March 31 to April 6, 2014, has been proclaimed Make-a-Will Week in British Columbia and its purpose is to encourage the public to write their Will or bring an existing Will up-to-date. If you don’t have a Will, you’re not alone. According to a 2010 report for BC Notaries, just 49 per cent of British Columbians have a signed, legally valid and up-to-date Will.
A Will is the best way to ensure that the people, charities and organizations you cherish most receive the benefit of your estate. 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. However, obtaining the assistance of a professional is always a good idea.
Wills, Estate and Succession Act (WESA)
Make- a-Will Week 2014 coincides with the Wills, Estate and Succession Act (WESA) which came into force on March 31, 2014.
WESA streamlines seven acts into one act, provides greater certainty for individuals who put their last wishes into writing, and clarifies the process for distributing estates where there is no Will.
The new act also:
- Allows the court to recognize a document as a Will even if it does not meet all the standards usually required to make a Will;
- Helps courts ensure a deceased person’s last wishes are respected; and
- Lowers the age at which a person can make a Will to 16.
WESA does not invalidate Wills written before March 31, 2014. However, some of the laws about interpreting Wills have changed, so individuals may wish to review their existing Will with a lawyer or notary to make sure their wishes can be upheld.
For more information on leaving a gift to Covenant House Vancouver in your Will please contact:
Michelle Bernard at 604-639-8915 or email@example.com