Death is a difficult topic to think about, but it’s essential to ensure that your wishes are known and respected after you pass away. With the rise of digital technology, the concept of an online will has gained popularity. But what exactly is an online will, and how does it work in Canada? In this blog post, we will explore the ins and outs of online wills, including their benefits, legal implications, and how they can help you plan for the future.
What is an Online Will?
An online will is a legal document that outlines your wishes and instructions regarding your assets, debts, and funeral arrangements. It’s created and stored digitally, making it easily accessible and shareable by your loved ones. Unlike a traditional will, which is typically written on paper and stored in a physical location, an online will can be updated and modified as needed.
Benefits of an Online Will:
- Convenience: An online will allows you to create and update your will from anywhere, at any time. This can be especially useful for individuals who have moved frequently or those who live in remote areas.
- Accessibility: With an online will, your loved ones can access your documents instantly, eliminating the need for them to search through physical documents.
- Security: Online wills are typically stored on secure servers, ensuring that your documents are protected from theft, loss, or damage.
- Cost-effective: Creating an online will can be more cost-effective than a traditional will, as there are no legal fees associated with creating and updating the document.
Legal Implications of an Online Will in Canada:
While online wills are becoming more popular, it’s essential to understand the legal implications of using this type of document in Canada. Here are some key things to keep in mind:
- Validity: In Canada, online wills are recognized as legally valid documents. However, they must meet specific requirements, such as being signed and witnessed in the same way as a traditional will.
- Jurisdiction: It’s important to ensure that your online will is created and stored in a jurisdiction that recognizes electronic wills. Consult with a legal professional to determine the best jurisdiction for your online will.
- Execution: To ensure that your online will is legally binding, it’s crucial to follow the proper execution requirements. This typically involves signing the document in front of witnesses and having them sign as well.
- Updates: As your circumstances change, you may need to update your online will. Be sure to review and revise your document regularly to ensure that it reflects your current wishes.
How to Create an Online Will in Canada:
Creating an online will in Canada is relatively straightforward. Here are the general steps involved:
- Choose an online will platform: There are several online will platforms available in Canada, such as Willful, Willwise, and LegalWill. Choose a platform that meets your needs and budget.
- Fill out the template: Most online will platforms offer a template that you can fill out. Be sure to answer all questions and provide detailed instructions regarding your assets, debts, and funeral arrangements.
- Sign and witness the document: Once you have completed the template, sign the document in front of two witnesses. Ensure that your witnesses are not beneficiaries under your will.
- Store the document securely: After signing and witnessing the document, store it in a secure location. Many online will platforms offer secure storage options.
An online will is a convenient and cost-effective way to ensure that your wishes are known and respected after you pass away. While there are legal implications to consider, online wills are recognized as legally valid documents in Canada. By following the proper execution requirements and storing the document securely, you can rest assured that your online will will be respected. Start planning for the future today and create an online will that reflects your wishes and instructions.