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- Quick, easy to understand and affordable.
- No intimidating or expensive lawyer visits.
- You’ll have a legal will in (much) less than an hour.
- Not available in every province.
- Not suitable for complex legal situations.
What is Willful?
Basically, they help you do that thing you’ve been putting off forever because it seemed way too hard, by making it really, really easy.
Who can use Willful?
Right now, Willful is available for residents of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. They're adding Quebec in the spring and working to expand their availability in other provinces soon.
Who should use Willful?
This really boils down to two questions:
- Do you need a will, and
- Do you need a complicated will?
While there’s a case to be made that everyone could use a will and power of attorney documents — especially when it comes to determining things like who would make decisions for your health care if you were incapable of doing so yourself — there are some cases where having those things is something you need, not just a nice-to-have.
If you share financial responsibilities with another person (aka you’re common-law or married), if you have a child, or both, you need a will.
Like, need-need, not “It would be nice of you to have this handled to save your loved ones some stress in the worst-case scenario.”
If you’re dealing with a complex legal situation, an in-person lawyer is still your best bet, but for most of us? Willful will give you everything you need, from the comfort of your home, in about 15 minutes.
And if you’re sitting there, like me, about to Google “is my legal situation complex,” it’s probably not. For us, Willful was a great way to make sure we were on the same page and take care of all of the boring-but-important details ahead of our wedding this summer. It’s one less thing we have to think about now, since it’s totally handled.
What’s the experience like?
In a word: dreamy. In one other word: surprising.
More than half of Canadians don’t have a will, and one of the biggest reasons is ... where do you even get a will? As a millennial who will never have to live through getting a will the traditional way (bless you, Willful, for existing) I did some research, and it looks like you’d have to find a lawyer who handles wills and estates and go to see them in person.
And while I can’t say much about the experience of buying a traditional will, creating a will online with Willful was much easier than I thought it would be. I had allocated an hour to do it — it does not take an hour.
The interface is super straightforward and you can pause at any time, so you don’t have to do it all in one sitting.
Even going into it with the expectation it would be simple, I was so pleasantly surprised.
What should you do after you’ve used Willful?
You can’t legally sign a will online, so after you’ve prepared all of your documents online, you’ll need to print them out and sign them in front of two witnesses.
It also turns out (and maybe this was common knowledge, but I didn't know) that the people who are involved in your will can’t witness your signature, so you’ll need to find someone else to watch you sign your documents.
What’s the best part of Willful?
How clear they make every choice you have.
When you’re talking with your spouse about how you want to be buried (just a casual post-brunch topic of conversation), Willful gives you the exact right amount of information to help make the call. It’s not drowning you in legalese, so you can actually understand the important choices, and it does give you enough context to choose.
And the burial is a great example.
Do you know how much a full funeral costs? I didn’t, and since my fiance and I aren’t particularly religious, we didn’t want to opt for a full ceremony (especially not for $15,000). If that is the right choice for you, fantastic —you’ll go into it with a clear understanding of the costs. If it’s not, Willful explains your other options really clearly.
Plus, you can always opt for “Let my family decide,” which is a good way to get out of making the choice now if anything feels way too tough. You also have unlimited edits to your will, so you can always change it later. (But FYI, every time you change your will, you’ll need to print it out and sign it again)
What’s the worst part of Willful?
Genuinely, the part that is the most hassle in my case is finding people who aren’t in my will to witness my signature.
That's a pretty minor hassle in the grand scheme of hassles that come with getting a will. But it’s the only one Willful didn’t streamline, and it’s because they literally can’t, because the law.
How much does it cost?
Willful has three pricing tiers, depending on what you need covered. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to figure out which tier is the right fit for you, since there’s no legalese involved.
The Essentials Plan – $99
This is your basic last will and testament, perfect for a single person who wants to put a plan in place to handle their estate, their children and their final wishes. If you want to leave $10,000 to the person who agreed to care for your pet in the event of your untimely demise, this will give you the documents you need to make sure that happens.
The Premium Plan – $189
This plan is like the Essentials, plus. You get everything mentioned above, but you also get everything you need to plan for emergencies. If you’re ever in a coma, the documents you fill out as part of this plan let you pick who gets to make your medical and financial decisions when you can’t, and it also tells them what you want those choices to be. (But pro tip, please actually tell the person you’ve chosen them, it would be a horrible surprise.)
The Family Plan – from $329 per plan
You get all of the above, but for your whole family. You have the option to buy two to six plans that each include a last will and testament and the ability to determine who your want to act on your behalf in an emergency. It's the best option for couples because you'll score additional savings when purchasing as a family.
Here’s a quick overview of the features, if you’re more of a visual learner.
We did the Family Plan, and it was perfect for what we both needed. Plus, with unlimited updates on every plan, we’re covered in case we need to update it to add in any new dependents.
You know, like a dog or something. No pressure.
Any hidden fees or tricky parts?
If you have kids, a partner or you want to save your loved ones a lot of stress and heartache in the worst-case scenario, making a will is something that needs to be on your financial to-do list.
If you’re reading this review, you probably knew that already, and you just hadn’t gotten around to finding a lawyer and doing the thing — but now, the thing is so easy to do, thanks to Willful.
Sure, it’s not right for everyone, and there are definitely cases where finding a lawyer to draw up a will for you is very much the right choice. However, if you, like me, have a fairly straightforward situation and just want it in writing? It’s a fantastic and easy-to-use option.