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  • Girvin Devitt

How Can a Lawyer Assist in Preparing Your Will?

Updated: May 2, 2019

Ontario laws do not require you to hire a lawyer, but it certainly helps. Hiring a lawyer is indeed costly, but he can ensure that all your rights are adhered to and that all aspects of the distribution of your estate are considered. Furthermore, he can draft a will that perfectly reflects all your wishes regarding financial and property affairs.

What is Required for a Will to be Valid?

Usually, people will try to write their own will not knowing it may be not be recognized if it does not follow the legal guidelines set in Ontario. If it doesn’t conform to those guidelines, then their wishes may not be followed through. Some people don’t want to think about what will happen to their properties when they die, often avoiding visiting a lawyer’s office for that.

Often, their thinking goes along the way of “I already wrote who gets my house, and everything. I already signed it. That’s enough.” But according to Ontario laws, there are specific requirements that must be met for the will to be valid. If you are unsure what those requirements are, it is a great idea to make that trip to a lawyer now.

The usual requirement for a will to be valid is that it has to be signed by the testator (the person making it) as well as two witnesses who do not gain any benefit from the will. Most will fall under this method. However, there are times when a will that is written and signed by the testator is found only after sorting through their papers.

This type of will is called a holograph, which has a different set of rules to consider is valid. Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act necessitates that a holograph will must only be made and signed in the handwriting of the testator. It means that a typed holograph will that is signed by the testator is not valid.

A holograph will is one of the complexities of executing a will in Ontario and even in other provinces in Canada. In general, matters of wills and estate are complex and costly, especially when it comes to will disputes. If you are a person looking to prepare your will and estate, hiring an attorney will best serve your interests.

Why Hire an Attorney to Prepare Your Will and Estate?

With a lawyer, you have an expert who understands what has to be done and ensures that your true wishes will be carried the way you want them to be. A lawyer can also make sure that you will follow all Ontario laws, making sure there will be no contests and issues when executing it after you are gone.

Furthermore, lawyers also help in reducing taxes and all other costs that your family may encounter. With a trusty attorney, you can ensure the quick settlement of your estate and that your children will have a guardian to care for them. It is money well spent if you hire a lawyer as they consider all aspects of your estate when drafting a will that expresses your true wishes.


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