October 4 to 10 is Make a Will Week! The government of British Columbia designated the week to encourage the public to write or update their will.
Will making is getting even more manageable. Remote witnessing of will signing is now a permanent part of BC law. Recognition of electronic wills is coming soon once tweaks to the probate rules are made to allow for the filing of electronic wills.
Why do I need a will? Why should I make one?
A will is a legal document that leaves instructions about what you want to be done with everything you own after your death. If you die without a will, your property will be divided according to the law in BC. It could make things more difficult for your loved ones.
I want to make a will. What should I do?
You could start by reading any of the free resources available for British Columbians. Go to the Courthouse Libraries BC website for a complete list of resources and services prepared for various audiences: http://bit.ly/clbcwills. At the Wills & Personal Planning Resources page, you could also find information about personal planning documents, such as Representation Agreements and Enduring Power of Attorney.
For a quick overview, this one-pager for everyone (PDF) comes handy. The handout is also available for public librarians & community helpers (PDF), as well as for lawyers & legal professionals (PDF). Feel free to print and distribute these handouts, but please highlight the short URL that directs back to the Wills & Personal Planning Resources page: http://bit.ly/CLBCwills.
Any public events to help me get started?
Check out the listings in our October Events post. Different non-profit organizations hold free or low-cost webinars to help you with various topics around wills. They are listed below in alphabetical order, along with description taken from their website:
- Nidus – is currently the only community-based resource in Canada devoted to personal planning. Its existence sets British Columbia apart as a leader in addressing the critical needs of an ageing population.
- People’s Law School – provides free education and information to help people effectively deal with the legal problems of daily life.
- Plan Institute – works to improve the lives of people with disabilities by collaborating on community-based projects, offering a suite of learning initiatives, and advocating for policy reform.