Wills and Personal Planning Precedents: An Annotated Guide

Practice Point

Save time and draft wills that your clients can understand

This publication is essential for: anyone looking for BC-specific sample clauses for wills and related personal planning documents.

Clients are demanding legal documents they can comprehend, and wills clients are no exception. Immensely popular, Wills and Personal Planning Precedents: An Annotated Guide is your must-have tool for preparing plain language wills. It is the place to find BC-focused sample clauses for wills, powers of attorney, and other related documents.

This guide also includes sample client questionnaires, forms, and letters along with commentary by Peter W. Bogardus, QC (retired), Mary B. Hamilton, and Sadie L. Wetzel explaining the use of clauses and alerting you to relevant law.

The online version features CLEBC’s document builder which allows you to select clauses, create complete documents, and save and download documents for future use. With this resource, you will be able to:

  • draft wills and related documents more quickly and confidently
  • fulfill your clients’ need for clear understanding of their wills
  • become more efficient by spending less time interpreting documents with each client

Buy your copy and draft wills with ease today!

Highlights of the 2020 update

  • all content brought current to August 1, 2020, capturing August 2020 amendments to the Wills, Estates and Succession Act
  • new chapters on pet clauses (chapter 14) and joint ownership clauses (chapter 35)
  • new clauses, including those addressing future care of pets and providing funds for ongoing care; simplified provision for income tax elections; electronic signing and witnessing; compensation of corporate trustees; and appointing foreign representatives
  • new precedents, including a memorandum of articles for division of household goods, letter of wishes, deeds of gift and confirmation of intention of joint tenancy, declaration of joint tenancy, deed confirming gift of right of survivorship, declaration of joint tenancy, resulting trust, secret inter vivos trust, and memorandum of duties and responsibilities of attorney
  • gender-neutral variables in clauses

About the Authors

Peter W. Bogardus, QC practised law with Davis & Company (now DLA Piper (Canada) LLP) from 1968 to 2011.  He has more than 40 years’ experience in matters relating to wills, trusts, and estate administration. He has held senior positions with the Wills and Trusts section of the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, became a member of the Estate Planning Council of Vancouver in 1978, and was elected Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel in 1990. He was a member of the editorial advisory boards of the British Columbia Probate and Estate Administration Practice Manual(1989 — 2011) and British Columbia Estate Planning and Wealth Preservation (2006 — 2011) for CLEBC.

Mary B. Hamilton

Mary B. Hamilton graduated from Dalhousie University Law School and was called to the BC bar in 1987. She has over 25 years’ experience in wills, trusts, and estate administration matters, practising with Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP (with a three-year interval doing planned giving and estate administration at the University of British Columbia).  She has held senior positions with the Wills and Trust section of the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, is a life member of the Estate Planning Council of Vancouver, and a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.  She is a member of the editorial advisory boards of the British Columbia Probate and Estate Administration Practice Manual and British Columbia Estate Planning and Wealth Preservation for CLEBC. Mary has been selected by her peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in Canada in the area of Trusts and Estates 2006-2017 and was recognized by the Best Lawyers in Canada in each of 2011 and 2017 as Trusts and Estates “Lawyer of the Year” in Vancouver.

Sadie WetzelSadie L. Wetzel graduated from the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law and was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 2000. Sadie has practiced with the tax, wills, estates and trust group at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP (formerly Davis LLP) for over 15 years. She regularly speaks to client groups and to the public on wills, estate planning, trusts, incapacity, and provincial and federal disability benefits. Sadie has been a guest speaker for the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (formerly the Institute of Chartered Accountants), CLEBC, the Pacific Business & Law Institute, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, and has been a guest instructor for the Professional Legal Training Course of the Law Society of BC. She is a contributing author to the Wills, Estates and Succession Act Transition Guide, looseleaf and online (Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, 2010) and British Columbia Estate Planning and Wealth Preservationfor CLEBC, and in 2016 was selected by her peers as one of the Best Lawyers in Canada in the practice area of Trusts and Estates.


Part 1 — 1-4 Will Clauses

1. Opening Clauses

2. Definitions Clauses

3. Executors Clauses

4. Guardians Clauses

Part 2 — 5-14 Will Clauses

5. Insurance Declarations

6. Benefit Plan Designations

7. Administrations Clauses

8. Debt Clauses

9. Real Estate Clauses

10. Corporate Interests, Advances/Loans, Reward Plans, and Priority of Gifts Clauses

11. Articles Clauses

12. RESP Clause

13. Cash Gifts and Funds Clauses

14. Pet Clauses

Part 3 — 15-19 Will Clauses

15. Residue — Outright Gift Clauses

16. Residue — Miscellaneous Preambles

17. Residue — Trusts Clauses

18. Residue — Discretionary Trusts for Life for a Beneficiary with a Disability Clauses

19. Residue — If All Else Fails Clauses

Part 4 — 20-22 Will Clauses

20. Power of Trustees Clauses

21. Funeral Wishes Clauses

22. Execution Clauses

Part 5 — Other Personal Planning Documents

23. Codicils

24. Revocation of Will

25. Memorandum of Articles and Letter of Wishes

26. Insurance Declarations (Separate Documents)

27. Benefit Plan Designations (Separate Documents)

28. TFSA Designations (Separate Documents)

29. Wills for First Nations Persons

30. Enduring Powers of Attorney

31. Nominations of Committee

32. Representation Agreements — Enhanced Powers for Health and Personal Care (s. 9)

33. Advanced Directives for Health Care (Personal Declarations and other Wishes)

34. Representation Agreements — General Powers (s. 7)

35. Jointly Owned Property

Part 6 — Questionnaires

36. Information Questionnaire for Wills and Estate Planning

37. Enduring Power of Attorney Questionnaire

38. Nomination of Committee Questionnaire

39. Representation Agreement (Health and Personal Care) Questionnaire

40. Advanced Directive Questionnaire

Part 7 — Letters and Checklists

41. Letters for Wills and Related Documents

42. Instructions for Executing a Will

43. Will Reminder Form

44. Reporting Checklist for Wills and Related Documents — During and After Execution

45. Checklist to Close a Will File

Part 8 — Sample Wills and Agreements

46. Simple “Death Bed” Will

47. Simple Representation Agreement (s. 9)

48. Sample Will

49. British Columbia Will (for a Multi-jurisdictional Estate)

Case Table
Statutes and Related Material Table

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Amy A. Mortimore“I am an estate and trust litigator. When faced with a new or less than common issue, particularly in administration or planning, my starting point is always CLEBC’s wills, estates, and trusts publications (especially the online versions).

British Columbia Estate Planning & Wealth Preservation along with British Columbia Probate & Estate Administration Practice Manual provide me with current and practical answers, Annotated Estates Practice is an easy way to stay up to date on new cases, and Wills and Personal Planning Precedents embody best practice standards for drafting.

I can’t say enough about how valuable the wills, estates, and trusts resources available through CLEBC truly are.”

~ Amy Mortimore, Partner, Clark Wilson LLP