I think the choice all depends on the complexity of your estates. If they are "simple", then there's nothing wrong with a DIY Will, which usually holds up quite well in court. To decide if your needs are "simple", ask yourself these questions:
- are your assets easily identified and your ownership of those assets unquestionable?
- do you own real estate that is NOT jointly owned with the person whom you want to leave it to?
- is there likely to be any disputes over your estate (how well do your family members get along)?
- are you sure of how you want your estate distributed, or are you going to keep second-guessing yourself?
Probably the third point is the most important one, since the main benefit of having a lawyer do it is to produce a solid, loophole-free Will that leaves no room for argument. Whereas a self-produced Will might result in wording that could have differing interpretations, and it may cause problems for your family if they have difficulty resolving any conflicts that this may create.
I recently got married and creating a Will is now on my to-do list, so I looked around to see what my options are. Since my situation is very simple, I don't feel like I would gain much by spending $300 or more on a lawyer. It wasn't hard to find a FREE kit that you download and print (no submitting personal details online), then just fill in the blanks according to the provided instructions. For anyone interested, the one I intend to use is found on the Canadian Financial Security Program website
. It includes the Last Will and Testament, Living Will, and Enduring Power of Attorney.