Types Of Wills
There are three types of Wills:
 
Formal Will
A formal Will is a typed document you sign in front of at least two witnesses.

Formal Wills are generally prepared by lawyers who oversee their signing. Depending on the province you live in, the lawyer could also have one of the witnesses swear an affidavit.

You don’t need a lawyer around when signing a formal Will, but having one is a very good idea. Many mistakes are made at the signing stage. These avoidable mistakes often lead to expensive litigation.

Using a lawyer may cost a few hundred dollars, but it could save your estate thousands.

Holographic Will
A holographic Will is one you write out by hand and sign. No witness is necessary.

It’s simple—but definitely not recommended. These types of Wills are notorious for being misinterpreted and challenged. Plus, they aren’t even recognized in some provinces. If you insist on drafting a holographic Will, you should at least consult a lawyer to see if holographic Wills are recognized by your province.

Notarial Will
A notarial Will is similar to the formal Will but is used only in Quebec. It is prepared by a notary and signed in front of the notary and a witness.
 
Will “Kits”
There is another alternative—one that we also don’t recommend. These are the pre-printed or computer downloaded forms used to create a Will.

What’s the problem with these Will “kits”? Well, once again, they save you a little money in the short term and put you at risk of losing a bundle in the long term. The legal fees your beneficiaries may have to pay to settle your affairs if something goes wrong will surely be higher than the cost of consulting a lawyer.

A Will requires a legal professional, just as car repairs require a mechanic. The average person wouldn’t attempt to replace a car transmission based on instructions downloaded from the Internet. Writing a Will using an Internet form or computer software is equally risky.

Lawyers are insured and must meet professional standards and codes of conduct. With a Wills kit, there is no accountability.

Preparing your Will can be viewed as your final act of life. Do it right. Get a good lawyer.

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