How Digital Wills Empower Millennials and Gen Z in Estate Planning
We’re all about estate planning, but for many millennials and Gen Zs in Canada, the term is about as familiar in their everyday lives as Rolodexes and dial-up internet.
For those new to estate planning, it involves creating a plan for your assets and financial legacy after you pass away. But it’s also about letting your loved ones know your last wishes.
Not bad, right? But the truth is, many adults hesitate to begin their estate planning journey at all because of the misconception that estate planning is complex, time-consuming, or only relevant for the elderly.
Not only should estate planning be on the checklist of anyone with assets in their name, but digital wills are changing the game and really simplifying the process.
The Estate Planning Gap Among Younger Canadians
The traditional idea of getting your affairs in order and creating a will often features a lawyer, front and centre. In fact, many people believe that you can’t make a will without a lawyer.
This is because many older generations who have completed their estate planning needs went this route. And we’ve heard the stories: It was expensive, the process was long and confusing, and going to and from the legal office took up a lot of time.
So over the years, this has becomes the general impression of estate planning — that the process is a largely unpleasant one.
These impressions clearly live on today, reflected in the fact that 72% of millennials don’t have a will, and of the remaining 28% who do, more than half made them through an online platform.
Millennials and Gen Zs, who are beginning or settling into their careers, often can’t afford the cost (in time or money) that traditional estate planning requires. For them, online platforms may just save the day.
So let’s take a closer look at digital wills and online will platforms.
The Digital Revolution in Estate Planning
First off, what’s the difference between a will, an online will, and a digital will?
What is a will?
A will is a legal document, one that outlines how you wish to distribute your assets, such as property and money, or how you would like your children to be cared for after you pass.
What is an online will?
An online will is a will you can create using an online will platform instead of a lawyer. Online wills aren’t stored online, though. They’re created digitally, but must be printed and signed using wet ink to be considered legal everywhere in Canada. For digital wills in BC, which are the only exception to this, keep reading!
These types of wills can be significantly easier and more affordable to draft than traditional wills made with a lawyer, and you can make them from the comfort of your own home — in often in less than 20 minutes. An online will is generally best for less complex needs.
What is a digital will?
A digital will is a will made digitally, signed digitally, and stored digitally. At the time of writing this, British Columbia is the only province in Canada which recognizes digital wills as legal.
Digital wills share many of the benefits of online wills in that they are affordable, convenient, accessible, and quick to make. The added benefit of digital signing and witnessing makes digital wills the most convenient out of these three types of wills, and we hope one day soon they will be legal across the country in the near future, so more Canadians can take advantage of this convenient option!
While we wait for that day, more and more online will platforms are making estate planning more accessible than ever before.
For example, Willful, a Canadian favourite, is an online will platform with great and affordable plans. As Canadians ourselves, our company’s goal is to help every Canadian avoid the pain of messy estate settlement by having a will and proper estate plans in place.
Bridging the Generational Gap with Technology
Each generation becomes more technologically savvy than the last, and millennials and Gen Zs are no exception. Millennials have adopted new technologies, unlike any generation before them, while Gen Zs are considered to be true digital natives.
With these digital abilities, why shouldn’t these generations seek to make their wills online? Navigating websites has become second nature, whereas navigating a lawyer’s office, and the legalese of traditional wills, is foreign ground.
Many online platforms also have mobile versions, so you can even finish your will on your phone. Can’t get more convenient than that, right?
But wait, what about digital security?
Your last will and testament is an essential legal document for you and your loved ones. Making sure your information is secure even if you complete it online is, of course, a huge consideration.
To see how Willful protects the information of its users, check out this article, How Willful is Keeping Your Documents Safe. It’s a good example of the different aspects of security online, especially regarding protecting legal information.
No Time Like the Present
A will is one of the most important documents you will ever make. It can feel daunting, but with the dawn of online will platforms, estate planning has become easier than ever for millennials and Gen Zs who are both digitally savvy and cost-aware. The convenience of these platforms cannot be ignored, especially as they make will-making more accessible for those who may not have the means to afford a lawyer or physically travel to a legal estate office.
Willful™ provides an easy, affordable way to create a will and other estate planning documents online in Canada. The company’s mission is to ensure every Canadian adult has a will in place, and it has helped over 150,000 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 some of Canada’s largest brands, and it is the only online will provider with a conditional license from the Law Society of Ontario. To get started, visit willful.co.
Did you know? Serenia Life members have access to a free online will through Willful. Learn more.
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