April 9 to 15, 2017 has been proclaimed Make-a-Will Week in British Columbia with the purpose to encourage the public to make their will or bring an existing will up to date. In BC, every person 16 years or older can make a will. Many British Columbians don’t have a will – according to a 2014 report for BC Notaries, just 55 percent of us have a signed, legally valid and up-to-date will. Having a will is critical and is the best way to ensure that the people, charities and organizations you cherish most receive the benefit of your estate. If you die without a will, your estate may not be distributed in the way you would have wished and the costs of administering your estate may also be higher.
Having a will helps ensure that important questions for parents – like who will raise your young children if both you and your spouse die – are answered. This was the case for Joan and Tom Webster, who are volunteers and legacy donors at Covenant House Vancouver. Joan explained "My husband and I have had a will since our first daughter was born. We wanted all of our affairs to be in order in the event of our demise. We have kept it updated throughout the years as another daughter came along and as we built our estate. So we feel organized and enjoy great peace of mind!"
The Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA) came into force on March 31, 2014. The act provides greater certainty for individuals who put their last wishes into writing and simplifies the process for those responsible for distributing an estate. For more information on the Wills, Estate and Succession Act, see the BC Ministry of Justice’s Legislation and Consultation pages.
For more information on leaving a gift in your will to Covenant House Vancouver, please contact Linda Foster at 604-639-8913 or firstname.lastname@example.org