In a world full of electronic resources, it seems that drafting your own Will is as easy as downloading some forms and filling the blanks. After all, a single professionally drafted Will in Toronto will likely cost at least $250.
However, the truth is that Will forms printed from the internet or copied from do it yourself books may cost your estate more in the long run. Once you pass away it is not possible to clarify your wishes. A poorly drafted Will may cause conflict between your heirs, or leave your final wishes indecipherable. The execution process requires several important steps to comply with Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act. If not complied with, these could cause a massive headache for your heirs along with legal costs far exceeding those of professionally drafting a Will in the first place.
At a minimum, the proper execution of your Will requires a visit to a commissioner: one of the witnesses to your Will must swear an Affidavit of Execution. This means that in the event that neither witness can be found at the time of your death, a sworn statement that they witnessed the signing of your Will is available to the courts. The Affidavit is required by your Executor when applying for the Certificate of Probate.
Additionally, you will also have the peace of mind that your Will is secure. Law offices that deal in estate matters are required to store your Will in a fireproof safe, ensuring that it is available at the required time. If you wish to keep the original document, a law office will usually offer to make a copy of your Will for storage.
Though your Will needs to be in English, at Bykov Law we can explain and advise you on Wills and estate planning in the Polish, Ukrainian and Russian languages.
If you live in the Greater Toronto Area and would like more information on estate planning call Bykov Law at 416-519-3259.