Holographic Wills: What are they?
Wills that are handwritten are also known as holographic wills. As probate lawyers in Calgary, Alberta we often see wills that have been hand written. They are often not witnessed and come in a variety of styles, lengths and varieties. People want to know if it is legal to hand write a will. The legality of a hand written will is often dependent on how it was done. For more help call 403-225-8810.
Handwritten Wills in Alberta
Alberta law has allowed for handwritten wills since 1926. It is important to note that not all Canadian provinces legally recognize the validity of handwritten wills. The statute that addresses handwritten wills in Alberta is the Wills and Succession Act. This Act sets out the specific laws as they relate to holographic wills. While Alberta courts have some discretion in interpreting a holographic will, it is important to be sure that the specific requirements required under the act are met for a holographic will to be valid.
How Handwritten Wills Go Wrong
There are a number of common mistakes that we see when people hand write will. The most common holographic mistakes include the following:
- The wrong wording is used in the holographic will
- Changes are made to the handwritten will
- The will is not all handwritten
- Someone else has drafted the holographic will
- The holographic will is valid but creates tax, estate or bequest problems
Why a A Lawyer Drafted may be better Than A Handwritten Will
Relatively speaking a will is relatively inexpensive when you hire a lawyer. Kahane Law Office Offers flat rate fees for drafting wills or will packages. Learn more about the cost of wills here. Here are some reasons you may consider hiring a lawyer in Alberta to draft your will.
Minor Beneficiaries in Wills
People do not always consider minor beneficiaries in their holographic wills. It is important to set up trusts for them when drafting a will. When our law firm prepares your will, we do not charge extra to set these trusts up. Also, some people write their holographic will not knowing that there will be a minor child that is the beneficiary of their estate.
Lawyers ensure there is no Intestacy
Many handwritten wills only address a portion of the estate. This leave a portion of the estate that must be dealt with as an intestacy. This means it is treated as if there is no will.
Ensuring Your Last Wishes Are Addressed
Lawyer drafted wills will address all your concerns. There are laws that can restrict what can and cannot be done in wills. Not addressing these laws, can invalidate part or all of your handwritten will in Alberta. A lawyer will also ask questions and probe into what you want to happen after your passing to make sure that all your wishes are addressed. Most people who hand write their own will do not understand the law enough to navigate these issues.
Holographic Wills with Problems can Be Very Expensive
Failing to properly set up a holographic will can lead to uncertainty and invalidity. If a family member, or other beneficiary, contests the will, lawyers and the courts maybe involved. When this happens, the executor of the handwritten will in Alberta may have to hire a lawyer to defend the will. These costs can be very high in lengthily litigation. The costs for the lawyer who defends the will are paid for by the estate.
Hiring a Calgary Lawyer to Draft a Will
Avoid the problems of improperly drafting your handwritten will. While doing your own holographic will may be cheaper, it is not always less expensive. Flat rate fees combined with fast and friendly service will ensure that your needs and wishes are met when it comes to your estate. Kahane Law Office would be pleased to assist you in deciding if you need to make changes to your will based on these changes. Connect with us Today. Call 403-225-8810 (1-877-225-8817 toll free) or email us directly here.