All About Estates

The Cost of a Will

This post was written by Alicia Mossington, Estate and Trust Consultant with Scotiatrust.

Specialists in estate planning recognize the value and importance of having a well-prepared estate plan. Many of my fellow authors have articulated the importance of a comprehensive will and estate plan. Those involved in estate administration have experienced the pitfalls of poor or non-existent planning.


Despite the many examples of estate’s gone awry – it can be difficult to articulate the importance of a well-prepared plan to clients and lay-people. A common argument against meeting a lawyer or retaining a lawyer or specialist to prepare an estate plan, is the cost.


I work with an advisor colleague who uses an analogy that I have borrowed on several occasions, and which I have found helpful when navigating these conversations.


Insurance is a necessity in many aspects of our life. We pay for insurance for our vehicles, our homes, personal effects, and businesses. Many of us insure our own lives or those of our family members. Insurance provides peace of mind and certainty against risks both known and unknown. For many Canadians, their house is their most significant asset. We insure this asset against possible loss or damage and pay the premiums annually. According to a June 2023 Brokerlink analysis, the average cost of home insurance in Canada is roughly $1,000.00 per year.[1]


A Will is akin to insurance. Death is inevitable and an event that is guaranteed to occur at some point. A well drafted, comprehensive Will and estate plan can mitigate some of the challenges, disruption and cost associated with death and the settlement of an estate. The average cost of a Will prepared by a lawyer in Canada ranges from $300-400 for a simple Will and $1,100 – $1,400.00 for more complex Wills.[2]


The upfront cost of retaining a lawyer is like the premium that we all pay for insurance, except the cost is typically spread out over an extended period of time as most Wills and estate planning documents will endure over a lengthy period and do not usually need to be redone annually.




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