Do you have peace of mind knowing that your family and friends will carry on your wishes?
One of the most important and caring things you can do for yourself and your loved ones is to prepare in advance for a time when you may not be able to express your own needs and wishes.
Expressing and legally documenting preferences and instructions can protect you or your family members from financial abuse or exploitation.
Why should I need a Will?
- Wills are a critical tool for outlining one’s wishes for the distribution of assets, guardianship of minor children, and the designation of an Executor who takes care of administering the estate.
- Advance planning can be a very comforting and satisfying process, especially when it’s managed by an experienced and trusted legal professional. Notaries understand the sensitivities and complexities of these planning decisions, and will ensure that your intentions are clear and properly documented so you can rest assured about the future.
- If you have close family and friends, expressing your preferences clearly and encouraging them to do the same is one of the greatest gifts you can give them to ensure they are aware of your wishes-and to save potential confusion or conflict later on.
- Without a Will, the Court will determine who will be the Executor, and the law will decide who is entitled to the estate.
- Having a Will include having the opportunity to choose your minor child’s Guardian. If you die without a Will, the Court will appoint a Guardian. The appointed Guardian may not be the person that you would have chosen. Disputes over guardianship can easily arise.
- It also provides opportunities to reduce taxes by leaving certain assets to your spouse. If you die without a Will, your assets may be left to your children, which would result in a higher tax liability to the Estate.
Who should have a Will?
- Any adult in B.C. who owns property including real estate, vehicles or other assets; has a dependent Spouse or children, and wishes to have someone they know and trust take care of their estate after their death.
Can I make my Will myself?
- Yes, you can. However, a Will must meet a strict set of requirements set by legislation and case law in order to be valid. If ANY of these requirements are not met, the Will is invalid. Drawing your Will with the assistance of a Notary allows you to rest assured that these requirements will be met.
What do I need to make a Will?
- First and foremost, you need to appoint an Executor or Executors to manage the affairs of your estate immediately after you pass and they should know where your Will is being kept. Your executor is responsible for administering your estate, arranging your funeral, proving the Will, liquidating the estate, paying debts, distributing assets as the Will directs and many other duties.
- You can also appoint a guardian(s) to take care of any minor children and act as their trustee(s).
- You need to consider who you will task with these responsibilities and obtain their acceptance.
- Personal representatives such as trustees, executors and guardians can also renounce their appointment if they become unwilling or unable to accept it, so you should also give thought to who would be willing to be an alternate executor/trustee/guardian.
- The second step in this process is to devise a list of the assets that you wish to gift to your heirs and the manner in which they receive them.
- After we have all the information from you, we will draft your Will according to your instructions and execute your will when you are satisfied with it.
As part of your personal planning, you should also consider having a Power of Attorney or Representation Agreement drafted. Your executor won’t be able to act for you during your lifetime (their appointment only takes effect upon your death). Appointing a personal representative or attorney would be especially useful if you are in the hospital or otherwise immobile and unable to manage your finances and household. Please check our more info on our Power of Attorney page here and our Representation Agreement page here.
We offer a special rate for couples for wills and have an even better rate if you wish to have Powers of Attorneys executed as well. We also register Wills in the BC Wills Registry. Please call us at 604-457-0050 to make an appointment.