Do You Need a Lawyer to Get a Legally Binding Will?

Lawyers can’t guarantee the validity of your Will! We’ll let you know what to look out for, and exactly what to do when getting your Will drafted.
Alvin T'ngThu Aug 05 2021

Apparently, people go to lawyers even for really simple Wills, and spend up to a thousand dollars just because they want a ‘legally binding Will’.

But you know what? The truth is, lawyers can’t make your Wills legally binding, because there simply isn’t such a thing!

Wait... But why? Read on to find out the answer! But, let me give you a hint first.

"Legal formalities - that's what you should really look out for." ## What Are Legally Binding Wills? Technically speaking, whilst there are such things as legally binding contracts, there is NO such thing as a legally binding Will. See, legally binding someone means to put that someone under obligations which are enforceable by law. That is, if someone breaks a contract, you can enforce that - most times this means suing the other party to the contract.

So having a legally binding contract makes perfect sense, but having a legally binding Will, not so much. Wills are different from contracts and you can’t use your Will to legally bind anyone. > "There is No such thing as a 'legally binding Will!" ## How About Legally Valid Wills? Of course there are legally valid Wills - but you may be surprised as to what this really means. Essentially, your Will is only considered valid when it is propounded - a fancy term that essentially means to prove that your Will is valid.

The process of propounding your Will takes place during Probate. Probate is a court process that is started by your appointed Executor (which is the person you appoint in your will to distribute your assets) after your passing. Probate essentially will give your Executor the authority to start distributing your assets.

Anyway, in order to propound your Will, the Executor generally has to prove that: 1. You were of sound mind and above 21 years old when making the Will [1]; 2. You knew and approved the contents of your Will; 3. The Will satisfies all the legal formalities stated in section 6 of the Wills Act which includes that you and two (or more) witnesses sign at the end of the Will in each other’s presence [2]. Only once the Will is propounded, can the Will be considered legally valid. See? The validity of a Will does not depend on whether or not a lawyer drafts it!

What Really Matters - Formally Valid Wills

So there’s no such thing as legally binding Wills, and no such thing as legally valid Wills (before Probate as the Wills are not propounded), but Wills are legal documents, don’t they have to comply with something?

Yes, they do! I think we’ve mentioned it above - Wills have to comply with legal formalities stated in section 6 of the Wills Act [3]. Wills that comply with the formalities are called 'formally valid Wills'.

Lawyers cannot provide you a legally valid will as this can only happen after propounding the Will, which is only done after your passing. However, what they can provide you with is a formally valid Will - that is, Wills that are drafted in accordance with the formalities stated in Section 6 of the Wills Act. > "Lawyers might only be able to guarantee that the validity of the Will would not be challenged on the ground of legal formality!" I know, now you might think, well ok, it is better to leave all the fuss to lawyers and pay the hefty legal fees. Because how would you know whether the will written by yourself is going to comply with all the legal formalities?

Well, there’s a little secret. If you do want to draft a Will without paying the hefty legal fees but still make sure that your will complies with legal formalities and that you’re getting a formally valid will, use WillCraft. > “With WillCraft, you can get a formally valid Will from just $49 [4], and without visiting a lawyer.” ## Don't Worry. We Are Here to Help. We can provide you with a Will that will be formally valid once it is properly executed, from only $49 [5]. After you’ve completed our interface, simply print it out and sign according to our executor instructions (yes, we tell you how to execute your Will as well!) - and you’re done! > “What lawyers can guarantee you, is a will that’s compliant with the necessary legal formalities. But so can WillCraft, and at a fraction of the price.” Our interface breaks it down and guides you every step of the way! It’s incredibly easy. All you really need to do is to answer a few questions in our interface, and you’ll get a legally compliant Will, that will be ready for you to sign. You’re welcome. :) It's not just easy, though. It’s also really affordable. From just $49 [6], the cost is a fraction of what you would ordinarily pay a lawyer.

But, I Still Want a Lawyer

Ah, of course. We understand that sometimes you want to have a lawyer to look through everything to make sure everything is alright. We got you covered on that too! > "In fact, WillCraft will even throw in a lawyers' review and 2 witnesses at just $79 [7]." We’ve worked with lawyers to allow your draft Will to be reviewed by a lawyer and witnessed by 2 lawyers for just an additional $79 [8]. Simply select the law firm of your choice when you’re in the interface, and we’ll sort it out for you. ## Try WillCraft, Really. WillCraft is the new-age solution to will drafting. Whether or not you want to complete it at home with no fuss, or have a lawyer review it for that peace of mind, WillCraft can sort you out at a fraction of the price of traditional law firms. Plus, trying their interface is absolutely FREE!

Click here try WillCraft!

[1] Wills Act (Chapter 352, Revised Edition 1996), s 4. See the Act: https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/WA1838 [2] Wills Act (Chapter 352, Revised Edition 1996), s 6. See the Act: https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/WA1838 [3] Wills Act (Chapter 352, Revised Edition 1996), s 6. See the Act: https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/WA1838 [4] This excludes GST and third party transaction fees. [5] This excludes GST and third party transaction fees. [6] This excludes GST and third party transaction fees. [7] This excludes GST and third party transaction fees. [8] This excludes GST and third party transaction fees.

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