Using a Lawyer to Write a Will


The big advantage of having a lawyer help you prepare a will is peace of mind. Wills are reasonably complex legal documents that have enormous legal significance. After a person dies, there is no opportunity to fix a poorly drafted or improperly witnessed will. The only option at that time may be a costly court application. While you will not be around to feel the consequences of a poorly prepared will, your loved ones will be left behind to deal with the mistakes which may cause them severe stress and extreme financial loss. Having a lawyer help with the writing of a will reduces the likelihood that your executor(s) will have to face legal challenges to the will.

Also, when a lawyer assists with the preparation of a will, the content of your will is more likely to adequately provide for your beneficiaries. When I work with a client, I am typically doing more than simply putting his or her wishes into a legal document. During this process, I am also advising my client as to competing interests and pointing out things that may not have been considered.

I think most people intuitively realize that a will is an important and, to a considerable degree, technical legal document. For this reason, many of those who plan on writing their own wills are overcome by procrastination. I would be in the same situation if I attempted to do my own plumbing or electrical work. These are important projects that require a professional, and I wouldn't know where to begin. When the DIY will writer finally breaks down and hires someone like me, he or she is almost invariably relieved and pleased at how painless the process turns out to be.

Sometimes a person may be reluctant to use a lawyer because the cost is prohibitive. Some people may qualify for legal assistance through a pro bono legal organization. I'm not talking about people who think using a lawyer is expensive; I'm referring to people who legitimately cannot afford to pay a lawyer. If that applies to you, and you are in urgent need of a will, for example, due to advanced age or a medical condition, you may wish to contact the Elder Law Program at Calgary Legal Guidance if you live in the Calgary area.