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Estate Planning

Introducing the Electronic Will

November 18, 2021 by Nancy Ling


Partner Nancy Ling regularly advises clients in the practice areas of wills, trusts, estate and incapacity planning, estate administration, residential and commercial real estate, property matters, corporate transactions and business law.

In this edition of Legal Matters, Nancy discusses an interesting change to Wills and Estate Planning spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting December 1st BC will introduce a new electronic Will.


Transcript:

During the pandemic the government brought in many changes to allow us to do things remotely and many of these changes are here to stay. Starting December 1st, 2021, BC Wills, Estates and Succession Act. will recognize electronic Wills.

A Will can now be recorded and stored electronically and signed electronically as long as it can be read by a person and reproduced in a visible form. This also means that a will can be witnessed electronically too, for example over Zoom. 

There will be some differences between paper and electronic Wills and it will take some time to see how these electronic Wills are to be managed and treated practically. 

E-Wills may not be the right choice for everyone. As with any new law there will be a learning curve as some of these e-Wills are sure to be challenged in the courts, however there is now more flexibility in how to prepare and execute your Will in BC. 

No matter how you choose to prepare and store your Will, it's always a good idea to get the advice of an estate planning lawyer before finalizing your plan.