A simple will is a legal document that applies only to you, and describes your directions as to who will receive your property and assets after you pass away. This is an important document because it will ensure your assets are given to only those who you explicitly name, and prevents the government (or other people) from taking anything away from your loved ones.
Your will should, first of all, include who you are, with enough information to clearly point out that the document is your legal will. All the people and institutions (such as charities) that you refer to should be clearly named as well – so that whoever is reading your will is able to figure out who you are naming.
Another important thing to identify in your will is your executor. An executor is the person who is legally responsible for making sure all of your instructions are carried out. You should also have a backup executor, in case your original executor is unable to fulfill the required actions.
Finally, the main purpose of the will is to instruct the executor exactly how you would like your property dispersed and to whom you want it given (including instructions as to who will care for anyone for whom you are responsible).
Make sure your will is typed, as handwritten or spoken wills can leave room for many mistakes or be misconstrued. It should also be notorized – this means having a person who is licensed by the government witness that you are who you say you are, and the instructions in the will were written by you under no force by anyone else.
There are many places that can help you with your will in BC, for free or for a small fee. Visit our Legal Resources page and look through the various descriptions to find an office close to you.