Make-A-Will Week in BC, October 3-9 2021. Wills Resources Guide:

Make-A-Will Week 2021

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: 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.

What’s new?

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.

Printable handouts

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:

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

Plan Institute

  • 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.

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BC Wildfires & Legal Problems. Find free legal information and legal advice on Clicklaw:

BC Wildfires & Legal Problems

Are you affected by the wildfires in BC? Are you helping someone navigate through legal issues related to the natural disaster? Below are trusted sources of information for you during this challenging time. At the end of this post, you can find services offering free legal advice.

Disaster response

Emergency Support Services (ESS) Information Centre can answer your questions about short-term basic support to people impacted by the wildfire season. Call 1-800-585-9559 (toll-free).

EmergencyInfoBC is the provincial government portal for disaster response, which includes a range of helpful resources from all things evacuation to recovery & support. 

Benefits and wildfire-related issues

Here are some highlights related to provincial/federal benefits and potential legal issues.

Financial Support

If you are under evacuation order due to BC wildfire, register with Red Cross. Call 1-800-863-6582 between 9 am and 8 pm PST. They will determine your eligibility for financial assistance and provide you with information and services that may become available.

The governments of BC and Canada are providing financial support for BC farmers and ranchers who have suffered losses through wildfires, record heat and prolonged drought in 2021. 

Federal benefits

The Government of Canada provides notices on accessing the federal benefits for those affected by the wildfires:

  • Employment Insurance: affected workers should apply online as soon as possible, even without a Record of Employment.
  • Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security: sign up for a direct deposit to ensure timely delivery of benefits.
  • Canada Student or Apprentice Loan: fast track your repayment assistance application to help with making your payments.

BC Hydro

Bill credit & payment plans are available for BC Hydro customers who are evacuees.


For reporting a claim and acquiring a replacement ID (Driver’s Licence, BC Services Card and BC Identification), ICBC offers an expedited process.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada provides the essential information you need to know about private home insurance and other wildfire-related claims, covering the claims process and the next steps.

Have more questions? Access Pro Bono provides a legal FAQ sheet on insurance claims made concerning the wildfires.


Access Pro Bono provides a legal FAQ sheet for workers employed under the terms of the British Columbia Employment Standards Act (the “ESA”) as of August 17, 2021. 


Access Pro Bono provides a legal FAQ sheet about the potential impacts of wildfires on family law matters.

Landlords and tenants

The Residential Tenancy Branch provides information for landlords & tenants impacted by the 2021 wildfire season & state of emergency. It includes FAQs, before/during/after an evacuation, serving documents, returning to the rental units after an evacuation, dispute resolution deadlines, vacation/travel accommodation & SRO hotels.

Access Pro Bono provides a legal FAQ sheet for tenants who have a tenancy agreement under either the BC Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) or the BC Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act (MHPTA).

Strata (condo) owners

Access Pro Bono provides a legal FAQ sheet summarizing relevant provisions of the Strata Property Act, the Strata Property Regulation and the Standard Bylaws

Legal advice

You may have to meet their eligibility criteria to access the following services.

  • Legal Aid BC has a province-wide Call Centre providing legal representation and information services. Call 1-866-577-2525 (toll-free) or 604-408-2172 (Greater Vancouver) to ask for legal help. 
  • Access Pro Bono offers free legal advice to those impacted by the wildfires. Call 1-877-762-6664 or fill out their online form.

Find it on Clicklaw

You can find links to the above resources using the common question “Where can I get help with legal problems caused by wildfires in BC?“. We will update that Clicklaw page as new resources become available.

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