At Zancope Notary, we advocate for all eligible Canadian citizens to draft a valid Will. A Will is the only way to ensure an estate is divided according to someone’s wishes after his or her passing. However, there are a wealth of reasons why a Canadian Will may be rendered invalid.
In this article, we will outline what constitutes a valid Will, issues that invalidate a Will, as well as what you can do to ensure your Will is effectively executed after your death.
What is Considered a Valid Will?
A valid Canadian Will is one that:
- Conforms to provincial legislation, in British Columbia – WESA.
Although astute readers may notice that there is no legal necessity for hiring a lawyer or notary to prepare a Will. If you follow all legal requirements, your document will be valid regardless of who drafted it. The main reason you hire a legal professional to draft your Will is for their expertise of doing that for a living. Specialists in this area would have spent many years studding the legislation, case law and continuing to do so daily, constantly updating the way they draft their documents to deliver the best result for each client.
Furthermore, a qualified notary can help make the process less daunting for the client, guiding them through every step of Will planning, and making sure the clauses of the Will can hold up under legal examination.
Common Issues that Render a Will Invalid
There are multiple reasons a signed will may be rendered illegitimate in a Canadian court of law. The most common are:
- Not executed as per legislation requirements – all witnesses must initial all pages along with will maker.
- Wrong people signed as witnesses – like someone already appointed in the Will.
- Inability to confirm capacity of the will maker at the time of drafting the will.
A legal specialist will deal with not only basic requirements like ensuring format is in order, but also most crucially ensuring your documents deliver what they need in all aspects of your estate.
Common forgotten clauses in a Will
A Will is fully customizable to each person’s needs. Therefore, we need to include additional clauses if that applies to you. Some examples are:
- Pets’ guardianship
- Digital assets like social media and emails
- Personal belongings
- Digital currency
How to Ensure Your Will is Valid
Here at Zancope Notary, we are experts in dispelling the myth that drafting a Will needs to be a complicated and painful process. As we have discussed, a Will can ensure that your estate is divided according to your wishes. Having this sorted out legally will save time and stress for your family. And remember, a poorly written Will can be rendered invalid due to numerous factors.
By reaching out to Zancope, our legal specialists can provide you with professional Will preparation assistance to give you the peace of mind that your final wishes will be carried out as you intended.
At Zancope Notary Public, our specialty is Wills and Estate Planning documents (Representation Agreement and Power of Attorney). We are a full-service firm with two notaries full time at the office. We also offer real estate services for clients in Langley and throughout Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. We can help you with buying, selling, and refinancing real estate, and provide family property transfers and independent legal advice.
If you have any questions about this article or estate planning, in general, or if you want to make an appointment with Zancope Notary Public, please contact us at (604) 260-6783.
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