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Advance care planning vs. living wills: What is the difference?

The terms advanced care planning and living wills are used interchangeably. But in British Columbia, and indeed in all of Canada, living wills is an American-coined term and has no legal status in Canada. That doesn't mean to say Canadians cannot make plans in the event they are not able to communicate their wishes regarding end-of-life care.

Wills important for B.C. business owners

When business owners are no longer of this mortal coil, it's extremely important that they have left behind a will. Wills are important for every adult in British Columbia, but when someone owns a business, it's crucial to everyone associated with it -- family members, employees, managers and co-owners -- that the business can survive without the deceased owner. And if there is a stakeholders' agreement in existence, it should spell out how to approach issues like death.

DIY wills in British Columbia not always such a good idea

There may be instances when British Columbia residents think it would save money to purchase "Do It Yourself" (DIY) wills kits, but that may not be the wisest decision. Whether it's to try to save money, or to save time, DIY wills may cost residents more time and money in the long run. One thing is a certainty -- all residents of legal age in the province should have wills.

Multiple wills in British Columbia

Having more than one will has a very limited purpose.  Multiple wills help reduce the overall value of assets that have to pass through probate in an uncontested will situation. The multiple-will technique has been used in Ontario to reduce exposure to probate taxes in that province, but it's somewhat different in British Columbia.

British Columbians needn't leave kids anything in their wills

Planning what to leave whom after death can be an emotionally fraught task, especially if children are in the picture. But wills don't just have to include children. In fact in British Columbia -- and all of Canada -- folks don't have to leave anything to their kids if they choose not to.

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