DIY Will Kits
I Can Write My Own Will; Should I?
If you’ve ever looked into writing your own Will, you’ll know how easy it is to buy Will Kits on stores like Amazon or from other online-based companies.
Many people see Will Kits as a cheaper and hassle-free alternative to meeting with a lawyer to draft a Will.
While it is cheaper, it is definitely not a more hassle-free way to protect your assets or legacy. There are many pitfalls in drafting a Will yourself and without the requisite expertise, knowledge and understanding of all the issues it could come with may have damaging consequences on your loved ones.
Working with a lawyer for a Will and estate planning ensures your loved ones are properly protected when you pass away.
Here are 3 reasons why you should consult with a lawyer instead of buying a Will Kits:
Required Skill and Expertise
Think about it. When a pipe bursts in your bathroom, you immediately call a professional, a plumber, to fix the issue.
The same logic applies when drafting a Will. Unless you’re someone who works in a legal profession like law clerks or paralegals, you won’t have the right knowledge or expertise needed to draft a Will properly. When you’re drafting a Will, you need to implement the correct clauses to ensure a safe estate plan.
Lawyers will also be able to guide you through decisions such as:
- What happens to your children if they’re minors?
- What are the tax consequences associated with certain investment products?
- What is to be done with your digital assets?
An experienced lawyer will pose these questions to ensure the final draft of your Will covers all the bases it should. DIY Will Kits won’t be able to do this.
Will Kits Are Not Actually Cheaper
The initial upfront cost of a Will Kit is cheaper, yes. However, Will Kits do not offer the same sound legal advice that a lawyer can offer.
This lack of professional knowledge may result in costly and drawn-out litigation for your family after you pass away. Another common issue that is seen in many DIY Will Kits is an invalid clause. An invalid clause may cause grief and conflict between your beneficiaries in your family unit which was not anticipated or your intention.
Errors in Wills could cost your family thousands of dollars to fix after you have passed away. Perhaps there are no errors in your Will Kit, but adding certain assets in your Will Kit should have been avoided and ended up costing your family more Estate Administration Tax than the difference it would have cost you to see a lawyer in the first place.
When drafting a Will yourself some errors may be made during the drafting and signing processes.
This could have a negative effect on the validity and the enforceability of your Will. Some courts have determined that handwritten portions on Will Kits can be admitted as a valid expression of bequests and wishes, but sometimes typed words on the form are considered invalid and do not form part of the Will maker’s wishes.
Some other pitfalls that come into play are the signing and witnessing requirements. If these formalities are not upheld your Will can be considered invalid. When these requisite formalities are not upheld it will have a damaging effect on the legacy you leave to your loved ones.
Trusted Will & Estate Planning Services in Ottawa
You have worked very hard to establish your legacy and to provide for your family and loved ones when you pass away. Don’t leave your legacy and hard work up to complex instructions in a Will Kit. As the old saying goes: “You get what you pay for”.
At Dabros Law, we offer a free consultation so that you can discuss your Estate Plan with a Professional and we offer flat rate pricing so that you know what the cost is with no surprises. Contact us today to get started.