Wills and Codicils

Mountains and stream

Written by Sebastian Sadja

February 28, 2023

Whether you are drafting your first Will or are revising your current Will, including a bequest to WE-CAN is quite simple.  You can bequest all (or a percentage) of the residue of your estate after your loved ones have been taken care of.  Or, you can choose to give a specific dollar amount. 

Please Note:  West Coast Climate Action Network Society is a registered non-profit society (Business Number 75986 5348 BC0001). We do NOT have charitable status.  To ensure clarity, please use the term “not-for-profit organization” (do not use the term “charitable organization”) when referring to WE-CAN in your will.   

WE-CAN’s legal name:  You will need to use our organization’s correct legal name and address:
WEST COAST CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK SOCIETY
Full mailing address:
13561 Barney Road
Ladysmith, BC  V9G 1E9

Wording for Cash Gifts:
Sample wording for a residual gift in your will:
“I give to West Coast Climate Action Network Society,  currently of 13561 Barney Road, Ladysmith, British Columbia, V9G 1E9 all (or ______%) of the residue of my estate, to be used at the discretion of the organization.”

Sample wording for a specific gift in your will:
“I give to West Coast Climate Action Network Society, currently of 13561 Barney Road, Ladysmith, British Columbia, V9G 1E9, the sum of $______ to be used at the discretion of the organization.”

Wording for Gifts Other than Cash (eg Real Estate, Personal Property, Private Company Shares)

Policies for Accepting Gifts Other than Cash:

Please discuss the proposed gift with WE-CAN ahead of time to ensure that WE-CAN will be able to properly accept such property and either sell it or put it to good use.  Please be aware that, unless the non-cash gift is considered useful to WE-CAN’s work, it will be sold and the proceeds will be used by WE-CAN in accordance with our organizational objectives. 

Gifting Real Estate:  Before accepting such a bequest, WE-CAN will need to know if there any liens or attendant liability that come with the property.  One thing to check out is whether the property has been environmentally assessed— what if the property has contamination issues?  Has the property been properly assessed for its market value?  Would the property be difficult to sell?  

Gifting Shares: If the bequest is in the form of shares from a private corporation or company, we would need to check out the company before accepting. Some shares can be difficult to value and even more difficult to sell. 

Sample Wording: Bequests of property including real estate or valuable items such as stocks, bonds, jewellery, or works of art: “ I give to West Coast Climate Action Network Society, currently of 13561 Barney Road, Ladysmith, BC V9G 1E9,  the sum of (description of property) to used at the discretion of the organization.”

Bequests of the rest or residue of your estate: “ I give to West Coast Climate Action Network Society, currently of 13561 Barney Road, Ladysmith, BC V9G 1E9,  the sum of all (or a stated percentage) of the rest or residue and remainder of my estate to used at the discretion of the organization.” 

Sample wording for Contingent bequests.  On Contingent Bequests, WE-CAN would only receive the gift should the heirs specifically named in the will die before the individual does.

“ If (name(s) of primary beneficiaries) do(es) not survive me, or die(s) within (90) days of my death, or as a result of common disaster, then I give to West Coast Climate Action Network Society, currently of 13561 Barney Road, Ladysmith, BC V9G 1E9,  (describe specific amount of money or percentage of residual estate) to be used at the discretion of the organization.”

Making changes to a will by means of a codicil

To avoid the expense of having a new Will drawn up, minor alterations can be made to an existing will by means of a codicil.  A codicil is an amending document that changes or deletes an existing provision, or adds an entirely new one. Codicils are signed and witnessed in the same way wills are, and are kept with the will.  If your changes are major, then you should seek professional advice to determine whether you should have a new will drawn up.  

Sample Codicil to a Will

[Date of Codicil]

[Location]

This is a codicil to the Last Will and Testament of  [Name], of [Address], to my will dated [Date of Will].

I leave to West Coast Climate Action Network Society, currently of 13561 Barney Road, Ladysmith, BC V9G 1E9, [Details of gift: specify whether sum of money, percentage, residual or contingency].

I direct that the receipt of the Treasurer for the time being, or other designated officer of West Coast Climate Action Network Society be sufficient discharge for my trustees for the payment of said bequest.

All other terms in my will remain the same.

[Your signature]

[Signatures of two witnesses: neither they nor their spouses can take benefit from the will]

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