Wills in British Columbia: What If You Don’t Have One?

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Thinking about your will as early as now is important. However, a lot of people tend to push it off a little later until it’s too late. In British Columbia, your property will be divided according to B.C. law and the costs to administer the estate will be high if you pass without a will.

Here are some of the things that can happen when you pass on without a will:

Asset Distribution

Your properties must go somewhere, right? When you don’t have a will, the law will dictate how your estate will be divided. The mix of relatives will also be considered in the distribution of assets.

For example, if you leave a spouse and children, your spouse will receive a first preferential share from the estate. However, if children are involved from another family, the surviving spouse will get a lower first preferential.

If you don’t have a spouse, the estate will be divided among the descendants. If there are no descendants, the estate will go directly to the deceased’s parents, or siblings if the parents have passed on.

Now, if no one is qualified under the rules as the next kin of the deceased, the estate will go to the provincial government.

Estate Administrator

Another thing that can happen if you die without a will is that the court may appoint someone to manage your estate. In this case, someone will need to apply to a court to deal with your estate legally.

Your spouse is the first person who can apply to manage the estate or nominate someone to apply. If there’s no spouse or the spouse is not willing or able to handle the estate, a relative is qualified to apply.

When no relatives are willing to apply or do the estate management, any other eligible person can apply. This can be a friend or a professional, like an accountant or lawyer. Finally, the Public Guardian and Trustee as Official Administrator for the province of BC may also apply to manage the estate if no one else is willing to do it.

These are the common things that can happen when you don’t have a will. Life is full of uncertainties, and death is inevitable. Preparing for a time like this in your life is practical and will help ensure that your loved ones will be secure. Don’t shrug it off and wait until you’re older. If you have a significant amount of properties or estate, it only makes sense you prepare a will.


When writing your will, get help from a lawyer for legal purposes. When your will isn’t considered legal, it can create issues in the future, which may even defeat the purpose of the will. A lawyer will know exactly how to help you draw up a will that will protect your loved ones and estate should the inevitable happen. Don’t put it off any longer, and make your will today. It will give you and your loved ones peace of mind, too.

When it comes to wills and estates in the Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland, you can trust Dreyer and Associates Lawyers LLP to assist you. We have diverse experience in this field, as well as all areas of family law and residential conveyancing. Schedule a consultation today.





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