Wills – The age to be able to make a Will in BC will be 16 when the WESA* comes into effect, with a few exceptions, instead of 19 which is the current age. Holograph Wills are not expressly permitted under BC law. However, the new WESA gives the court discretion to determine what is a valid Will which can overcome deficiencies in compliance with the normal formalities
Power of Attorney for Property – Referred to as just a power of attorney in BC and can either terminate on incapacity or survive incapacity in which case it must follow the rules for being an enduring power of attorney. The age to be able to make either form of power of attorney is 19. Representation agreements can also be used to allow others to make certain financial and legal decisions on behalf of the grantor.
Power of Attorney for Personal Care – Referred to as a representation agreement in BC. The age to be able to make a representation agreement is 19. Representation agreements can also authorize the making of certain financial and legal decisions on behalf of the grantor. They are only effective on incapacity.
Estate Administration Tax (probate fee) – There is no probate fee or filing fee for estate values up to $25,000. Above that amount there is a filing fee plus the applicable probate fee which is calculated as $6 per $1000 or part there of on estate values over $25,000 and up to $50,000. Over $50,000 the probate fee increases to $14 per $1000 of value or part thereof. No upper limit.
Age of Majority – 19
*Special Note – The Wills, Estates and Succession Act (“WESA”) is set to come into effect on March 31, 2014, although there may be some staged implementation of the provisions, and it contains many important changes to previous BC law regarding Wills and estates. The above information does not cover all changes and professional advice should be sought to determine which changes may apply to your situation.