Although some provinces accept a handwritten, self-made will (called
a "Holograph" will), it is risky to do it yourself. The
cost of having a will prepared professionally by a lawyer or notary
is far less than people imagine.
Here are just some of the common mistakes which can be made when
individuals handwrite their own wills:
- Any wills written previously are not
- There is often no alternate Executor
- Frequently a family member or friend is given a bequest, but
then there is no consideration for what happens to this gift if
the person predeceases the author of the will.
- Most people who write their own wills
do not make sufficient provision for the person administering
your Estate. For example, the power to sell and convert assets
to cash, etc.
- On several occasions the language a
person uses in making a homemade will can be vague or misinterpreted.
- Often people take certain things for
granted; for example, that their children will outlive them.
- Favourite non-profit organizations such
as a health charity are not identified properly.
- People may instruct to give a particular
item to a friend or relative, but no consideration is given to
what happens if that gift does not exist at the date of death.
- Sometimes a house is left to a spouse, in trust for example,
but then there is often no mention of who pays the expenses for
upkeep of the property during the lifetime of the beneficiary.
- Last, but not least, don't make the mistake of assuming because
you have typewritten your own will that it is a valid Holograph
will. A typewritten will has to follow the usual formalities of
a prepared will, such as witnessing and signing as required by
If a will is not done properly, the things you have worked hard
for all your life may not be looked after in the manner you would
have wished not to speak of the confusion left behind for
loved ones, at a time when they are least able to cope with such
If your so inclined bequesting part of you estate to a charity or group you
may wish to ask them to provide you with a information package that
describes how the bequest is to be used. The more prominent charities
such a The Heart and Stroke Foundation, The Canadian Cancer Society
and environmental adversarial organizations like Greenpeace
Canada have developed booklets to help you understand how the put
the donations to work.
The following links are provided for your consideration.
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Other items of interest from FiscalAgents.com:
Certre - Estate planning
You Need an Estate Plan - 10 Simple steps
an effective will
With files from NC