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DIY Wills

Making a will is an important part of planning for your future and for your family’s well-being.

Having an estate plan and will in place gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of and the assets you acquire over your lifetime will be distributed according to your wishes.

Every year, thousands of consumers create their own wills, powers of attorney, and other estate planning documents using kits from retailers or the internet.

Pros

  • Cheap.
  • Relatively easy to use.
  • Covers the basics.

Cons

  • Your will might not be legal.

If your will isn’t considered legal, it can create a lot of problems for your heirs.

Wills are individually specific and carefully worded legal documents. You may inadvertently alter the will, rendering it void or creating unintended meanings, which create problems for your loved ones.

Saving money could cost you in the long run.

If you make a mistake, your will could be deemed invalid. It would then fall to a judge to determine whether or not your will should be accepted – a process that can be very expensive. The associated costs will have to be paid for by your estate.

  • DIY wills simply cannot, and do not, offer legal advice or address the complexities of life and relationships.

DIY wills are not advisable for many reasons especially if you have a divorced, blended or adopted family or are in a non-traditional relationship such as common law or same-sex. Other complex life situations might include:

  • You have no one to name as executor.
  • You own real estate outside B.C.
  • You own a business.
  • You want to create a trust fund.
  • You want to donate to charity.
  • You’re in the middle of a divorce or custody dispute.
  • You have specific wishes for your pets.

 

  • You may run into issues with signatures.

This is more common than you’d think. If your will is not signed and witnessed correctly, it could be deemed invalid. you are a B.C. resident, you must sign your will according to the strict requirements of the law. Two witnesses must watch you sign on the last page of the will using your normal signature.

  • Liability

If a lawyer drafts your will on your behalf, your lawyer is liable for any errors.

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