Wills, Estate Planning & End-of-Life
Legal Information Resources (BC & Canada)
- Nidus Personal Planning and Resource Centre Registry - Personal planning is about planning for incapacity, end-of-life and other support needs. Personal planning formalizes informal help provided by your friends and family and gives them or others the legal authority necessary to help you.
- Canadian Virtual Hospice - Information and support on palliative and end-of-life care, loss and grief.
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.
Consider a Digital Will
To manage your digital estate, consider a Digital Will which outlines what a person would like to happen to their digital assets 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)
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)