Have you been wondering how to draft a will? Firstly, you should know that wills are written documents that allow you to make important decisions on how your property and assets will be managed and distributed after death. Ultimately, by writing a will, this ensures that your final wishes are carried out after you pass.
With decisions this important, you’d expect most Canadians to spend the utmost time carefully considering every last detail. You’d also expect the majority of Canadians to consult a trusted, local family lawyer to expertly word their will for them. The reality however is that many individuals either:
- Choose cost-effective or home-drawn wills instead; or
- Ignore the practicality of writing a will altogether
Today, some will writing services are available for less than $100 online. Cost-effective companies like these often emblazon their websites with slogans such as “wills in under 15 minutes” and pump search engines with special offers to drive sales throughout the year.
We understand how tempting it can feel to use companies like this. After all, by quickly and inexpensively conveying your wishes on paper, you’ll feel like you’ve ticked something big off your to-do list.
However, it’s imperative that you understand the potential pitfalls of cost-effective or home-drawn wills like these and rushing the will writing process. When you stop and think about it, why would you hastily rush through what will ultimately be some of the most important decisions that you make in your lifetime?
Essentially, improper wills can lead to years of costly litigation and unwanted beneficiary stress. This blog identifies five reasons why proper lawyer drafted wills are the only way to go when planning for your future.
1. So you avoid passing without a will or valid will
Wills aren’t just written by the rich and famous. You should always have a will in place and have it properly drafted by a lawyer before you pass.
Firstly, if you pass without a will in place, the laws of Ontario will apply to your estate. This process is called “interstate succession”. In other words, your property will be distributed according to the provisions of the applicable laws. The way Ontario law wants to distribute your property and assets doesn’t always reflect your own wishes and intentions.
Additionally, by simply having a will, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a valid will. If you pass and you don’t have a valid will in place, this heralds a lengthy and costly probate process. This not only impacts your estate but causes unnecessary beneficiary stress too. In summary, by having a will lawyer write a valid will for you, this minimizes the chance of any family infighting relating to the validity of your will.
2. So your will provisions are worded accurately
When it comes to wills, it’s all about accuracy. In other words, courts are asked to interpret wills for lack of clarity. Every individual has a vested interest to ensure their will provisions and final wishes are worded both clearly and properly. This is where lawyers that do wills can help. If wills are sloppily worded and unclear, this only leads to lengthy and expensive litigation, a path we’re sure you want to avoid.
3. So you can choose your executor sensibly
The role of an executor is to carry out the instructions detailed in your will once you have passed away. Essentially, they play a key role in tying up the estate of the deceased. Executors should never be appointed rashly and should always be reliable, responsible and trustworthy. After all, by appointing the wrong executor, they could have a detrimental impact on your estate. By speaking to an experienced will lawyer like De Rose, we can discuss who is best suited to being named your executor of choice.
4. So you can protect your estate beneficiaries
When questioning how to draft a will, you’ll have seemingly hundreds of questions running through your head. These questions often include:
- What if one of my estate beneficiaries passes away before me?
- What if a minor is a beneficiary of my estate?
- Can I exclude a family member from my estate?
- What if one of my estate beneficiaries receives government benefits like ODSP?
Quick cost-effective or home-drawn wills don’t always account for the finer details relating to your individual situation. By choosing professional wills and estate lawyers, you’ll benefit from their undivided attention, not a company wanting to make a quick buck. Therefore, you can properly plan for the division and distribution of your property according to your unique wishes.
5. So you minimize the probate fee (“estate administration tax”)
Did you know that proper lawyer drafted wills can allow you to minimize the probate fee? Oftentimes, individuals may choose to consider joint ownership of assets, establishing numerous wills or trusts. Elsewhere, some individuals may choose to gift property to family members or charitable companies to reduce the estate’s value and thus, reduce the probate fee. For situations like these, it’s always advisable to speak to wills and estate lawyers for the one-to-one support you need.
Why choose De Rose Lawyers?
Our will lawyers at De Rose are here for you. They’ll ensure that your final wishes are carried out when you die. Writing wills and choosing individuals to act on your behalf is very important. Therefore, we’ll provide you our undivided attention. Our team always carefully listens to the intricacies of your situation with a great deal of thought and consideration.
We work tirelessly and passionately with each and every one of our clients, giving us a shining reputation among the legal community. We empower our clients by providing them with flexible appointments, affordable legal fees, valuable tools and information every step of the way.