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Should I go to a lawyer, or do my will online?

Are online wills better or worse than going to the lawyers? What's the difference? We answer all that and more in this Article - read on to find out.
Alvin T'ngSat Jun 26 2021

Apparently, people go to lawyers even for really simple Wills. But with online Wills being available, do I still need to go to a lawyer? Which is better, and what is should I be looking out for?

Lawyers cannot give you a Legally Binding Will.

The top reason why people want to go to the lawyers to get their Will done is because they think that lawyers can give them a 'legally binding Will'. People spend up to a thousand dollars going to the lawyers just because they want a ‘legally binding Will’. But what really is a 'legally binding Will'? Does getting my Will from a lawyer make my Will legally binding?

The first question is, what is a legally binding will?

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. So lawyers cannot give you a legally binding Will. > "There is NO SUCH THING as a 'legally binding Wills, only Legally Valid Wills"

What lawyers can give you is a Legally Valid Will.

Lawyers can give you a 'legally valid Will' - but you may be surprised as to what this really means.

Essentially, a 'legally valid Will' is a Will that has been declared to be valid by the courts.

See, after you pass, your Executor (which is the person you appoint in your will to distribute your assets) has to take your Will to the courts to start a process called Probate. This process will give your Executor the authority to start distributing your assets. During this process, the courts will also declare your Will to be valid - because your Executor can only act according to a valid Will!

Generally to check if your Will is valid, the courts will look at the following factors: 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 is drafted and executed according to all the legal formalities stated in section 6 of the Wills Act [2]. Only after the courts have pronounced the Will as valid, can the Will be considered legally valid. See? The validity of a Will does not depend on whether or not a lawyer drafts it!

The validity of a Will does not depend on whether or not a lawyer drafts it!
## So, why should I go to a lawyer? Wait, so if a lawyer cannot give me a legally binding will, and cannot give me a legally valid will, should I still go to a lawyer? The answer is YES.

Lawyers can give you a formally valid Will - which is a Will that is drafted according to the legal formalities.

Why? Because the lawyer can give you a formally valid will. A formally valid will is a Will that complies with point 3 of what the courts will look at (mentioned above) - i.e. that the Will is drafted and executed according to all the legal formalities stated in section 6 of the Wills Act.

But lawyers are expensive, how do I afford that?

Well, here's a secret. Lawyers are not the only ones that can give you a formally valid Will. You can also get it online, and do it from the comfort of your own home!

Pssst! You can get a formally valid Will online as well! Also, its cheaper, more convenient, and faster.

There are a few online legal providers we know out there, including OCBC. Such services offer some benefits compared to lawyers: * They do not require you to spend time searching for a lawyer, and having an initial meeting with the lawyer, * They do not require you to go to the lawyers office, everything can be done from the comfort of your own home, and * They allow you to complete your will immediately, no waiting time or downtime. However, one main downside is that you don't get the guidance and explanation that the lawyer will give you, and that you don't get the peace of mind of them actually following the legal requirements of Will drafting in order for you to get a 'formally valid will'.

This is where WillCraft really stands out.

  • WillCraft's interface is guided. WillCraft's interface will guide you through every step of the way - it explains to you everything you need to know when drafting a Will and explain to you all the terms that you need to know when starting to draft a Will. Explanations that a lawyer would give you, broken down into terms that a layman would understand.
  • WillCraft's Wills are drafted by Singapore qualified lawyers. In fact, WillCraft is founded by a lawyer! So you can have the peace of mind that your Will meets all the legal requirements in order for it to be considered a 'formally valid Will'.
  • WillCraft also sends out an execution letter to let you know exactly how to treat your will after you receive it.

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. WillCraft covers that too.

If you draft your Will with WillCraft, WillCraft allows you to choose from its panel of Singapore Law Firms to witness and review your Will for a FLAT FEE! No more hourly rates, or worrying about expensive fees. Just select it from the WillCraft interface when you're drafting your will. No additional effort required. "In fact, WillCraft will even throw in a lawyers' review and 2 witnesses at just $79 [4]."

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.

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