Make a Will week

October 3 to 9, 2021, was Make-a-Will Week in British Columbia. Its purpose is to encourage the public to write their will or bring an existing will up-to-date. Check back after July 1 for information about Make-a-Will Week 2022.

Making a will is now even easier following legislative changes in August of 2020 that allow people who are in different locations to use technology to remotely witness a will. 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.

If you don’t have a will, you’re not alone. According to a 2018 survey for BC Notaries, just 44 per cent of British Columbians have a signed, legally valid and up-to-date will.

A will is the best way to ensure that the people, charities and organizations you cherish most receive the benefit of your estate.

If you die without a will, your estate may not be distributed in the way you would have wished, and the costs of administering your estate may also be higher.

Having a will helps ensure that important questions for parents – like who will raise your young children if both you and your spouse die – are answered.

The cost to have a will written depends on the complexity of your situation. Ask a notary or lawyer for an estimate. If your situation is straightforward, you may be able to write your own will using a kit from a store or an online service provider. However, obtaining the assistance of a professional is always a good idea.