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Drafting Your Will: 3 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid

Drafting Your Will: 3 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid

While creating a will is a deeply personal issue, that doesn’t mean you should do it without legal guidance. Even if your will has specific instructions on how to manage your estate upon your death, it’s not a guarantee that it’s enough to fit the law’s standards. This is why you should avoid making critical mistakes that could cause confusion which you won’t be able to clear up after your passing.

Drafting a Will: Three Mistakes to Avoid

Just because a will is authenticated with your signature doesn’t mean that everything it contains will be followed to the dot. Besides the things you include in your will’s contents, you should also be wary of the things you forgot to add. Since you can’t defend a will’s directives after you pass away, it’s vital to be as concise as possible by being careful to avoid mistakes.

Before your draft your will, here are three mistakes you should be mindful of:

1. Missing Out Assets and Beneficiaries in Your Will

One of the primary purposes of drafting a will is to ensure that your assets will be properly distributed to the right beneficiaries. This can be done to ensure that your wealth isn’t automatically claimed by business laws or taken advantage of by estranged widows or families. To avoid these potential issues, you should have a residue clause in your will.

A residue close will prevent intestacy or the situation where your estate assets can still be signed under a certain beneficiary’s name. In Ontario, intestacy is enacted by the Succession Law Reform Act, allowing the deceased spouse to receive an initial 200 thousand dollars of estate assets, with the rest being split between the spouse and children. While it can be decent legislation for people without prior wills, it can be problematic if you explicitly do not want your undesignated assets to fall on your family’s hands.

2. Forgetting to Assign Alternate Executors in Your Will

Your designated executor will be responsible for ensuring that the contents of your will are followed and observed by the law. This is why they must be capable of carrying out this task dutifully by being someone you trust. However, it’s possible for your executor to pass away before you, especially if they’re much older than you. For this reason, you need to assign alternate executors.

If you don’t have a living executor by your passing, it’s possible for any creditor included in your will to apply to the Court. Similar to the intestacy clause, this can be a positive or negative outcome, depending on your relations with this individual.

3. Failing to Update Your Will

There’s no telling whether you’ll be at death’s door today or tomorrow. This is why you should frequently update your will as often as possible. Besides have regularly scheduled revisions, you should consider making changes if you’ve obtained a considerable amount of assets in your possession. Another reason to update your will is to realign your beneficiaries and creditors whenever necessary.


All first drafts of a will are bound to have some mistakes in its phrasing and terminology. While you may have the right idea in your mind, it can lead to appeals and arguments if you don’t clarify your statements accordingly. This is why it’s highly recommended to work with a legal professional when drafting your will. With their experience in legal jargon, you can ensure the strict observance of your last wishes.

If you’re looking for reliable will and estate planning lawyers in Ontario, we’re the right company to call. Our team of legal experts at Ontario Wills can ensure a smooth process of drafting and finalizing your will. Contact us today at 647-497-6446!

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