kits. Their product offering extends beyond basic will preparation. For an additional fee, you can add the power of attorney documents, and living wills, which express one’s desires for medical treatment, should they become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves.

If there’s a downside to online wills, it would be the lack of legal advice required for complex estates. For example, if you have a very high net worth, own property outside of Canada, or a large business, you’ll definitely want to see a lawyer to complete your will. But for most Canadians, whose estate needs are more simple, an online will kit is an option worth considering.

Are Online Wills Legal?

The same rules that apply to will kits apply to online will programs when it comes to creating a legal document. With an online will, you will need to print the document after you’ve filled it out online and ensure it’s signed in wet ink by yourself and your witnesses.

Top Online Will Companies

While there are many online will companies in Canada, I’ve included a brief description of two of the more popular programs below. Both allow you to create last wills, living wills, powers of attorney, and more.


Willful has been around since 2017. They offer estate solutions, including online legal wills, at three separate tiers, with straightforward pricing that is easy to understand. For $99, the Essentials Plan will provide you with a last will and testament, enabling you to establish who your estate representative will be, your instruction for the care of minor children, and your wishes for your funeral. The Premium Plan is $189 and includes a power of attorney. For $329, the Family Plan will allow your spouse to complete the same documents.


  • Transparent, all-in-one pricing
  • 3 Plans: Essentials, Premium & Family, $99/$189/$329
  • Unlimited, free updates
  • Class-leading user experience
  • Currently available in BC, Ontario, and Alberta
  • Service experience includes a live chat and quick response times

You can learn more about Willful in our full review.

Canadian Legal Wills – Best For Affordability has been providing Canadians with online legal wills for almost 20 years, a fact which lends to their credibility in the industry. That said, their top selling point is affordability. With, you can receive a last will and testament for as little as $39.95, while a couple’s package that includes a will, and power of attorney for you and your spouse, is only $144.


  • Longstanding player, established in 2000
  • Available across Canada
  • Affordable pricing begins at $39.95
  • 40% discount on a second will for a spouse/partner
  • A full estate plan for a couple costs $144
  • List belongings, digital assets, and contacts using Life Locker

Should I Use A Legal Will Kit?

If you don’t feel comfortable completing your will online or don’t have the budget to have your will prepared by a lawyer than a legal will kit is better than having no will at all. But you need to be aware of the shortcomings I addressed earlier in this article.

Remember that there is no substitute for expert legal advice, and a fill-in-the-blank will kit won’t be suitable for most people. If for any reason, you have a complex estate, a lawyer-prepared last will and testament are well worth the expense. For straightforward estates, an online will through Willful or Canadian Legal Wills should suffice.


  1. Evelinn

    Great article with good information and recommendations for simple will kits.
    Thank you !

  2. Altamira Santacruz

    My husband and I had the 2 documents (Last Will and Testament, Continuing P. of. A. for Property) made for each of us through Legal Wills about 4 years ago. We had to provide our bank with those documents. The bank took its time to examine them and they were fully accepted. The service we got from Legal Wills was EXCELLENT. I really recommend them for simple situations like ours.

  3. Tim Hewson

    Nice article Tom, and thank you for including Although we never like to be considered a second best option, you have given us some things to think about. Our pricing is on a per document basis, rather than by package, with all documents being 40 percent discounted for the second account. Maybe we need to clean this up a bit.

    I concede that our interface isn’t quite as “drag and drop” as Willful, but this is perhaps because we offer a number of additional features; we have more flexibility in a distribution plan, we include lifetime interest trusts, our minor trusts have more flexibility, as do our pet trusts. We also allow you to cover assets in the US through our Expat Will service.

    We have over 600 five star google reviews and a 4.9 star rating on Facebook.

    But one key advantage is our longevity; as illustrated by the comment from Altamira (thank you for this comment), hundreds if not thousands of our documents have been through probate and have been accepted by the courts and banks. Many people who used our service over a decade ago have subsequently died, and we have never once heard of there being an issue with one of our documents. Being in the business for 18 years means that our documents are tried and tested.

    Thank you again for the review, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any further information about our service.
    Best wishes,

  4. Cheryl

    Do the documents have to be signed in front of a notary? Most notaries want to use their own precedents. Do you know of a notary in Kelowna who would allow these forms to be used?

    • Ann

      I have the same question. who witnesses the will and p.of.a? do i need a notary? or can my bank manager or Bank CS, or my doctor or dentist witness

  5. Anne

    Thank you for this information. My husband and I would have a very straight forward Will to do so I will look into Willful Wills. Good information!

  6. Art

    Many websites have been compromised by hackers in the past 20 years.
    How secure is my personal information which will be accessible online for many years to come?

    • Dave

      I do not see the matters of security and privacy addressed in this writing.

      A Will document would contain some very sensitive information. Does anyone know where their data is stored by these online Will companies, assuming they retrain the copy, as personal data is golden (G00gle, Fb00k, et al. you listening – probably)? Does anyone truly know what protections, or claims of security protection, these companies offer?

      Would it not be safer to provide a download, CD, or USB stick with the software that the user can run on a computer? If designed and programmed intelligently, it could be software that runs locally within a computer web browser (no Internet required). That should allow the software to run on many types of computers. This is not rocket science.

      Be wary.

  7. Willkit Buyer

    Can we talk Data storage, security and ability to make ongoing changes to wills with clear defined pricing?
    – NS couple with positive net worth on the market for an online will kit.

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