Today there are quite a few do it yourself will kits that claim to allow you to create a legally valid will without the help of a lawyer.
These kinds of things appeal to people because they are generally quicker and cheaper than going to a lawyer.
However, making a will is not the same thing as putting together a fill in the blanks puzzle. While a validly made will may look simple, similar to a DIY will, a well trained lawyer applies significant legal knowledge in deciding what to include, what to exclude, and how to put it all together.
Wills carry serious long term consequences. Without appropriate legal advice, a DIY will can lead to:
- A partial intestacy, where part of the estate is not validly transferred through the will and ends up being transferred through laws that apply to people who die without wills
- A will that is contested in court
- Failure of a gift to a loved one
- A will that is considered invalid
Cost to fix a broken will
Recent changes to the law give courts wide ranging ability to fix broken wills.
However, this comes at a cost.
I recently attended a wills and estates conference during which a senior lawyer stated that in her entire career she has only seen one DIY will that did not require a court order to fix.
Getting a court order to fix a will adds significant expense and stress during a time when your loved ones already have enough to deal with. It also robs them of their peace of mind by creating uncertainty.
This stress, cost, and uncertainty could be avoided simply by having a lawyer prepare the will in the first place.
Property passed through your will is going to be taxed.
In some cases it may be taxed much more than you think.
A wills and estate planning lawyer can save you money by going beyond just a will and creating a plan to transfer assets both through the will and outside of it. There are numerous legal means available so that you don’t have to pay tax two times on your property before it reaches your loved ones.
A DIY will cannot provide you with this kind of tax saving information. The savings for the average family can be in the thousands or tens of thousands.
Peace of Mind is Not Expensive
Patrola Law in Surrey BC offers a few different types of will packages which can be tailored to meet your needs.
With flat rate fees, the peace of mind you’re looking for from a properly drafted will is easily attainable.