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Can you create a holographic will in British Columbia?

Whether a holographic will is recognized as a valid will or not depends on the province.

Posted on December 22, 2021 by Luisa Rollenhagen
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A holographic will sounds pretty sci-fi, but the actual definition is a bit less exciting: A holographic will simply refers to a will that’s been handwritten and signed by the will maker, without any witnesses. As you can imagine, these types of wills are often made in hasty situations where there isn’t much time to gather witnesses, or where someone wasn’t able to plan ahead to make a traditionally legally binding will that includes two witness signatures.

Whether a holographic will is recognized as a valid will or not depends on the province. In Alberta, for example, a holographic will is recognized. However, British Columbia, along with Prince Edward Island, does not recognize a holographic will to be valid. The only way a holographic will can be upheld in a British Columbia court is if the will was written outside of British Columbia but concerns assets currently in British Columbia.

As such, if you reside in British Columbia, you should ensure that your will meets the legal requirements of the province. This means that the will needs to exist as a physical copy and it needs to be signed by you and two witnesses. By ensuring your will complies with province requirements, you can rest assured that your final wishes will be carried out according to your directions.

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