Planning for Dying + Death
It's never too early to plan ahead!
*These resources are specific for the province of British Columbia, and may or may not be applicable for other Canadian provinces and territories. This information is not a substitute for legal or medical advice.
Advance Care Directive
It's a rare person who gets excited when they hear the term, "paper work." However, writing an Advance Care Directive (ACD) often proves to be an uplifting and heartwarming practice because it asks you to think about your most dearly held values, and the people in your life who you love the most. An ACD is a standardized document within the province of British Colombia, Canada, and can be filled out mostly on your own. An ACD contains the following legal documents, that become immediately effective upon being signed and witnessed:
- Enduring Power of Attorney
- Health Care Directive/Personal Directive
- Expressed Wishes/Personal Care Wishes
- Health Proxy Agreement/Representation
It is helpful to speak with your loved ones as well as your medical doctor to understand and explore your options. Click the link below for the breakdown on what's what, or you can go straight to asking for help.
The government of British Columbia's Advance Care Planning site - particularly the My Voice: Expressing My Wishes for Future Health Care Treatment document - is an excellent resource to get you started.
A Will is a legal document which determines the distribution of assets in an estate after death. If there is no Will, the law determines distribution. You do not necessarily need a lawyer to write a Will - there are kits available at retail locations (contact your local registry office). However, seeking the advice of a lawyer or notary may be a great help in ensuring the document is completed to your specifications, and in the proper language. If your desires for the distribution of your estate are complex (multiple recipients, trusts, etc.), seek advice from a lawyer specializing in estate law.
- Government of BC website (note the resources at the bottom of the page)
- Advice for writing your Will: (the LSLAP pdf document is up-to-date, clear, concise, and includes definitions of key terms)
- Vital Statistics (BC Toll Free) 1-888-876-1633 : Ask any of your Will-related questions and get quick answers.