It’s an unfortunate fact that roughly half of the people in British Columbia do not have a Will. However, if you have any assets and/or if you have children, you should have a Will. Many people think they need a simple Will and try to write it themselves.
Writing your own Will is not recommended unless you went to school for it. Each province has its own set of estate laws, and some provinces and territories. British Columbia accepts Wills based on its compliance with WESA. That means that if you write the Will yourself, without carefully observing the legislation, there is a good chance the Will would be found invalid by Probate Court, and you will be declared “without a Will” or intestate. The worse part is that you will never know, only your family would have to deal the document you have prepared, they will find that out.
Here are some of the advantages of having a professional, such as a Notary Public, help you draft a Will.
If a Notary helps you with preparation of the Will, then the Will is going to be following the legislation. If a person’s specialty is Wills and Estate Planning, we went to school to get a master’s degree for 2 years, passed a bar exam and attend continuing education every year we to keep up with legalities in the legal documents. On top of that, we are following closely what is happening in our BC courts and ensuring our documents are drafted accordingly.
A legal professional such as a Notary will go over estate planning with you. This is more than simply drafting your Will. This includes discussing the ownership of your existing and future assets. The Notary will discuss with you all the ramifications of your choices on every choice you make moving forward.
A Notary can help you name guardians for your children after you die and while you are alive, but unable to care (permanently or temporarily) for your children. We will discuss with you the different possibilities for each case.
In addition to the Will preparation, a Notary can help you with other important documents that you may be needed before the Will is needed. For example, a Power of Attorney is something else you should have in place and is often prepared at the same time as the Will.
You may also want to have Representation Agreement and Advance Directive documents prepared which set forth who will make medical decisions for you if you are unable to and what your wishes are.
During Make a Will Week in British Columbia, make an appointment to consult a professional and write a Will. Having a Will is important, and if you die without one, the loved ones you leave behind can have a real headache on their hands. Do something now to save them a problem later.
At Zancope Notary Public, we 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 also provide family property transfers and independent legal advice. Our specialty is Wills and Estate Planning documents. We are a full-service firm with two notaries full time at the office.
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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