Common Questions

How do I make a will?

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.
  • Making a Will and Estate Planning, from the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch, outlines the basics of making a will and an estate plan.
  • Writing 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?

  • LSLAP Clinics, from the UBC Law Students' Legal Advice Program (LSLAP), provides assistance in drafting wills to low income clients.
  • Lawyer Referral Service, from the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch, offers an initial consultation of up to 30 minutes with a lawyer for $25.
  • Find more help near you on Clicklaw HelpMap.

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Last reviewed January 2017
tags
wills, writing a will, estates, making an estate plan