Your will does not have to be anything fancy. Napkin Wills can be held up as valid so long as the formalities of the Wills Act (BC) are met, including those formalities respecting the execution of the will. For instance, you need two witnesses and neither of them can be a beneficiary named in your Will.
You should also keep in mind that if the language is not clear or if there are any questions respecting the validity of your napkin Will then your family will likely be faced with expensive court applications to determine what was intended and the distribution of your estate will be delayed.
If your Will needs to go beyond the very basic estate planning, it may be difficult articulate your intention to the satisfaction of a court of law. For example, if you felt one of your beneficiaries should not receive their inheritance before a given age then a trust would need to be set up for that beneficiary and there is special wording that is required to create such a trust. So if your wishes are really straightforward, a napkin Will is better than no Will at all (assuming it complies with all of the requirements of the Wills Act), but given the potential costs and delays should any questions arise surrounding the napkin Will, you may be better advised to discuss drafting a Will with a lawyer.
This information is general in nature only. You should consult a lawyer before acting on any of this information. This information should not be considered as legal advice. To learn more about your legal needs, please contact our office at (250)448-2637
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