10 Reasons Why Every Married Couple Needs a Will

married couple


When you’re married, life becomes more than just about you and your wishes. Your decisions also impact your spouse, children, and shared assets. One such critical decision is drafting a will. Under British Columbia law, having a valid will is recommended and a practical way of ensuring your loved ones are cared for after your demise. Here are ten reasons why every married couple needs a will:

Reason 1: Control Over Property Distribution

A will outlines how you want your estate divided after your death. Without a will, British Columbia’s Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA) will decide the distribution of your assets, which may not align with your wishes1.

Reason 2: Appointment of Executor

By creating a will, you can appoint an executor, a trusted individual who will handle your estate matters after your death. Without a will, the court will appoint an administrator, who may not be someone you would have chosen2.

Reason 3: Guardianship of Minor Children

If you have children under 19 (the age of majority in British Columbia), a will allows you to name their legal guardian if both parents pass away3. Without this designation, the courts will decide, potentially causing unnecessary stress and conflict within the family.

Reason 4: Speed Up the Probate Process

Having a will generally speeds up the probate process. A clearly articulated will, free of discrepancies, reduces potential delays, legal complications, and stress for your loved ones4.

Reason 5: Minimize Family Conflict

A will can prevent disputes over asset distribution among family members. A clear, professionally drafted will leaves no room for speculation, ensuring your final wishes are respected5.

Reason 6: Charitable Contributions

If you wish to leave a legacy through charitable donations, a will enables you to designate a portion of your estate to charities that are important to you6.

Reason 7: Addressing Debts and Taxes

A will allows you to outline the payment of outstanding debts and taxes, reducing the financial burden on your loved ones after your death.

Reason 8: Planning for Blended Families

In blended families, estate division can be complex. A will allows you to specify asset distribution, ensuring all your loved ones are cared for as per your wishes7.

Reason 9: Updating Will after Major Life Changes

Marriage, divorce, births, and deaths are significant life events that should prompt a revision of your will, as dictated by WESA8.

Reason 10: Peace of Mind

Most importantly, a well-prepared will provides peace of mind, knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of according to your wishes.

Role of a Notary Public in Drafting a Will

A Notary Public plays a crucial role in drafting a will, providing professional guidance and ensuring your will complies with British Columbia law.


Married couples, indeed all adults, should have a will. It gives you control over your estate, protects your loved ones, and provides you with peace of mind.


Ready to draft your will? Contact us at 604-824-5500 or info@simpsonnotaries.com.


  1. What happens if I die without a will in BC? Without a will, BC’s Wills, Estates and Succession Act determines how your estate will be divided1.
  2. At what age should I make a will? You can create a will as soon as you turn 16 in British Columbia9.
  3. Can I write my own will, or do I need a notary? While you can technically write your own will, it’s recommended to consult a Notary Public to ensure your will complies with BC law10.
  4. Can my spouse and I make a joint will? Yes, joint wills are allowed in BC, but they can be complex and require legal guidance11.
  5. What is a living will? A living will, or an advance directive, outlines your wishes regarding medical treatment if you’re unable to communicate12. Alternatively, you may consider making a representation agreement.
  6. How often should I update my will? It’s recommended to review and update your will after any significant life event or change in your financial situation8.

Good To Know

  1. Holograph Wills: These are wills entirely handwritten and signed by the testator (the person making the will). They are not legally valid in BC13.
  2. Marriage no longer revokes a Will: Prior to 2013 in BC, marriage automatically revoked a will unless the will states that it was made in contemplation of the marriage. This is no longer the case, and getting married does not automatically revoke a will
  3. WESA: The Wills, Estates and Succession Act is the primary law governing wills and estates in BC1.
  4. Digital Assets: Consider including digital assets (like social media accounts, online banking, and virtual currencies) in your will.
  5. Using a legal professional: Having a legal professional such as a BC Notary Public prepare your will ensures a higher degree of validity and is less likely to be contested.
  6. Alternatives to Wills: Joint ownership and beneficiary designations are alternatives to wills but come with their own complications and should be used carefully.


  1. https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/09013_01
  2. https://dialalaw.peopleslawschool.ca/wills-and-estate-planning/
  3. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/life-events/legal-changes-of-name/legal-change-of-name-application
  4. https://dialalaw.peopleslawschool.ca/wills-and-estate-planning/
  5. https://dialalaw.peopleslawschool.ca/wills-and-estate-planning/
  6. https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-34900-donations-gifts.html
  7. https://dialalaw.peopleslawschool.ca/introduction-to-family-law/
  8. https://dialalaw.peopleslawschool.ca/wills-and-estate-planning/
  9. https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/09013_01#section36
  10. https://dialalaw.peopleslawschool.ca/wills-and-estate-planning/
  11. https://dialalaw.peopleslawschool.ca/wills-and-estate-planning/
  12. https://dialalaw.peopleslawschool.ca/adults-and-consent-to-health-care/
  13. https://www.bakernewby.com/can-i-write-my-will-on-the-fender-of-my-tractor-by-jesse-a-kasprow/
Chilliwack Notary Public Notarize Conveyancing
Aatif Nanji
Notary Public

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