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Wills & Estates

Q&A

Do I need to hire a lawyer or notary public to make a will?
I want to prepare a will, but I just can’t afford professional help. Can I make a valid will myself using a self-help kit?

Do I need to hire a lawyer or notary public to make a will? - Answer

It’s open to you to prepare a will on your own. Particularly if it’s a simple will, using a self-help kit can be a viable option. (Be careful to select a kit that works for your situation. For example: this guided pathway from Legal Aid BC is a better option to prepare a simple will in BC than many of the other self-help kits available.) 

But here’s the thing. If you choose to make your own will with a self-help kit, it might work. Then again, it might not. And as explained here, you won’t be around to fix things if there’s a problem. This could cause major headaches for your family, or whoever’s administering your estate. It could even mean that your property doesn’t get distributed as you intended. 

As well as helping you navigate the technicalities of drafting a will, sitting down with a legal professional can help you organize your thoughts. Lawyers and notaries working in this area know the important questions to ask. They can help you identify key issues you may have otherwise missed. 

Plus: getting professional help to make a will may not be as expensive as you think. Particularly if you consider the peace of mind you’ll enjoy knowing your affairs are taken care of. Here, we offer an idea of the costs involved, as of fall 2020. (Generally, the more basic the will, the lower the legal fees.) 

To explore your options, do a search for lawyers or notaries in your area. You can call to request a quote. And shop around for the best rates. 

David Watts
David Watts Notary Public
Reviewed November 2020

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