This week (October 3-9) is Make-a-Will Week in British Columbia. The provincial government designates the week to encourage everyone to write their will or update an existing one.
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 with 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.
Remote witnessing of will signing has been a permanent part of BC law since 2020. Here’s what the provincial government says about what’s coming soon:
“Starting December 1, 2021 changes will also give electronic wills the same recognition as physical wills. Wills soon will be able to be signed and stored electronically. While all formats of electronic will are acceptable, people are strongly encouraged to save their freshly made wills in PDF format, to make the probate process as easy as possible for their executor.”Make a Will week, Province of British Columbia.
For a quick overview, this one-pager for everyone (PDF) comes in handy. The handout is also available for public librarians & community helpers (PDF), and 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.
What events are available?
Below are non-profit organizations holding free or low-cost events to help you understand various topics around wills and personal planning.
- Nidus is currently the only community-based resource in Canada devoted to personal planning. This organization also operates a centralized Registry for personal planning documents in partnership with Juricert Inc. of the Law Society of British Columbia.
- Free online presentations on personal planning are available throughout October and November.
People’s Law School
- People’s Law School provides free education and information to help people effectively deal with the legal problems of daily life.
- Free webinars on wills and personal planning are available in October and November.
- 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.
- Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning workshops are available throughout the year for $25 per person.
Want to share the Wills & Personal Planning Resources page? Use this short redirect URL: http://bit.ly/CLBCwills.
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