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Friday, May 6, 2016

Your financial advisor prepared your will? You, my friend, have been suckered

Yesterday while I was in the studio at VOCM, a number of listeners contacted the host, Pete Soucy, with questions and comments on Twitter, email, and by phone. We didn't get to all of them, but there is one particular comment that stands out for me and which I really want to address today.

An individual tweeted that his financial advisor had prepared his will and Enduring Power of Attorney for him for free. He seemed pleased about this.

This poor fellow has been completely suckered. He thinks he has something of value, and he is grateful to the person who gave it to him. I really don't understand this. Did this person have his taxes done by his hairdresser? His prescriptions filled by his mechanic? His appendix taken out by the clerk at the supermarket? If he doesn't actually know what his financial advisor is supposed to be doing for him, why does he even have one?

Financial advisors are not trained to prepare wills. Yes, they know a lot about money, but they don't know a lot about inheritance law.  That advisor probably just downloaded a form from the internet and uses the same one for every client. He knows no more about wills than the person he gave it to, and I'm shocked that any so-called professional would mislead a client this way about his lack of expertise.

In my opinion the financial advisor who is preparing wills for people and passing them off as adequate substitutes for wills drawn by lawyers should lose his license. He clearly has poor judgment.

4 comments:

  1. Lynne
    I'm shocked that any so-called professional would mislead a client this way about his lack of expertise.[...]
    I am not as they walk among us. Some financial advisers can be the worst when it comes to money matters. There are many horror stories out there. Finding a good financial adviser is akin to finding a 'good' lawyer. A lawyer who is honest and has integrity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it can be hard to find good professionals. I myself had a terrible time finding a good doctor (GP) when I moved to a different province but eventually found one I really like.

      I know a few financial advisors who are really good at their jobs and operate ethically and professionally. Like any field, that industry has the good ones and the not-so-good ones.

      Lynne

      Delete
  2. The Law Society of Upper Canada clearly states that "Other than under the supervision of a lawyer, paralegals may not provide legal services that only a lawyer may provide, such as drafting wills or handling real estate transactions or estates."

    This means that unless your will is drafted by a lawyer, the person who drafted it is actually prohibited from drafting it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes it seems that the only people who know this are lawyers, when the provision was drafted to protect the unsuspecting public. I wish more people knew this!

      Lynne

      Delete

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