Making Your Will – The 12 Critical Steps

All lawyers are not the same. Every lawyer works differently. Before you hire the wrong lawyer to make your will, do your homework. Find out what steps other lawyers will follow. Here are the steps I follow with my clients.

What does it cost to make a will?

You have decided to invest in a lawyer-prepared will. What will it cost? That depends on a number of factors including:

•  where you live

•  the experience of your lawyer

•  the complexity of your circumstances 

Price is always a factor. However, the experience and service you want may be the deciding factors. You should know not every law firm offers the same standard of service.

Is price the only factor to consider when hiring a lawyer? The short answer is no.

Do your research before hiring a law firm. Consider these critical steps that I take to make a client’s will.

The 12 Critical Steps to Making Your Will

1. You start by receiving a free estate planning guide. This free information is on our website and can be mailed or e-mailed to you. The guide helps you to

•  focus your thoughts

•  give us information needed to advise you, and

•  understand our fees so there are no surprises.

You bring your completed questionnaire and necessary documents to your first meeting. This is critical for you to receive the best advice. It also saves time and money.

2. You meet with a lawyer within a reasonable time limit. A lawyer, and not a clerk, will review separation, marriage and shareholders’ agreements. You will be advised if this requires additional time and fees.

3. You meet with a Certified Specialist in Estates and Trusts Law. Lawyer and author, Edward Olkovich, will answer your questions and advise you. Your meeting will be private and confidential without anyone else present.

4. You will receive legal advice to help you make key decisions, including choosing:

•  executors or estate trustees

•  attorneys for property and personal care

•  beneficiaries and when trusts are necessary

•  guardians for your children

5. You receive a review and analysis of your assets and liabilities. This includes tax, probate and defensive estate planning strategies.

6. You benefit from the experience of a lawyer who has practised estate law since 1978. Edward Olkovich has written numerous books explaining the dos and don’ts of estate planning.

7. Your instructions are confirmed before your will is prepared. Your will must legally reflect your wishes and needs.

8. You receive a complimentary estate planning book.

Estate to the Heart

How to Plan Wills and Estates for Your Loved Ones
by Edward Olkovich

The world’s fastest and easiest estate planning guide.

9. You receive a draft will within a reasonable time limit for your review. You receive a written report on your estate planning and have time to consider changes.

10. You meet with a lawyer to confirm if changes are required. Once you are satisfied, a lawyer completes formal signing requirements.

11. You receive a complimentary will folder to store your original will for safekeeping. We retain notes in your file.

12. You receive a reminder when to update your will.