Oct 2-8 2022 marks Make a Will Week in BC, a week designated by the BC government to encourage people to make or update their will. Wills are legal documents that set out what will happen after a person dies, and the best way to ensure your estate is distributed how you wish and that the people you love are looked after.
Important to note, as of Dec 1, 2021, wills can be signed and stored electronically and have the same recognition as physical wills. Visit the BC government page on wills to learn more about electronic wills.
Getting questions about making our updating wills? Here are a few go-to resources:
Clicklaw has published a brand-new Common Question How do I make a will? which brings together a wide selection of resources for those looking to make a will. All resources are written in plain language, with some providing overviews of legal concepts and others providing step by step guidance and/or will templates. This Common Question also points to legal help programs which can provide assistance with creating wills, such as Access Pro Bono’s Will Clinic and UBC’s Law Students’ Legal Advice Program.
Some related Common Questions:
- Is a will different for people who live on reserve?
- What is the difference between personal planning and estate planning?
- I’m trying to find a will
MyLawBC (created by Legal Aid BC) has a Make a Will pathway, which can help people make simple wills. Answer the questions the online tool poses, and if the pathway works for your situation, you’ll be able to download a template and make a will. The pathway also provides information pages which discuss what should be considered when making a will and how to make a will valid.
MyLawBC also has a pathway for those looking to plan for their future care. Completing this pathway gives you an action plan, including details such as what documents you need and how to put them together.
People’s Law School
People’s Law School has a great collection of resources on wills, including informational pages Why prepare a will and Who needs a will, as well as more in-depth guides on preparing a will or changing a will.
All these titles are available on the Law Books for Libraries list and pre-approved for purchase using your library’s grant funding. Most are also available at CLBC branches, so if it’s not on your shelf, feel free to refer your patron to us! Keep in mind these titles are more complex than the resources linked above, so if your patron is not finding what they need there, looking at these titles may be a good option.
- BC Estate Planning and Wealth Preservation: this title focuses on estate planning techniques which are tax-based and are suited for more complex estates. It includes both commentary and discussion, as well as annotated forms.
- Guide to Wills and Estates: this title is practical and BC-focused and includes chapters on both will preparation and probating an estate. The Wills chapter covers the entire will making process and includes sample documents and will clauses.
- Islamic Wills, Trusts and Estate Drafting in Canada: this title is a practical guide to Islamic estate planning in the Canadian context, meeting both religious and secular requirements. It includes samples of various wills and trusts.
- Wills and Personal Planning Precedents: An Annotated Guide: this BC-focused title includes sample clauses, questionnaires, and letters for a variety of estate and personal planning documents, including wills and powers of attorney.