How to Write a Will in BC

Wills | December 12, 2019

Knowing how to write a will in BC can help ensure that the will you create is legally binding. At Linley Welwood, we understand how important it is to have a will that is accurate, up to date, and in accordance with BC standards. That is why our team of will, estate, and trust lawyers are always happy to help our clients write and update their wills.

Options for Writing a Will

In BC, there are three different options for writing a legal will:

1. Using a Do-it-Yourself Will Kit

While using a do-it-yourself will kit is the cheapest option, it is also the most difficult way to prepare a well-drafted will. Legally, a document can be considered an acceptable and legal will as long as is signed in the presence of two adult witnesses who are both present at the same time and are mentally capable; however, there are specific rules about who cannot be a witness.

Most people who use a do-it-yourself will kits tend to make two common mistakes:

  1. Failing to handle a range of different scenarios (e.g. what happens if the main beneficiary is in an accident or the executor is no longer capable).
  2. Attempting to list your assets—Since your assets will change over time, listing your assets would mean having to update your will every time you open a new bank account or make a large purchase.

2. Using the Services of a Lawyer

The most traditional approach to writing a will is to work closely with a lawyer. When you work with a lawyer you are able to get legal advice during the process about your particular set of circumstances, which is especially beneficial as one does not know what they don’t know until they know it.

3. Using an Online Interactive Service

An online interactive service, similar to the ones used to prepare taxes, can help guide you through the process of making a will. This type of service is specific to the province or territory you are living in and is designed to check for any errors. However, the computer program works based on the information you have given it and if you don’t know what information is important you may not know that it needs to be factored in to the decision making process in drafting a will. Once the document has been completed, downloaded, and printed, it should then be signed in the presence of two adult witnesses, where the same rules and/or restrictions apply as with the Do-it-Yourself Will and Witnesses.

If you would like to learn more about how to write a will in BC, or if you are interested in our legal services for wills, estates, and trusts, please contact Linley Welwood at 604-850-6640 or by filling out a contact form on our website.

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