A properly crafted will is essential to ensure that one's post-death wishes are carried out. The purpose of a will is to provide for the welfare of one's family, to distribute assets in accordance with one's intentions, and to secure the efficient management of one's property. A well-drawn will can also serve to take advantage of tax deferral and tax saving mechanisms.
In addition to a will, it is also advisable to have a continuing GENERAL power of attorney for PROPERTY to allow a person or persons you entrust to exercise decisions on your behalf, in the event that you lose the capacity to do so yourself. It is also advisable to have a power of attorney for personal care, sometimes referred to as the living will, to assure that proper care will be taken of your person in the event you lose the physical and/or mental capability to do so yourself. The last two documents mentioned would be needed if one's mental capabilities come short prior to one's death.
Although it is beginning to be common practice for people to make wills without the assistance of a lawyer, we warn that this is extremely dangerous. Wills which are unprofessionally prepared, or are purchased in standard form from retail outlets, often fail to speak to the individual circumstances of the testator (the maker of the will). To this extent alone, such wills are dangerous. Furthermore, without the benefit of expert legal guidance, it is more likely that the testator’s intentions, a sacred element for the validity of a will, will be misconstrued or challenged. A poorly drawn will has the potential effect of negating the will in its entirety.