Personal Finance

Difference between a Will from a Lawyer and elsewhere?

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  • Apr 6th, 2017 11:00 pm
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[OP]
Member
Jan 14, 2005
379 posts
15 upvotes

Difference between a Will from a Lawyer and elsewhere?

I would like to create a legal will now that I have a family and assets. I contacted a lawyer in toronto and he broke the fees down to the following:

2Wills
2 Powers of Attorney for Personal Care
2 Powers Of Attorney for Real Property
$1600 PLUS HST TOTAL FOR both my wife and I

Wal Mart offers Will services\package for $170.

As this is a huge difference in price I would like to understand if anyone knows the difference. I know there are previous posts on this but most of them are several years old and include lawyer fees that are much less than I have quoted above.

Thanks
17 replies
Sr. Member
May 29, 2012
541 posts
201 upvotes
Southern Ontario
I got exactly what you had quoted last year for $500 from my lawyer.
I did call 2 other firms and they were slight more , like 600 and 575
I live in the country so that might matter.

It depends on how complicated your life is, if you have simple life , no kids, no complicated ownerships of assets or businesses the Walmart one might work for you.

If you go the lawyer route definitely shop around though, 1600 seems crazy
I looked at it this way, I only pay for it once, its done, I really don't have to do anything to it again.
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
3548 posts
718 upvotes
Toronto
I would not purchase the Will package.

The lawyer's price might very well be reasonable - the 4 POAs would definitely cost - plus the 2 wills. Since you posted that you have a family, I am assuming that children are involved and that you plan to include your hopes for their future should you and your spouse die together.

My husband and I are named executor for each other but should we die together we have named an executor to handle our joint estates. Your wills will not fall under the category of "simple" as soon as you allow for leaving property/funds other than to your spouse and vice versa.

You will most likely have to amend your wills over the years - whether or not the amendments can be made via codicil will depend on the scope of the amendments. We have done one codicil - but will have to redo our wills again in the future once a member of the family passes - hopefully before we do in terms of care. And of course should one of us pass before the other, the surviving spouse would have to prepare yet another will.

Basically a lot will depend on the complexity of your wills - as the lawyers see it.
Deal Guru
Mar 20, 2003
10386 posts
596 upvotes
New-Brunswick
Just had this exact same setup done for 575$ + tax out East. I know stuff costs more in the big cities but the lawyer charging you 1600$ is out of his/her mind. They essentially have templates for these where they plug in the names, it's not like they have to do everything up from scratch.

Call around, maybe stay away from the large firms? I made a point to call someone who wasn't downtown, wasn't with a firm, etc. and our wills are just as legal as the person who'll pay the big shot lawyer to do it for them.
Newbie
Feb 16, 2016
12 posts
15 upvotes
Have you heard about the Will Campaign by the Lung Association? - http://www.on.lung.ca/thewillcampaign

The Will Campaign is a program that gives individuals the opportunity to prepare estate plans while supporting The Lung Association. Participating lawyers donate 100% of their fees for preparing Basic Wills and/or Powers of Attorney to The Lung Association’s medical research and community programs.

The cost of a basic Will is $100*.

The cost of a Power of Attorney is $50 for each type: Personal Care (your health) and Continuing Property (your finances).

*Fees for additional services such as setting up a Trust would be additional and would be payable to the attorney.

*Wills and Powers of Attorney must be prepared individually

The Will Campaign opperates year round in the following communities

■Belleville
■Brampton
■Brantford
■Cambridge
■Chatham
■Etobicoke
■Hamilton

■Kingston
■London
■Mississauga
■Niagara Falls
■North York
■Orangeville
■Ottawa

■Simcoe
■St. Catharines
■Thorold
■Waterloo
■Welland
■Windsor

To participate in the Will Campaign, you must pre-register to receive a referral to a participating lawyer in your area. To register please contact us at 416-864-9911 ext 221 or 1-888-344-5864 ext 221or e-mail: thewillcampaign@on.lung.ca. To help us with your referral, please specify the community where you live or work.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 11, 2005
8410 posts
1268 upvotes
TO
Thanks for posting the above....I was reading the part on 'Tips and Ideas' and this statement is right on point:

Will kits are not recommended; users don’t understand the terminology used in the documents. Further, succession laws fall under provincial jurisdictions and these kits do not take this into account. Lastly, if your Will is prepared by a lawyer, there is a clear record of your intentions, and your testamentary capacity in the event that someone wanted to contest the Will.
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Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2008
1355 posts
515 upvotes
Toronto
Are there a list of things we need to think about / figure out the answers to, before we go see a lawyer to prepare a will / POA?

For example, if both parents die in an accident, they need someone to "help manage the estate for young kids until they are adult"? They need to think of / approach some relatives in advance? What other kinds of things like that do we need to prepare in advance? Thank you.
Amerifriend threads need to include instructions on how to acquire an amerifriend. :confused:
Deal Addict
Apr 19, 2010
2918 posts
1413 upvotes
We paid $800+HST for two wills and two PoA...super important when you have a kid for trust funds and legal guardians should anything happen, IMO
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 3, 2009
2058 posts
510 upvotes
Nova Scotia
$1600 is expensive especially where there has been no consult to determine if your estate is complicated.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 27, 2007
5079 posts
941 upvotes
Peterborough
Crazy expensive. Had ours done for $400.
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Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Apr 16, 2006
6147 posts
599 upvotes
Whoever quoted you $1600 is out to lunch.

The going rate is $500 or so.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 1, 2004
6341 posts
719 upvotes
Toronto
have anyone gone through the Lung association mentioned above? experiences?

what type of will kits are you guys getting? Ours should be a simple one, two properties thats yet.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 27, 2009
7488 posts
4788 upvotes
Victoria, BC
tony311 wrote: I got exactly what you had quoted last year for $500 from my lawyer.
I did call 2 other firms and they were slight more , like 600 and 575
I live in the country so that might matter.

It depends on how complicated your life is, if you have simple life , no kids, no complicated ownerships of assets or businesses the Walmart one might work for you.

If you go the lawyer route definitely shop around though, 1600 seems crazy
I looked at it this way, I only pay for it once, its done, I really don't have to do anything to it again.
Wills are something that should be revised from time to time. Life changes. You'd be surprised how many times you might revise things.
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
2876 posts
1565 upvotes
Ottawa
$1600 is a lot of money and unless your estate is into 7 figures IMHO it is better to write your own will and use the cash you save to buy more life insurance. Who you say your kids will go to doesn't really matter; in the end the courts will decide what is best for them. Your words have value but if someone wants to fight it they can regardless of how well written your will is. In other words an informal agreement is nearly as likely to be accepted.
Sure you pay more trust and estate fees and there will be complications if you have no will or possibly if you write your own, but the chance of both parents dying is so low that paying even $ 500 to prevent maybe $20-$30k in additional expenses doesn't make sense for an event that might be 1 in 100,000. Main benefit is peace of mind so if that is important go for it.
Deal Addict
May 12, 2014
2998 posts
2805 upvotes
Montreal
sketty55 wrote: ...$1600 [...] Wal Mart offers Will services\package for $170.
Is the lawyer you contacted working for a big firm, or is he an estate expert?

The higher price may include (ask to confirm):

- trust provisions in case you don't want your spouse to have sole control over the kids' money (eg: in the case of remarriage)

- tax planning (how and to whom you gift stuff can have wildly different outcomes)

- avoiding common pitfalls (eg: "I give the house to X, and everything else to Y". Simple? Did you catch that you probably just screwed "Y" royally?)

- finding and properly documenting who the independent witnesses are, and getting affidavits prepared in advance in case the witness is dead by the time your will needs to be used.

- Insurance! If a lawyer screws up, your estate can sue him. If you screw up your will with a Walmart kit, good luck.

etc.

Do shop around. Ask questions. Go to as many free consultations as you can to get ideas about what you want.
Sr. Member
Feb 11, 2009
986 posts
239 upvotes
I paid $750 for Will and both POA documents.

Not something you want to be cheap on.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 13, 2003
9923 posts
1661 upvotes
So what exactly needs to be done for a will? Looking st one as well.

I see prices for Will. And than POwer of attorney. And I see something called survivorship application ?

Is everything broken down or what , I'm a little confused.
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Deal Addict
Mar 10, 2010
1460 posts
434 upvotes
The lawyer you contacted is off his rocker. For your power's of Attorney simply use the the kit which is offered by the Ontario Ministry of Justice here. When you get your will prepared by a lawyer for a proper price ~$500 also have them include these Ministry POA's as part of their document storing fee along with the will they'll help you prepare.

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