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Financial Planning   ->   Wills and Estates -> Legal Will

Do You Need a Lawyer to Write a Legal Will?

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.  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 be invalid.  However, the will is still valid.

See our Will Sample for an example of a 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 Tip:  Best to get your will checked by a lawyer or notary to ensure it complies with current laws.

Revised: September 14, 2021


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