February 20, 2024

A Definitive Guide to Preparing a Will in BC?

Planning to prepare a will in BC? Read our ultimate guide on preparing a will in British Columbia. Safeguard your legacy and ensure your wishes are honoured.

A will is a legal document that outlines how your assets{including money and land} will be distributed after you pass. You can distribute your property and savings among children, guardians, and spouses. You can also specify your other wishes for your funeral or cremation. But the common question that we come across is : How to Prepare a Will in BC?

In this blog, we'll delve into the importance of preparing a will, the key steps involved in the process, and provide valuable insights into navigating this often complex but crucial task.

Why Should You Prepare a Will?

senior couple preparing their will

Preparing a will is like creating a map for your loved ones that you leave behind in the unfortunate event of death. It is a legal statement unveiling your wishes in front of your loved ones. 

Here’s a brief overview of why you should prepare your will:

  • Ensure Your Wishes are Honoured: A will is a legal document allowing you to specify how you want your assets distributed after passing. This ensures that your wishes are respected and your loved ones are taken care of as per your intentions.
  • Guardianship for Dependents: If you have children or dependents, a will allows you to appoint a guardian of your choice. This crucial decision ensures that your children are in the care of someone you trust and who shares your values.
  • Avoid Legal Complications: Without a will, your assets may be distributed according to state laws, which might not align with your preferences. Preparing a will helps prevent potential legal battles and ensures a smoother transition of your estate.
  • Minimize Family Disputes: Clearly outlining your wishes in a will minimizes the chances of family conflicts arising over the distribution of your assets. This can help preserve family harmony during an emotionally challenging time.
  • Tax Planning: A well-structured will can include provisions for tax planning, potentially reducing the tax burden on your estate. This allows you to maximize the inheritance received by your beneficiaries.

How to Prepare a Will in BC?

older couple learning the steps of preparing a will

A will in British Columbia can be prepared yourself or you can avail the services of a lawyer and notary public. Since there are rules that must be followed while preparing your will, it is highly advised to seek professional help from a reliable notary and lawyer.

Here's a complete overview of everything you need to know about preparing a will in Canada:

1. Requirements of Preparing a Valid Will

  • Ensure you are of sound mind and legal age.
  • Clearly express your intentions for asset distribution.
  • Include the date and signature to validate the document.

2. When to Prepare a Will

  • It's never too early; consider creating a will when you acquire assets or have dependents.
  • Regularly review and update your will after major life events such as marriage, births, or acquiring significant assets. You must take the help of a notary to ensure a smooth will preparation process.

3. Choose Your Executor

  • Appoint someone trustworthy and responsible to execute your wishes.
  • Communicate with your chosen executor to ensure they understand their role.
Note: An Executor is a person you made responsible for carrying out all the instructions in the will.

4. Decide Who You Want to Give Your Property

  • Clearly list beneficiaries and specify the assets or property each will receive.
  • Be specific to avoid ambiguity and potential disputes. ( include name)

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5. Decide on the Guardian of Your Will

  • Designate a guardian to ensure your will is executed according to your wishes.
  • This person can be a legal professional, a close friend, or a family member.

6. Write the Will

  • Use clear language and concise statements to articulate your wishes.
  • Seek legal guidance to ensure your will complies with local laws.

7. Sign the Will

  • Sign your will in the presence of witnesses.
  • Witnesses should also sign to attest to the document's authenticity.
Read Also: 4 Reasons Why Hiring a Notary is Crucial for Legal Documentations?

Tips For Drafting a Simple Will

Preparing a will involves considering legal requirements, choosing key figures, and documenting your wishes. 

By following these tips, you can create a comprehensive will that reflects your intentions and provides peace of mind for your loved ones.

  • Start by setting your name and address. Don’t forget to include the clause that revokes all your previous wills.
  • The next section is about choosing your executor. Ensure your will says what an executor can and can’t do.

  • Be specific about your wishes in your will. For example: Always specify the person’s name instead of writing my son, daughter, or friend. 
  • You also need not be very specific about each item you own. All you must mention are the assets you wish to give to a specific person. It could be home, money or any item. 

  • If you have minor children, you must name one or more guardians for your children. Also, you must provide money to them that can cover the costs of raising your children.

  • At last, don’t forget to put your signatures and the date of signing.

Call CH Notary: The Right Notary For Will and Estate Planning

Choosing the right notary is paramount in securing your legacy through will and estate planning. CH Notary is your trusted partner, ensuring meticulous attention to legal details and a seamless process. Our experienced estate planning professionals are dedicated to guiding you through the complexities of will preparation, making the experience straightforward and tailored to your needs. We prepare the will for you helping you secure your family's future.

Call us today to embark on the path of responsible estate planning and provide your loved ones with the peace of mind they deserve. Your legacy matters – let CH Notary help you safeguard it.

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