The ultimate do-it-yourself Will.

Many of the articles on this blog are an attempt to de-mystify the process of writing your Will. We’ve explained that there are certain statements that should appear, but then as long as the document is signed and witnessed, it is a legal document. In many circumstances it is unnecessary to pay for expensive legal advice when your intentions are clear and straightforward, yet most people in that situation don’t even prepare a Will because they know it will cost them hundreds if not thousands of dollars to do so. The legal community scare people into not preparing their own Will by over complicating the whole process.

It was therefore very gratifying to see this article published today about a woman who wrote her Will in 1996 (not 1896!), but she was too ill to find a piece of paper so wrote everything on a piece of furniture that was close to hand . It was all in her own handwriting (and so according to many State and Provincial law doesn’t even have to be witnessed. A Will written all in your own handwriting is known as a holographic Will and legal in most States and Provinces). And guess what? the Will is perfectly legal and all of her estate was distributed according to her wishes.

It really doesn’t have to be as complicated as many people would have you believe.