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Can You Trust a Do-It-Yourself Will?


There’s more to creating a will and power of attorney than filling in the blanks of a generic form found on the internet. Estate planning shouldn’t involve a one size fits all approach.

And doing things yourself can save a bit of money in the short term, but the results can be extremely costly in the long-term.

Proper estate and business succession planning is a collaborative process. A lawyer with expertise and experience can make all the difference. Proper planning may require several meetings to discuss your property and assets and to learn about your family dynamics. Quite often, family dynamics are as or more important than any other aspect of will drafting. It can be intimidating meeting the lawyer for the first time and to talk about such personal things as family relationships or bank account balances. But take comfort in knowing that such information is always privileged and confidential and legally protected.

Proper estate planning is rigorous. The lawyer who helps a client with estate and business succession planning must not only master a thousand years of will and trust law but must also understand how land conveyancing works in Ontario, family law legislation, court rules and procedures, and most importantly, Canada’s Income Tax Act and regulations.

Lastly, proper estate planning requires a lawyer to mould the document to the client’s particular goals and needs. There is no template that can accomplish this. Each person’s situation is unique and generic software cannot address specific issues pertaining to probate, estate taxes, asset allocation, properly protecting beneficiaries as well as ever changing legal issues.

 An improperly investigated or poorly drafted will can be disastrous. While the client may save up front costs, after death, the costs could be enormous. Lawsuits in courts can eat up hundreds of thousands of dollars of the deceased’s estate and tie up property for years. It may leave some family members empty handed and feeling bitter. All of this can be avoided for, in the grand scheme of it, pennies on the dollar.

Contact Ryan Solcz at Willis Law today at 226-526-8495 for more information on how to plan and safeguard your future.