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Wills & Estates, and End-of-Life Planning

Why make a will? From Dial-A-Law

Every adult who owns assets or has a spouse or young children should have a will. By preparing a will, you have control over who gets how much of your estate and when you can appoint a guardian for any young children you have. You can minimize the time and expense for others to deal with your affairs after you die. See our information on preparing a will and estate planning for guidance on preparing a will.

Legal Information Resources (BC & Canada)

Hospice Care

What to do

  • After a Death (Canada) – outlines what to do when someone dies, at the federal level, such as: canceling a passport, notifying the CRA, contacting credit bureaus to avoid fraud, and claiming life insurance.
  • Life Events: Death (BC) – what to do when someone dies, at the provincial level. Learn how to register a death in British Columbia and order a death certificate. Get information about wills and estates.
  • Make a Will Week (October in BC) –  to encourage the public to write their will or bring an existing will up-to-date.

Books & Kits (print & digital for purchase)

  • Self-Counsel Press: Wills – Books, kits, and forms to help you prepare an estate plan, make a legal will or codicil to a will, and write a medical directive or living will or representation agreement. (Some of these titles may be in our catalogue, or can be purchased locally at Otter Books)

Consider a Digital Will to manage your Digital Estate (from West Vancouver Public Library presentation)

Outlines what a person would like to happen to their digital estate after they die. It can be a part of your overall will. A digital estate is made up of digital assets and digital accounts.

  • Digital asset = an individual electronic file. This includes: a photograph taken with your smartphone, an email, a Word document.
  • Digital account = an online account such as an email account, Facebook account, online banking account, etc.

Why is this important?

  • Passing on sentimental digital items (photos, emails)
  • Passing on digital items of monetary value (music accounts, PayPal, eBay)
  • Subscriptions can continue to charge the estate
  • Helping people manage your overall estate (access to online banking)
  • Privacy!

What happens if you don’t deal with your digital estate?

  • It can be nearly impossible for anyone to access your accounts/assets.
  • The account will most likely: stay online; provide the ability for others to continue to interact; could potentially be at risk for identity theft

Consider what you want:

  • Accounts shut down immediately
  • Accounts up temporarily so that others can post condolences?
  • Assets passed on to a friend or family member

Organize your digital assets now so that you can decide what you want to pass on:

  • Do not put any passwords in your will itself.
  • Digital accounts of a business may be an asset of the corporation. Check with a legal professional.
  • Do you really want to pass on every email? Or a selection of meaningful ones?

How to manage:

  • Make a list of all digital assets and accounts – Easiest to use a password manager
  • Create a digital estate plan
  • Designate a digital estate manager
  • Include the instructions in your will
  • Keep your will up to date (check it over once a year)