You are probably aware that having a will and estate plan is important as it allows for you to formulate and manage your final wishes in a legal document and designate beneficiaries to your estate and belongings. Furthermore, it saves your family the stress of trying to guess what your wishes were and helps to prevent disputes that could potentially arise amongst your family.
In order to save some money, some Canadians try to write or draft their own will – or purchase a will kit. But choosing to go down this route instead of retaining an estate lawyer can lead to some costly and problematic mistakes. Here are four reasons why should get the help of an estate lawyer when you write your will.
- Ensure that your will is free from errors.
Your will should not contain any errors. This is crucial because you will not be there to explain what you meant, so everything included in the will needs to be complete and accurate. Some of the most common errors that people make when they write a will without the assistance of a lawyer are:
- Not signing the will or not signing it in the presence of witnesses.
- Not updating the will according to their most recent changes.
- Updating the will incorrectly.
Although these mistakes may seem small, they are significant enough to have the will declared null and void. When you work with an estate lawyer they can save you from making these types of mistakes.
- Your Situation is Unique
Although there are will templates available online, these tend to be very basic and general. As such, they may not be a good fit for your situation – because every situation is unique.
Will writing tools and templates typically use non-specific language that may not contain the required legal terms, resulting in the will being too vague to properly express your wishes. The result could be that your will may be misinterpreted or not be in compliance with the legalities required for a Legal Will.
When you hire a lawyer to help you write your will, they will use their legal experience to help you write a will that clearly expresses your wishes so that all applicable parties will be able to understand it.
- Prepare for Contingencies
When you write your will, you will have some assumptions regarding how your estate will be distributed after your death. But what if those assumptions go wrong. For example, what if you outlive one or more of your beneficiaries. What if you outlive your executor? What happens if you leave a specific asset to a particular beneficiary and that asset no longer exists upon your death. A lawyer can help you prepare for these and other contingencies.
- Legal Compliance
There are many laws that you must adhere to when writing your will and some of these laws may be difficult to understand. By working with an estate lawyer, you can have the confidence that your will is in compliance with the law so that your wishes can be carried out.
While it may be tempting to try and write your will on your own in order to save some money, it is essential that you work with a lawyer if you want to have confidence that your will clearly expresses your wishes and be legally binding.
Contact Minhas Lawyers today
Writing a will is one of the most important things that you can do for your family and loved ones. To make an appointment with one of our estate lawyers, contact us today!
Minhas Lawyers LLP is a multi-practice law firm based in Mississauga. We advise and represent clients across various segments and practice areas.
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