One year after becoming legal, BC residents embrace digital wills

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Two-thirds of BC residents more likely to get a will in 2023 because they can do so fully online

It’s been one year since British Columbia became the first province in Canada to allow fully digital wills, and BC residents have embraced the ability to create, sign, witness, and store their will fully online. A new AngusReid survey commissioned by online will platform Willful found that 1 in 8 (13%) BC residents created or updated their will in the past year, with more than a third (37%) of those people using one or more online processes to create or execute their will.

Younger British Columbians are much more likely to embrace digital: among BC residents under 35 who created their will in the past year, three-quarters (74%) either created, signed, witnessed their will online, with over half (52%) using an online will platform like Willful. Over half (51%) of BC residents don’t have a will, and digital wills are encouraging people to get one in place: almost two-thirds (63%) of BC residents say they are more likely to create a will in 2023 because they can do so fully online.

“Creating a will has historically been an offline process involving in-person appointments and lots of paper. My husband and I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars, or spend hours in a professional’s office, so we created Willful to make it easier, more affordable, and more accessible to create a will online,” said Erin Bury, CEO, Willful. “BC took an important leap forward by becoming the first province to allow fully digital wills, and we’re glad to see residents are going online to get their wills in place."

Bill 21 came into effect on December 1, 2021, allowing BC residents to electronically sign, virtually witness, and store their will online, making BC the only province in Canada that allows fully digital wills. Willful executed the first digital will in Canadian history on December 1, 2021, and the company has sold twice as many wills in BC since then vs. the prior period. Willful operates a program that facilitates the electronic signing and witnessing of wills via a partnership with DocuSign, a program that is approved by the Law Society of BC as part of their Innovation Sandbox program. The company has helped over 400 BC residents execute their will digitally through this pilot program, with thousands more using Willful to create their will online.

Willful launched in 2017, and has helped Canadians create over 100,000 wills and power of attorney documents across eight provinces. The company has national partnerships with CIBC, Allstate Canada, and Arbor Memorial funeral homes, and Willful is also the only online will provider approved by the Law Society of Ontario as part of their Access to Innovation program.

About Willful
Willful makes it easy and affordable to create a will and other estate planning documents online in Canada. Willful’s mission is to ensure every Canadian adult has a will in place, and the company has helped over 100,000 Canadians since launching in 2017. Available in 8 provinces, including a fully bilingual offering in Quebec, Willful works with leading estate lawyers to create and maintain its legal content. The company has partnered with brands including CIBC and Allstate Insurance Canada, and it is the only online will provider approved by the Law Society of Ontario as part of their Access to Innovation program. To get started, visit willful.co.

Survey methodology: On November 18 2022, a survey was commissioned by Willful with a representative sample of 806 online BC members of the Angus Reid Forum.

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Erin Bury
Willful
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