A new Toronto-based startup called Willful aims to digitize the estate planning process, letting Canadians create a will online in as little as 20 minutes.
Willful, which launched on Wednesday, strives to make it faster and easier for Canadians to put together a legal will outlining their final wishes and estate plans.
“The majority of Canadian adults don’t have a will, which leaves families unprepared in the case of a death, whether it’s expected or not,” said Kevin Oulds, CEO and founder of Willful, in a statement. “We created Willful with families in mind, and designed it to be simple and straightforward so that planning for the future doesn’t have to be a pain.”
Willful currently offers three products in Ontario: wills, power of attorney for personal care (living wills), and power of attorney for property. The cost of the service ranges from $99 for an individual will to $250 for a mirrored will for couples.
Willful worked with three lawyers to develop the service. Customers who use the platform are guided through the process of entering relevant information about themselves and their beneficiaries, as well as their plans for property and gifts.
Willful then generates the requested documents and provides instructions for making those documents legally binding by having them signed in the presence of two witnesses. The service allows clients to make changes to their documents later on, as many times as required.
The cost and time associated with creating a will is one of the greatest barriers to estate planning, according to Hala Tabl, a wills and estates lawyer based in Ottawa, and one of Willful’s legal advisors.
“Since Willful takes a great deal of the labour out of this process, they’re able to drastically cut costs making it a cost-effective, simple alternative for people who have budgetary or time constraints,” Tabl said in a statement.
Willful is in talks with lawyers in other provinces to expand its offerings across Canada, beginning with Alberta and British Columbia.
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