Law Society of Ontario’s A2I project approves Willful as first participant

The DIY online platform was given the green light for a two-year operating phase

Law Society of Ontario’s A2I project approves Willful as first participant
Erin Bury

Online estate planning platform Willful has been named the first participant of the Law Society of Ontario’s (LSO) Access to Innovation (A2I) project as the “Make A Will” month ends.

The A2I is a five-year pilot project by the LSO, which allows providers of innovative technological legal services (ITLS) to serve consumers while complying with operating conditions that protect the public.

“Willful is a great example of the type of service that the A2I project is aimed at,” A2I Advisory Council chair Lynne Vicars said. “We want to create a path for effective regulation of innovative products and platforms that provide easier and more cost-effective access to legal services.”

“The A2I project aims to open up avenues for improved access to justice and Willful meets this objective,” A21 CEO Diana Miles added. “Facilitating regulated access to an online service, which aids in the creation of a will or power of attorney, will both protect and serve the public.”

By participating in the A2I project, Willful must follow operating and reporting requirements established by the LSO as it works towards a permit to offer legal services on an ongoing basis. It was approved for a two-year operating phase.

According to Willful, 57 percent of Ontarians 35 and above do not have a will, which jumps to 89 percent for those under 35. As an alternative to traditional estate planning, Willful helps Ontario residents create a last will and testament and power of attorney documents through a do-it-yourself online platform for less than $100. 

“The majority of Ontarians don’t have a will, often leaving bereaved families to cope with uncertainty and unnecessary complexity,” Willful co-founder and CEO Erin Bury said. “We’re thrilled to be a part of the A2I project to continue to educate and empower people with convenient and affordable end-of-life planning tools that meet the LSO’s quality standards.”

Bury recently spoke with Canadian Lawyer about their plans for expansion in other provinces.

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