You’ve probably been told many times by your family, and your financial advisor, that you need a will. If you don’t have a will the money won’t go to the government, as some people assume it does, but it may not be distributed the way you want it to be.
Along with ensuring your money goes where you intend it to, a will can include details about children and pet guardianship as well as funeral arrangements.
Unfortunately, statistics gathered by CIBC show that almost one-third of Baby Boomers haven’t created a will.
Once you’ve decided to create a will you’ll then have to determine how to go about it. You could have a notary create one for you, or you can draw one up yourself using a do-it-yourself will kit created by Staples, LegalWills.ca and Walmart. Some may be tempted to go this route as it can be less expensive than having a notary create one which can cost approximately $500 and up.
But there are a few downsides to creating a will yourself:
-If you make a mistake using a will kit, it could cost you thousands of dollars. You may end up in a court battle and there could be delays in the time it takes for your loved ones to receive their inheritance.
-Will kits usually attempt to provide a one-size-fits-all template. But in reality, everyone’s situation is unique. There are many nuances in legal jargon that a lawyer can help you navigate when writing a will. A legal advisor can also help you foresee any legal issues.
-Documents that are not properly created or signed may not be valid.
-Provinces have different laws (that you may not be aware of) surrounding the creation of wills.
Overall, while creating a will using a do-it-yourself kit may be better than no will at all, ideally you should consult with a lawyer.