Capacity to Make a Will in British Columbia – Strike While the Iron is Hot

People often intend to create or update their will but put it off. This can be risky.

Clearly, there is the possibility that one might pass away unexpectedly without creating or updating one’s will. This is not, however, the only risk. There is also the risk that one might lose the capacity to create or update a will.

A will can record one’s choices about very important matters including the intended distribution of one’s assets and guardianship of one’s children after one’s death. Because of this, for a will to be effective in British Columbia the testator must have had the legal capacity to create a will. This means, to make a valid will in B.C. one must:

  • Understand the “nature of the business” of making a will
  • Recall the property which one intends to distribute under one’s will
  • Recall the persons who will, or would usually be expected to, benefit under one’s will
  • Recall how one’s assets will be distributed amongst the beneficiaries under one’s will

When possible, it is generally better for a will-maker to create or update their will when their capacity to do the above is clearly intact. Waiting until one’s capacity is diminished or declining due to unexpected physical trauma or disease can leave one’s will to open to challenge.

If you do not yet have a will, do yourself and your loved ones a favour, and have a will prepared.

If you have a will but you have not looked at it in a while, it is a good idea to periodically pull it out and confirm that it still reflects your wishes. If it does not, arrange to have it amended or have a new updated will drafted.

If you would like our assistance with creating or updating your will, please call our offices at (250) 245-7141 or use our online form to contact us.