Personal Finance

Will - Notary or Lawyer

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 7th, 2020 12:46 pm
[OP]
Member
Dec 7, 2019
386 posts
246 upvotes

Will - Notary or Lawyer

To make a will, is DIY ever feasible and sufficient? Or should I go via a Notary or Lawyer?

Thanks

Sam
Be the change you want to see.
21 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 27, 2017
2180 posts
930 upvotes
do you already have a draft or template?

if you are comfortable using a template, why pay a lawyer several hundred dollars for what - wills are not generally court registered, then you could get it notarized at the local township office by a commissioner of oath for less than $5 or for free if you know someone.

a google for a Ontario will, google for different province

https://www.lawdepot.ca/contracts/canad ... khm8dIv0wA

kiss principle - add or amend sections accordingly especially that pertaining to what you leave to someone

as long as you are of sound mind & body, you were not coerced into making it - then duly signed & witnessed, two signed copies, initial each page

original in a safe place or a safety deposit box

choosing your executor or trustee is something also to consider
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
41952 posts
5528 upvotes
T.O. Lotto Captain
Just get a lawyer drAwn one. Basic wills are cheap from express style legal services. Axcess law for example.
$300 ish.

My parents got both of theirs done & a power of attorney for $500 plus tax.

But they have a simple estate... never divorced. Traditional nuclear family. one property, a few investments, thats all... everything located in Ont, Canada. That makes things simple.

Gets complicated if you’ve been divorced, got different baby mama’s, out of province/country assets etc... so those cost more.

The advantage of a lawyer drawn will is that they have the expertise to make it solid. That way no one fights over your estate & all your wishes are fulfilled.
Disadvantage is expensive.

Diy is cheap... but if not done right , people can fight over your will. Especially if there are complications.
Estate law varies by province.
All you gotta have is one mistake... even a small tiny one and a good family lawyer can pick it apart and boom... some random cousin/uncle/ex wife takes over all the money that you intended to give to your kids!
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 3, 2011
2822 posts
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A lawyer can answer questions or even provide questions and answers to things that are not on a standard pre-drafted will. If you make a mistake or need to adjust something on the fly the copy you are currently working on is considered null and void.
[OP]
Member
Dec 7, 2019
386 posts
246 upvotes
Thank you, forum posters, that’s helpful.

Sam
Be the change you want to see.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2015
5244 posts
1928 upvotes
Canada, Eh!!
Depends where you live if go with notary or lawyer.

For Ontario... lawyer

For Quebec... notary

For BC... lawyer

For AB... lawyer
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
2164 posts
2077 upvotes
Vancouver
Has anyone had any actual experience using a will from one of these DIY services?

I found when serving as executor for a deceased parent that many of the organizations I dealt with seemed much happier to see a will drawn up by a lawyer with the lawyer's stamp and contact information on it. Some of them seemed very cautious and insistent on seeing all the official documentation, and I'm not sure what the reaction would have been to a DIY will, regardless of the legality. I got the impression that if they had any doubt they might have thrown up more roadblocks or dragged their feet more while they sent it off for higher-level review by their legal department.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
6293 posts
2566 upvotes
Scote64 wrote: Has anyone had any actual experience using a will from one of these DIY services?

I found when serving as executor for a deceased parent that many of the organizations I dealt with seemed much happier to see a will drawn up by a lawyer with the lawyer's stamp and contact information on it. Some of them seemed very cautious and insistent on seeing all the official documentation, and I'm not sure what the reaction would have been to a DIY will, regardless of the legality. I got the impression that if they had any doubt they might have thrown up more roadblocks or dragged their feet more while they sent it off for higher-level review by their legal department.
Good to know. Thanks for sharing.
Deal Addict
Feb 24, 2008
1772 posts
374 upvotes
Can anyone recommend to me a good wills lawyer in Mississauga?

Thank you.
Newbie
Nov 20, 2016
35 posts
3 upvotes
I have a similar question:

Is there a strong reason to prefer going to a lawyer over a notary? I'm in BC, and there is a notary I have a strong relationship with. Reading online re wills, lawyers are saying "OMG get a lawyer!" and notaries are saying "Nah it's all the same, either notary or lawyer will do fine". Who's right?
Jr. Member
Feb 7, 2019
148 posts
71 upvotes
Scote64 wrote: Has anyone had any actual experience using a will from one of these DIY services?

I found when serving as executor for a deceased parent that many of the organizations I dealt with seemed much happier to see a will drawn up by a lawyer with the lawyer's stamp and contact information on it. Some of them seemed very cautious and insistent on seeing all the official documentation, and I'm not sure what the reaction would have been to a DIY will, regardless of the legality. I got the impression that if they had any doubt they might have thrown up more roadblocks or dragged their feet more while they sent it off for higher-level review by their legal department.
Thank you for sharing your real experience with us. I will definitely go to a real lawyer to draft a Will after hearing about your experience.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 1, 2006
11817 posts
15035 upvotes
CraigRFD wrote: I have a similar question:

Is there a strong reason to prefer going to a lawyer over a notary? I'm in BC, and there is a notary I have a strong relationship with. Reading online re wills, lawyers are saying "OMG get a lawyer!" and notaries are saying "Nah it's all the same, either notary or lawyer will do fine". Who's right?
It would depend on each person's situation. If it is complicated, then go with a lawyer. Some people have a large estate worth millions with multiple companies, trusts, etc. Other more basic estates can be handled by notaries. Notaries are much cheaper than lawyers too.
Have a nice day!


Deal Addict
Dec 14, 2011
1463 posts
517 upvotes
London
Get a lawyer, this is not something you want to mess up.
We just did ours last week. $350+hst for a couple including both POAs. This is in London.
For us, the cost was reasonable for professional advice. For the time it would take us to make one ourselves and go and get someone to notarize it, we probably saved money.

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