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What is a Will?

A Will is a document which sets out specifically what will happen to your property and assets when you pass away.

Why is a Will important?

A Will is a critical element of an estate plan, and every person should have a Will in place to ensure that, when you die:

  • Your wishes as to how your property and assets are to be distributed are met.
  • You provide your family with a sound financial position.
  • You lessen the anxiety of your family by giving reassurance on how matters will be dealt with.
  • You avoid the cost of having a member of your family make an application to court to be appointed administrator of your estate by having already appointed an Executor to carry out that role.
  • The Executor appointed by you can act immediately to make necessary arrangements for your funeral, as well as protecting your assets by taking charge of your estate.
  • The costs associated with administering your estate can be reduced.
  • Your estate will be administered according to your wishes, provided you have given your Executor sufficient authority and flexibility to do so.
  • Your wishes regarding the designation of any business to a person and how you wish the business to be dealt with will be carried out.
  • Where there are children, you can decide who you want as their guardian.
  • The long-term financial security of a family member or dependent child have been provided for.
  • Financial resources will be administered on behalf of your dependent children or family members and the terms on which that will be done will be overseen by a person you have appointed.

*This is not an exhaustive list.

Why should I use Onion Legal for my Will?

Preparing your Will through Onion Legal is a simple and inexpensive way to create a Will. All our templates have been reviewed by a lawyer to ensure they meet with all applicable laws that apply in British Columbia.

What are the requirements for making a Will?

The main requirements that will have to be met in your Will are:

  • To make a Will you must meet the age requirement of the province in which you reside.
  • You must be mentally capable of managing your affairs.
  • You must not be forced into making the Will by others.
  • Your Will must be dated.
  • The Will should provide clarity on who the Executor(s) and the beneficiaries are.
  • In providing who should get what, the terms of the Will can be quite general, but you can also elect to ensure certain people receive certain things.
  • The Will must be witnessed by two people, and each page initialled by yourself and the witnesses, who must be adults. However, no witness should be a beneficiary to the estate, or a spouse of a beneficiary, as this may cause a loss of entitlement by that beneficiary in the estate.

What is an Executor of my Will?

Every Will should have an Executor, or someone you appoint and can trust to ensure your wishes are carried out; this can be a lawyer, a trust company, a close friend, or a member of your family. Making sure that person you appoint is willing and able to act as your Executor is an important consideration. It may also be worthy to appoint an additional or alternative Executor, to maintain continuity in the event that the first Executor predeceases you or is unwilling or unable for any reason to act as an Executor of your estate in the future.

What is a Beneficiary of my Will?

A beneficiary is the term used to describe the person who receives the property from your estate, and could, for example, receive a portion of the estate or a life interest in the assets of the estate. The beneficiary could also receive a specified sum of money or item.

What is my Estate?

An estate is defined as all assets (i.e. possessions) left by a person following their death. There are, however, a number of things not included in your estate, such as property you own jointly with someone else, or with a named beneficiary, such as a life insurance policy, RRSPs, etc.

What sorts of things should be included in my Will?

It should be clearly set out in the Will how your estate (i.e. your property) should be dealt with, as well as stating to whom it should go and the terms on which that should happen.