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Common Questions

How do I make a will?

Last reviewed in September 2023 by the 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 which laws apply.

Getting started

  • Preparing Your Will is a free, printable booklet from People's Law School. This publication explains why you should make a will, how to choose an executor, how to prepare a will, and how to change or cancel a will. It includes Glossary for Preparing Your Will to help you understand some legal terms.
  • People’s Law School's website has a section on Wills that provides practical, step-by-step guides.

Legal research materials

Where to get help

  • Courthouse Libraries BC provides legal information services to the public, including access to the library collections via a network of libraries in BC courthouses.
  • Lawyer Referral Service, from Access Pro Bono, offers a free, brief initial consultation with a lawyer to determine your legal needs. If you would like further help from your lawyer, you can retain them at an agreeable rate of charge. If you choose, they may also refer you to Everyone Legal Clinic, which provides legal services on a lower-cost, fixed-fee basis.
  • Law Students’ Legal Advice Program (LSLAP). The law students can help draft a will (if the total value of the estate is under $25,000) for low-income individuals who live in the Lower Mainland.
  • Looking for more help? Use the Clicklaw HelpMap.

See our related common questions

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