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, KC (retired), Mary B. Hamilton, KC 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 2022 update

  • updated case law, legislation, and commentary throughout
  • new chapter on “unique situations” (chapter 34), including new clauses for assisted reproduction
  • new clauses dealing with reproductive material and embryos, delivery costs, attestation where the will-maker cannot physically sign the will, cash gifts to offset gifts of specific articles, spousal trusts to hold real property, and hotchpot clause for children and grandchildren
  • updated language in clauses for greater consistency throughout

About the Authors

Peter W. Bogardus, KC 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, KC graduated from Dalhousie University Law School and was called to the BC bar in 1987. She has over 30 years’ experience in wills, trusts, and estate administration matters, practising at Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang (and previously with DLA Piper (Canada) LLP and UBC). She has held senior positions with the Wills and Trusts section of the BC Branch of the CBA, is a life member of the Estate Planning Council of Vancouver, and is also a contributing member of both the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and the Canadian Association of Gift Planners. Mary speaks regularly to groups of lawyers, allied professionals, and the public on topics related to wills, trusts and estates. Mary has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Canada (Trusts and Estates) from 2006 to present and was recognized by The Best Lawyers in Canada in each of 2011, 2017, and 2021 as Trusts and Estates “Lawyer of the Year” in Vancouver. Mary is a member of the editorial board of British Columbia Estate Planning and Wealth Preservation. She is also a recently retired member of the editorial board of British Columbia Probate and Estate Administration Practice Manual and the co-author of Wills and Personal Planning Precedents: An Annotated Guide.

Sadie WetzelSadie L. Wetzel advises on all aspects of estate planning, trusts, and adult guardianship and regularly prepares wills, powers of attorney, representation agreements, and various types of trusts. Her advice is sought by individuals who want a comprehensive estate plan and by both trustees and beneficiaries of trusts regarding the proper administration of trusts (including trusts for individuals receiving provincial disability benefits). Sadie has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in Canada (Trusts and Estates) and has written extensively on wills, estate planning, trusts, and provincial disability benefits.  Sadie regularly presents to professional groups and has been a guest speaker at the Chartered Professional Accountants Association of BC, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC, CLEBC, the Pacific Business & Law Institute, the Wills & Trusts (Vancouver) Section of the CBA, and STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (Canada). She also provides, and supervises the work of colleagues who provide legal services to qualified members of the MS Society on a pro bono basis.

Sadie is also the author of chapter 17 (The RDSP in Estate Planning) of British Columbia Estate Planning and Wealth Preservation and was a contributing author of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act Transition Guide.


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

33. Personal Declarations (Health Care Wishes) and Advance Directives

34. Documents for Unique Situations

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