Should I draft my own Will?
Perhaps you wish to save money on lawyer’s costs by drafting your own will. You have two options. First, you can use an Alberta will kit, consisting of a fillable form will or you can write and sign your own will. When you write your own will it’s called a “holographic will.”
What about a Will Kit?
While will kits and holographic wills have been upheld as valid by Alberta Courts, neither option is recommended. So many things can go wrong with a holographic will that they are never recommended in any circumstance. Will kits, while not as risky as holographic wills, do raise some concerns. A will kit will save you money in the near-term, but having your will drafted by an experienced wills and estates lawyer will likely save you significant expense, hassle and confusion in the long run.
Minimize the risk
When drafting your will, a reputable wills and estates lawyer will consider the implications of outside challenges to your will upon your death. Wills are typically challenged on the basis that the testator lacked capacity or that the will was drafted under undue influence and therefore doesn’t represent the true intentions of the testator. By visiting a lawyer, you minimize the risk of these challenges because your lawyer will assess your mental capacity at the time you provide your will instructions. Your lawyer will also ensure that no one who could potentially influence you is present in the room when the will is signed. This helps to prevent future assertions of undue influence by individuals wishing to challenge your will.
Another reason to avoid will kits is that they often come with disclaimers that the form will package does not constitute legal advice. If you consult with a lawyer, they will be able to give you sound legal advice and draft your will in accordance with your instructions. A form will doesn’t account for your unique circumstances and it doesn’t come with legal advice. While will kits and even holographic wills are perfectly legal options, they don’t come with the peace-of-mind and clarity that an experienced wills and estates lawyer will provide when drafting your will.