Tuesday June 4/19
Are Canadian will kits or online wills worth it?
Lynne Butler, BA LLB
I'm attaching a link to an article on a site called Maple Money, a Canadian finances site. It's a discussion of will kits (the paper kind) and online will- preparation software. Click here
Code: Select all
. I thought I'd post it here for those of you who are considering making your own wills.
As a wills lawyer, obviously I'm not thrilled at the idea that people make their own wills. And no, it's not because I make less money if you do your own will. In fact, I and other lawyers make a lot more money if you DO make your own wills because we get paid by the hour after you pass away to fix the mistakes you make and don't know about.
So please put your cynicism aside when I say I think paying a lawyer to make your will is a good idea. What do I add that a will kit doesn't? Advice. Experience. Do you know which of your assets is taxable? Do you know who must pay the tax if you leave your cabin to one of your kids? Do you know how to write a trust for a disabled child or a spendthrift or a minor? Do you know what might happen if you leave out one of your kids? Do you know the rules regarding common law spouses in your province? These are some examples. For some of you, there are even more issues.
Having said all that, I can see value to using a will kit (either online or paper) if you are doing something extremely simple, such as leaving everything to your spouse. At least you'll have named an executor. But there are very few people whose affairs are as simple as that. If you have a blended family, joint property with your kids, minor kids, a business, a disabled family member, or a common law spouse, you should have legal advice.
Okay, that's my view on the topic. I know full well that some of you either don't have access to a lawyer, can't afford a lawyer, or simply want to do the task yourself. I hope the attached article is helpful. Keep in mind that the Maple Money site does endorse products and services for a fee.