This week (October 2-8) 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 document that leaves instructions about what you want done with everything you own after your death. Everything you own at your death is called the estate. The will appoints the executor, who is responsible for carrying out the instructions in the will. A legal procedure that confirms the will can be acted on and authorizes the executor to act is called probate. Because a will is a legal document, you need to understand property ownership rules and which laws apply.
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 Clicklaw website for a complete list of resources and services prepared for various audiences. On this page, you can find resources to People’s Law School on preparing wills, choosing executors, and probating wills. Also available are online tools designed to help the general public to make a will and find help if needed.
Want to share the Clicklaw Wills Resources page? Use this short redirect URL: https://bit.ly/clicklawwills
Remote witnessing of will signing has been a permanent part of BC law since 2020.
It is now even easier to make a will with Electronic Wills:
“Since December 1, 2021, electronic wills have the same recognition as physical wills. Wills are now able to be signed and stored electronically. As an added benefit, all unaltered electronic copies of an electronic will are considered an “original” for the purpose of submitting to the court, so you can save copies on multiple devices and/or online locations to make it easier for your executor to locate an original.”Make a Will week, Province of British Columbia.
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.
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.
- A free webinar on wills and personal planning is available on October 4, 2022.
- Recordings of earlier webinars are also available
- 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.
Seniors First BC
- Seniors First BC works to protect the legal rights of older adults, increase access to justice, inform the public about elder abuse and provide supportive programs for those older adults who have been abused.
- They will host an Advanced Planning Webinar on October 4, 2022 at 1pm.
Also available is CLBC’s Wills & Personal Planning Resources page which provides information primarily directed at the legal community.
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