Wills Registry

The Vital Statistics Agency maintains the wills registry in British Columbia.

Completing a search for a wills notice is a requirement of the wills probate process. Applicants can use the wills registry to:

  • register the location of a will by filing a wills notice; or
  • search for a wills notice as part of an estate probate.

Filing a Wills Notice

A wills notice is a form that you fill out to say that you have made a will. The wills notice contains the following information:

  • your full legal name and date of birth;
  • the date you signed the will;
  • the location of your will; and
  • the date you filed the wills notice with Vital Statistics.

Vital Statistics does not keep a copy of your will or record any information about its contents.

Who can File a Wills Notice?

A lawyer, notary, or trustee can file a wills notice for a client. You can file your own wills notice if you are:

  • over the age of 19 years;
  • under the age of 19 and married; or
  • under the age of 19 and in the Canadian Forces on active duty.

How to File a Wills Notice

There are three ways to file a wills notice:

Online

Use the Vital Statistics Agency's secure online ordering service. A credit card is required.

By Mail

Send a completed Wills Notice (VSA 531) form (PDF, 348KB) with payment to:

Vital Statistics Agency
PO Box 9657 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 9P3

In Person

Bring a completed Wills Notice (VSA 531) form (PDF, 348KB) with payment to any Service BC counter.

Cost

$17.00 per wills notice

Note - Law firms or notary public offices submitting bulk will registrations (100+) will be charged a flat rate of $1700.

If you make changes to your will or its location

If you move your will to a new location, or change it with a codicil, you need to file a new wills notice to register the change. The cost for the new wills notice is $17.00.

Searching for a Wills Notice

After you have passed away, your executor may need to probate your will as part of settling your estate. The executor must include the results of an Application for Search of Wills Notice with the application for probate. You can find out more about wills and probate on the Ministry of Justice website.

If a person filed a wills notice, the result of the search will provide:

  • the date the person signed the will registered in the wills notice;
  • the location of the will at that time; and
  • the date the Vital Statistics Agency received the wills notice.

Who can request a search for a wills notice?

  • If the person who wrote the will (the testator) is deceased, anyone who provides the documentation and payment listed below can apply.
  • If the testator is still living, only the testator or a lawyer can request a search for a wills notice.

How to apply for a search for a wills notice

After you have confirmed that you are eligible to request a search for a wills notice, you can apply in any one of the following two ways:

By Mail

Send a completed Application for Search of Wills Notice (VSA 532) form (PDF, 396KB) with a photocopy of the applicable death certificate and payment to:

Vital Statistics Agency
PO Box 9657 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 9P3

In Person

Bring a completed Application for Search of Wills Notice (VSA 532) form (PDF, 396KB) with a photocopy of the applicable death certificate and payment to any Service BC counter.

Cost & Processing Time

Mail Delivery

$20 per will search, plus $5 for each additional name the testator may have used. Search results print within 20 business days, plus mailing time from Victoria to your mailing address.

Courier Delivery

$20 per will search, plus $5 for each additional name the testator may have used, and an additional $33 for the courier fee. Prints the next business day, plus courier delivery time from Victoria to you.*

*Courier delivery is dependent on a variety of factors, including the mailing destination. Will search results will not reach your address on the same day that they print.

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