What Will be…Will be

I often get calls from clients wanting to prepare their own wills using “Will Kits”. This is what I tell them: A will drafted by a lawyer, though a little more expensive, will save you time, grief and money compared to a will prepared without a lawyer’s assistance.

First, a “homemade” will may be defective if it is not signed or witnessed properly.

As well, Ontario law does not recognize common-law or same-sex spouses for the purpose of estate distribution. The only way to ensure that the testator’s partner receives a fair share of his estate is by way of a will properly prepared by a lawyer.

Finally, the testator will probably need a lawyer to tell him that his wishes, as he wrote them in his “homemade” will, might not be carried out after his death. For example, the testator may indicate in his “homemade” will that he wants to leave only a small interest in his estate to his spouse. Unfortunately, his wishes will not be carried out as the Family Law Act, could take precedence over a will and could entitle his spouse to one-half of his estate. A lawyer preparing his will would have been able to let him know that in advance.