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Saturday, December 4, 2010

I guess I should have seen this coming

I know that mobile devices these days can help a person do everything from find a pizza restaurant to get a ride home after drinking too much. Mostly I don't have an opinion on these apps and am ok with people using whatever apps they like. But the latest one that I've heard about sets my lawyer alarm bells ringing. That would be the app for writing your Will on your phone. Yes, you heard me right. Click here to see the ad for the app.

To cover its butt, the manufacturer says that if you require "a more complex will" you should see a lawyer. The problem with this is that people don't know they require a more complex will. That's why they should see a lawyer to start with, to find out what is waiting to jump out at them. This app assumes that without legal advice, you know enough about the legalities surrounding your blended family, outstanding child support payments, illegitimate child, debts, shareholders agreement, life insurance, pension, RRSP designation, tax issues, business succession, family fights, choice of executor, handicapped child, challenges to your estate, etc etc to know that you don't need advice.

Preparing a will this way assumes that nothing more than filling in a few blanks is needed to make a strong will. If there is anyone out there naive enough to believe that, google "estate fight".

Laws across Canada require that your Will be written down, signed and witnessed. On paper, preferably. I admit that I haven't watched their instructional video, but I don't see anything on the app use page about printing the will, or signing it, or getting appropriate witnesses.

I guess I'll have to wait and see how this works out for people. 

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