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Common Questions

How do I make a will?

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Last reviewed in January 2017 by Clicklaw Editors

A will is a document that leaves instructions about what you want done with everything you own after your death. Everything you own at your death is called the estate. The will appoints the executor, who is responsible for carrying out the instructions in the will. A legal procedure that confirms the will can be acted on and authorizes the executor to act is called probate.

Because a will is a legal document, you need to understand property ownership rules and the law about wills in order to make a valid will.

Good starting points include:

  • About Wills and Estates, from BC Ministry of Justice, provides general information about wills and estates. In addition to providing definition of terms used in legal documents, it answers common questions about wills, probate, administration, and estates.
  • Preparing a Will and Estate Planning, from People's Law School, outlines the basics of making a will and an estate plan.
  • Preparing Your Will, from People's Law School, outlines when to make a will, what approach to take, and how to register a will.
  • LSLAP Manual: Wills and Estates, from the UBC Law Students' Legal Advice Program (LSLAP), has a section on making a will, including instructions on writing the will and sample wording.
Also see the CLBC's page on Wills and Personal Planning Resources here.

Need more help?

  • If you have more questions or need further help--please see the Get Help services that are available via the Courthouse Libraries BC Wills Resources page.
  • Wills & Estates Q&A, from People's Law School, is a resource where volunteer legal professionals provide answers to questions from the public relating to wills and estates. If you still can't find the answer, they give an option to submit your own question; every effort is made to provide an initial response within 2 business days and a fuller response within 2 weeks. 
  • Legal Programs, from Seniors First BC, offers free legal consultations for seniors age 55+ (with low-income or other barriers) at select locations in Metro Vancouver once a month.
  • Lawyer Referral Service, from Access Pro Bono, offers an initial consultation with a lawyer for up to 30 minutes.
  • Find more help near you on Clicklaw HelpMap.

See our related common questions:

wills, writing a will, estates, making an estate plan