Live Well

Where there’s a will, there’s a way
make a will

If you’re like 80 per cent of people between the ages of 18 and 34, you probably don’t have a will.

Maybe you don’t think that’s a big deal – you won’t be around anyway. But if you want to ensure the people, charities and organizations you cherish most receive the benefit of your estate, a will is your best insurance.

The Wills, Estates and Succession Act came into force on March 31, 2014. The act provides greater certainty for individuals who put their last wishes into writing and simplifies the process for those responsible for distributing an estate.

Just 55 per cent of British Columbians have a signed, legally valid and up-to-date will, and this figure rises to 83 per cent in the 55-plus age group. 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 Self-Counsel Press. However, obtaining the assistance of a professional is always a good idea. Ultimately, having a will should contribute to your peace of mind, and that’s worth your time.

Other resources:

*      Wills Resources (Courthouse Libraries BC)

*      Wills and Estate Planning (Government of British Columbia)

*      About Wills and Estates (Court Services Branch - Ministry of Justice)

*      Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia

*      Make-a-Will Week Activities (Canadian Bar Association – British Columbia Branch)

*      BC Notaries

*      Estate Planning Councils (Abbotsford, Fraser Valley, Kelowna, Vancouver, Victoria)

*      Leave a Legacy (Greater Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Victoria)

*      Access Pro Bono Wills Clinic

*      Wills and Estates (People’s Law School)

*      Wills Registry (Vital Statistics Agency – Ministry of Health)

*      Self-Counsel Press