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Can I Draft My Own Will?!?!

There is a well-known case that is read by most law students during law school which relates to hand written Wills also known as Holograph Wills.

In 1948, Cecil Geo Harris, as Saskatchewan farmer, was pinned underneath his tractor. While he was trapped, he used a packet knife to etch the following onto the fender of his tractor:

“In case I die in this mess I leave all to the wife. Cecil Geo Harris.”

Unfortunately Mr. Harris passed away the next day but his story lives on. The fender of the tractor was submitted into probate as the Will. At the time, this met the legal requirements of the Province and was accepted as his Will.

The Succession Law Reform Act says:

6 A testator may make a valid will wholly by his or her own handwriting and signature, without formality, and without the presence, attestation or signature of a witness. R.S.O. 1990, c. S.26, s. 6.

So the answer is yes, you have the ability to draft your own Will. However, it is important to consider that the validity of this document will be determined by Judges who were once lawyers.

A few reasons why you need a lawyer to draft your Will:

  • Having a lawyer draft your Will and Estate documents will ensure that you are in compliance with all of the laws of the Province of Ontario.
  • Having a lawyer draft your Will and Estate documents will give you peace of mind.
  • A Lawyer can assist with Estate Planning as well as offer an objective view to your Estate.
  • Estates can be complicated and the law changes all the time. An experienced lawyer would know where to look and what questions to ask to ensure your Estate documents are drafted correctly.

If you or someone you know would like to have a Will drafted or updated, contact FDTLaw at our Elizabeth Street office in Midland, Ontario at 705-526-3791 to book an appointment or speak directly with one of our lawyers.

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