All About Estates

Digital Will Vault

NoticeConnect, which is a one stop shop for estates to advertise for creditors and provide solutions for those seeking to collect from estates has recently added a new element – an online Canada Will Registry.

The Canada Will Registry went live in early June 2019. On the “Digital Will Vault”, as its termed on NoticeConnect’s website, individuals can register one or multiple wills at once and receive an alert when someone has searched for a will that they have registered. It is then up to the person who has registered the will to decide if and/or how they will respond. Individuals searching for wills are also provided with a Search Certificate through the service, which demonstrates that the person took appropriate steps to identify forgotten, missing or competing wills.

In addition, records can be accessed and updated at will (mind the pun) and information can be transferred and received with ease. Privacy and security concerns are also addressed by a number of safeguards, including but not limited to, NoticeConnect’s use of secure data centres (utilized by Canadian financial institutions and government entities) to store and back-up information. Server access is also monitored and the data encrypted.

To date (and in less than one month’s time), approximately 35,000 wills have been registered and NoticeConnect is helping firms input their data into their bulk registration form; in other words, firms can register tens of thousands of wills in a matter of seconds using a simple template. Not only does the Canada Will Registry eliminate the need for manual record checks, but as more wills are registered, NoticeConnect provides an efficient, secure and user-friendly way to take steps to determine the whereabouts of a will or reliably conclude that no will exists. A Canada-wide centralized system for registering and locating wills can aid in making life a little easier after death.

About Joanna Lindenberg
Joanna is an experienced estates, trusts, and capacity litigator at de VRIES LITIGATION LLP. Joanna obtained her law degree from the Shulich School of Law at Dalhousie University after completing a Bachelor of Arts degree at McGill University. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2011, Joanna obtained a Masters of Law at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), specializing in international and comparative law. Joanna's current practice focuses on, in part, will challenges, dependant’s support, capacity, and power of attorney disputes.

1 Comment

  1. David Serber

    June 26, 2019 - 1:24 pm
    Reply

    Good to know – thanks. A step towards moving the whole testamentary process into the digital age! Imagine a system that FI’s and others would accept as definitive — it would largely eliminate the whole government-run “probate” system!

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