Ads keep this website free for you. does not research or endorse any product or service appearing in ads on this site.  Before making a major financial decision you  should consult a qualified professional.

Legal Will
Canadian Tax and
Financial Information Home

What's New

Links & Resources

Site Map

Need an accounting, tax or financial advisor? Look in our Directory.  Use above search box to easily find your topic!   Stay Connected with!
What's New
Personal Tax
Sales Taxes
Financial Freedom
Financial Planning
Registered Accounts
Real Estate
US Tax Tips
British Columbia
Atlantic Provinces
Federal Budget
Prov/Terr Budgets
Statistics etc.
Site Map
Advertise With Us
Contact Us/About Us
Links & Resources
Financial Planning   ->   Wills and Estates -> Legal Will

Do You Need a Lawyer to Write a Legal Will?

This may depend on the laws of your province.

In British Columbia, a will does not need to be processed by a lawyer or notary in order to be considered "legal".  At the very least, you should check out will kits, which are readily available online.  However, if an estate is complicated, professional advice is advised in order to avoid problems.

In BC, a will is not legal unless it is in writing (handwritten or typed), signed by the testator (the person making the will), and witnessed by two people, with the exception of testators who are in the armed forces, or are mariners.  The two witnesses must see the testator sign the will, and the testator must see both witnesses sign the will. See How to make a valid will in the Wills, Estates and Succession Act, SBC 2009.

If a witness or the spouse of a witness is named in the will as a beneficiary, the bequest to the witness or the spouse of the witness will likely be invalid but this may depend on your province, and whether any undue influence was exercised on the testator.  See Potential Cost of Witnessing a Will by Gillian Fournie, lawyer with de Vries Litigation LLP.  This article references a BC Supreme Court case, as well as Ontario's Succession Law Reform Act.  The remainder of the will is still valid even if a gift to a beneficiary is invalid.

See our Will Sample for an example of a simple will.

For information regarding what happens in each province, see What to do when someone dies, which has links to wills and estate information on provincial/territorial websites.

Tax Tips:

Best to get your will prepared, or at least checked, by a lawyer, notary or estate planner to ensure it complies with current laws.

To avoid complications and court costs, do not have a beneficiary or their spouse witness a will!

Revised: October 26, 2023



Copyright © 2002 Boat Harbour Investments Ltd. All Rights Reserved.  See Reproduction of information from

Facebook  | Twitter  |  See What’s New, stay connected with by RSS or Email
The information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.  Each person's situation differs, and a professional advisor can assist you in using the information on this web site to your best advantage. 
Please see our legal disclaimer regarding the use of information on our site, and our Privacy Policy regarding information that may be collected from visitors to our site.