What are my options for writing a Will?

There are generally three ways to create a will: 1) completely handwriting a Will, 2) hire a lawyer or 3) using an online software or app.

Handwriting a will (Holographic Wills), while inefficient, are common enough and often used in emergency situations, such as when the writer, known as the testator, is near death or alone. When drafting your Will there are many things to think about, such as how the residue of your estate is distributed, powers of Executors and Turstees, substitutes or alternate plans, plans for minor children and pets. You are prone to introducing errors or missing sections without prior experience, especially when hand-writing your Will. The very fact Holographic Wills exists help to reduce perceived complexity of creating a Will, remove misinformation that a lawyer is required, or that thousands of dollars need to be spend. Online solutions may be an effective way to create a Will that reduce errors that may be introduced when hand-writing a will, especially without prior experience. 

Hiring a lawyer is the traditional choice for Wills and estate planning documents, but for the majority of peoples’ needs, the added cost and hassle of multiple in-person meetings, may not be worth it. The process can seem confusing due to opinionated individuals who may interpret your information differently, or oversell you on services you may not require. People are already busy! If you have children, this whole process becomes even more cumbersome.

Generally, lawyers will request you do a phone consultation with themselves or an assistant, then have you visit for an in-person interview, only to have you go back home and wait five to 14 business days before visiting again to review the draft, which is often times prepared by an assistant. At this point if there are errors, especially human-generated errors, you will be asked to go back home and come back another time for the actual signing. This process can take up to 3 or more visits and last over 2 weeks. This can be an expensive endeavour, costing hundreds or thousands of dollars.  If updates are required, which is likely with major life events such as having a child or getting married or divorced, you will have to do this process again and pay additional fees. The main benefit of hiring a lawyer is the personalized advice they can provide you to your specific situation. If you feel your situation is complicated, a consultation with a lawyer is highly recommended. 

Online Will writing service or app is a choice many people are not aware is much more affordable and easier than other options. Online services have existed for some time. Online apps or software allow you to prepare and review your Will from the comfort of your home. Most services vary in complexity, but there are easy-to-use apps, such as the Wills & Emergency Care service by Om Company, which are leading the industry in reducing complexity, reducing cost and increasing accessibility to estate planning services.

An online software is very similar to other self-guided tools people may use, such as a tax preparation or robo-advisor service. An online software will guide you through a series of questions, similarly to the interview process a lawyer will conduct, and will auto-generate personalized documents for you based on your input. These documents are generated in the jurisdiction of your residence, such as your province or state, and are likely to be identical to the documents a lawyer will prepare for you, as lawyers use templated services frequently. Once you review the documents, you download the documents and sign in front of two witnesses. To ensure you are legally executing your Will, look for a service, such as the Wills & Emergency Care service by Om Company, that identify individuals who cannot act as witnesses. For the majority of requirements, online apps or software, such as the Wills & Emergency Care service by Om Company, are the most effective way to create a Will or other estate planning documents. 

As we look at the landscape of online Will writing or drafting services, the innovative Legal Will & Emergency Care service by Om Company, is quickly stepping up as the leader. Om Company has the best technology and genuinely respects the privacy of its customers. The team is made up of professionals that continuously build the best experience for customers while leading thought leadership that is helping to disrupt an industry that has been stale for many decades. 

In October 2018, Om Company was given a seal of approval by being accepted to Canada’s leading legal innovation centre, the Legal Innovation Zone at Ryerson University. Om Company’s leadership, innovation and commitment to making estate planning services accessible to the masses, has been recognized through this major achievement. 

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