Why You Need A Will in British Columbia

Young professional couple signing their Wills

Why you need a Will

Did you know that only around half of Canadians have a Will? The Angus Reid Institute surveyed Canadians and found that 51% of people do not have a Will. Maybe people think they’re too young, or that they don’t need one. 

As lawyers, we’re here to help you keep on top of your affairs. One of the first things we recommend to all our clients is to have a Will in place. It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 80, you should have a legally binding document to say what you want to happen to your assets after you die. That way, you can relax knowing that your wishes have been documented and your family and investments will be looked after. Any person over 18 years old who has assets – like a home or investments; or who has children should have a Will. Want to know more about when you should make a Will? Check our blog post.

 

How to make a Will

  1. Book an appointment to speak to One80 Law about your Will and Estate planning needs. You can find out how much a Will costs in our blog. 
  2. We’ll discuss your family and assets to get an idea of what you need to consider in the future. 
  3. We’ll also discuss your intentions for how you want to distribute your estate and who you’d like to appoint executor. 
  4. We’ll draft your Will and review it with you. 
  5. We’ll then arrange a virtual signing at a time that’s convenient. Because the signing is virtual, you don’t need to attend our office. Signings tend to take between 20-30 minutes by video call. 
  6. We’ll register your Will with the Wills Registry. 


If there’s anything else you need to put in place, like Personal Directives or Power of Attorney, we will also help you with these.

 

Does your Will need to be Registered

In the event that you die and no one knows whether you’ve made a Will, registering your Will will show a record that you have. Your lawyer will file a Wills Notice to say you’ve made a Will, although this notice doesn’t contain the details of your Will. 

 

Do you need a lawyer to make a Will

We always recommend speaking to a legal expert to get advice particular to your situation before making a Will. There are cheap options like Will kits available, however these are template forms created without your specific circumstances in mind.

Another drawback of a Will kits is the legal terminology – you might be unsure what particular words and phrases mean, and so you won’t have the full picture when making legal decisions. 

At One80 Law, our fees for a single Will start from $500 + GST with the reassurance that you’re working with legal experts, and your intentions are clearly communicated. 

 

What happens if you don’t have a Will

The important decision of who gets what from your assets will be taken from you. Instead, the province of British Columbia will decide who gets everything based on legislation. 

For example, if you die leaving behind a spouse and you didn’t have a Will in place, your estate will be distributed in full to your spouse. This might not be what you want – for example, you might have separated from your spouse since last updating your Will (but not be legally divorced), or may have other wishes.

If you die without a Will and without a spouse, but leave behind children, the estate will be divided equally between your children. Again, this might not be what you intend either – you might want to leave your children unequal shares depending on their or your financial situation or how much you’ve given them before your death. 

You can see that the legal situation without a Will can be complicated, especially if there are competing interests, and it can add a lot of stress to an already difficult and emotional situation. That’s why we recommend having a Will in place to ensure your final wishes can be granted. 

If you’re ready to create your Will, our experienced lawyers are here to help. Contact us and make your Will today.