How can I make the job easier for my executor?
You can help your executor by:
- Registering your will, and telling them where the original is kept. Keep it somewhere where your executor can easily access it.
- Keeping an up-to-date, detailed record of all that you own and owe. For example, record your bank accounts, retirement benefit plans, insurance policies, real estate, and pension benefits. Note any items that are owned in joint tenancy or which name a specific beneficiary. These are dealt with outside the estate, so the executor doesn’t have to manage them.
- Explaining your plans to family members, the beneficiaries, or anyone who may be expecting a share of the estate. Talking with them now will prevent problems later.
- Reviewing your will and your choice of executor every few years or when your circumstances change.
- Updating the will if there are any changes.
Do I need to write a new will if I move between provinces?
It’s always a good idea to write a new will if you move out of province. If someone dies in BC but had a valid will in another province, the executor may be able act on the will. But the process may be more complicated.
Can I change my will?
You can prepare a new will at any time. Or you can change the existing one by signing a separate document, called a codicil. Learn how to change or cancel your will.
What is a "living will"?
A "living will" is not a legal document in British Columbia. The term, commonly used in the US, describes a person’s wishes for their end-of-life medical care. This is different from a will, which describes what happens after someone has passed away. In BC, you can sign a representation agreement or an advance directive. With these documents, you can get help with health care decisions you may face down the road, if you can’t make them yourself.