I Need a Will – Should I Do It Myself?
Estate planning and making a Will are crucial steps in planning for the future of our loved ones. However, for some people, the desire to minimize the costs associated with estate planning can wrongly drive them either to not create a Will or use do-it-yourself services such as online Wills.
While the minimal cost of a DIY Will may seem appealing, there are many pitfalls. Often the pitfalls of DIY Wills include how they do not account for all possible scenarios when gifting to beneficiaries, are missing important provisions to allow an executor to properly administer the estate, and may even be based on inapplicable laws. Obtaining professional assistance will avoid these missteps that could cost the future of your loved ones. Unlike a “fill in the blank” DIY Will, our approach within our Wills & Estates Team at CBM Lawyers is to tailor your Will to meet your specific requirements and ensure no step is missed in the process.
I Think my Will is Simple – Do I Need a Lawyer?
Even when an estate plan seems ‘simple’, the requirements for a valid Will are specific and complex. As well, what many people do not realize is that your Will may not control where all of your assets will go upon death. Obtaining accurate information and sound advice is vital to preparing a valid Will.
The common cases that affect how your assets are distributed and should have professional attention are:
- minor children
- dependent adult children
- a blended family
- a business
- foreign property
- gifts of property
- charitable gifts
If a Will provides for unequal distribution or a disinheritance, obtaining legal assistance and taking the additional steps needed to support your Will and estate plan are crucial. In those circumstances, the risk of litigation – your loved ones going to court to debate your assets – is much higher when a Will is prepared without legal advice. Additionally, the cost of litigation, paid for out of the estate, will be greater than the cost of obtaining legal advice when preparing your Will.
Hiring a Lawyer – Is it Worth It?
Many view the cost of preparing a Will as simply an expense; however, it is really an investment in ensuring your assets will be dealt with as per your wishes. We pay every year for insurance on our property, our health care and our lives to protect our assets and our loved ones. We prepare a Will only a few select times during our lifetime. Therefore, shouldn’t we take the same care and invest in protecting our assets and our loved ones?
If you do not have a plan in place, the time and money you invest now to make sure your affairs are in order will provide peace of mind knowing your loved ones are taken care of in the future.
What About Planning for Unexpected Incapacity
Unexpected events can happen and in case you lose your capacity as a result, you may also wish to consider preparing a Power of Attorney and a Representation Agreement. These are separate legal documents which allow you to name who you give legal authority to, so they can manage your financial matters and health care matters respectively, if you become incapable.
At CBM Lawyers, we understand that planning for your loved ones’ future is personal. Our goal is to inform and guide you, and prepare the legal documents you need to ensure your plan is in place, giving you peace of mind. Contact us today to get in touch with our team.
CBM Lawyers is a community law firm located in the Fraser Valley. At each of their four locations, their Wills & Estates Team has extensive experience in setting their clients up for the best outcomes and protecting them through the process. Reach out to CBM Lawyers today for assistance in creating your Will & Estate plan.
Article: I Need A Will – Should I Do It Myself?