HOW IT WORKS
Are you preparing a will, or sensitive documents that you would like to share with people? Want to avoid unnecessary awkwardness or sensitive disagreements that may result because of this. What if there was a way for you to make sure your loved ones can get the documents you prepared for them, after your passing?
One Less Worry
TIME SECURED will save you those sleepless nights wondering if they have the most up to date documents, or if they lose or forget any hardcopies you had given them. It will also save you from sharing sensitive wishes or instructions before really having to do so.
The TIME SECURED App is the first app dedicated to this type of service. Just set up an account to upload your information and document into “vaults”. These vaults will be accessible to you and to people you select, at a time of your choosing.
You set when and how they have access. In case you are not around, they will be able to request access to your “vault” and upon confirmation will get all the documents you had intended for them.
Ensuring Easy Access
All the beneficiary has to do is submit a request for access and validate, through a set process. An alert will be sent to you to confirm if this is ok with a wait period determined by you. You can choose to reject the request or simply do nothing to allowing access as intended – no hassle, no problems.
The TIME SECURED App makes everything from creating the document vaults, to adding beneficiaries and setting the access timelines a simple process. The easy to use App is your tool to make sure your loved ones get the information you want them to have, when you want them to.
New legislation: Electronic wills in British Columbia (BC)
While will writing is not the kind of conversation you would like to have across the dinner table, it is a crucial subject for individuals and families. Failure to write a will could lead to an array of complications and expenses with a process that may drag on for some time. We know that many people prefer their will to remain private before their passing, which can help avoid friction, arguments, and even legal action. Before taking a look at the changes in legislation, let’s first go through some information about wills in general. Do you need a will in British Columbia? If you die without a will in BC, this is described as having died intestate and means the courts will decide how your assets are distributed. In line with provincial laws, an executor will be appointed to review your family situation and propose how your assets will be split. The hierarchical family tree tends to be:- PartnersChildrenParentsSiblingsNieces and nephews This legal process is unlikely to consider any fractured family relationships. Consequently, your assets may not be distributed as you would have preferred. By writing a will, you can specify how your assets will be split. Writing a will in BC The cost of writing a will in British Columbia will vary depending on your route. If you decide to use the services of a solicitor, there are various charges to consider, including:- ConsultationPreparing the willStoring your willExecuting your will on death Even though using a solicitor is the more traditional method, many people are unaware that you can write your own will. Again there are specific issues to consider, such as:- Ensure the will is valid from a legal point of viewAdvice on completing the willStoring your willExecution on your death While a do-it-yourself will is significantly cheaper than a solicitor, many people prefer to involve the legal profession to ensure their will is legal. Where to store a will BC Those looking to store a will in British Columbia have several historical options and one recent change to will writing regulations. It is a problematic quandary; where can I store my will for safekeeping? Store a will with a solicitor Even though it is perfectly possible to write your own will with legal standing using online services, many still prefer to use a solicitor. Consequently, the vast majority of wills today are retained with a solicitor until the person’s death. Store a will at home There is always the option to store your will at home in BC, but this option has obvious risks. The document may be lost or destroyed in the event of a fire, for example. This would lead to your estate being distributed as having died intestate. Many people have a safe in their home, which has obvious benefits but only if people know the documents are there. Store a will with a friend Whether an executor or a friend, it may be an option to store your will with a third party that may have safer storage facilities. However, this option has obvious risks if your relationship breaks down, they lose your documents, or nobody knows where they are on your death. Store a will with your bank Some banks and other financial institutions offer storage facilities to their customers. It may be that you choose to store your will with a British Columbia bank with instructions left in the event of your demise. Where there is only one original hard copy of your will, there is always a risk that it may be lost or destroyed. Store a will electronically Under recently updated BC laws, you can now create an electronic will with an electronic signature, which can be stored in the clouds. Whether or not you prefer to retain a hard copy in a safe place is up to you, but electronic wills are accepted in British Columbia from a legal perspective. Furthermore, as you can literally store your will as a locked file, only available to certain people in the event of your death, it has opened up new opportunities with cloud storage services. Using a will registry in British Columbia Many people use the services of provincial will registries, which allow you to store details of your will where they can be located on your passing. Seen by many as a backup service, this is another way to ensure that legally binding documents will be available on your death. Electronic wills in British Columbia Like many provinces across Canada, BC authorities were forced to bring in an array of new regulations due to Covid-19. Some of these changes legalized the creation and witnessing of electronic documents, including wills. Even though many assumed this would be temporary, these changes have been written into BC law in relation to wills, estates and trusts. What is an electronic will BC? Under the new regulations, an electronic will is defined as in a form which can be:- Recorded or stored electronicallyRead by a personReproduced in visible form As part of the regulation change, it is now possible for the two witnesses to sign “in each other’s electronic presence”. This means that the witnesses sign the document simultaneously, even if they are not physically together. It is important to note that one of the witnesses should be a lawyer/notary public, and the document must be signed and witnessed in accordance with the regulations. Altering and revoking electronic wills Now we come onto the subject of altering and revoking electronic wills, which can be done in several ways:- Deleting an electronic version of the will with the intention of repealing itDestroying a paper copy of the will, with witnesses present, with the intention to delete the electronic copyReplace the electronic will with an up-to-date documentSigned declaration from the will-maker revoking all or part of the electronic will It is now as easy to create, edit, and destroy an electronic will as it is a paper copy. The fact that you can also store electronic wills in the cloud brings us onto the service we offer here at Time Secured. Is it time to visit your will arrangements? While many people are perfectly able to create their wills and arrange storage, it is not always that easy to ensure your instructions are honored upon your death. However, we can store your electronic will in the clouds using the Time Secured service. Then, using a regular check in system, we will be able to confirm that you are still alive. Finally, all of your electronic documents will be sent to the relevant parties on your passing. This will ensure that your instructions are carried out to the letter, as swiftly as possible.
Ultimate Guide to Writing Your Own Will [With Examples]
“Do I have to pay a lawyer to draft a will?” If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve asked yourself this question. Well let me reassure you; you really don’t. The toughest thing about drafting your own will is navigating through the legal requirements, technical jargon, and the ocean of rules and regulations. If you screw up your taxes, you can always go back and correct it; but if you screw up your will, there are no do overs for obvious reasons. That’s why we’ve set out to create the most comprehensive guide to will-writing on the internet that’s simple to follow so that anyone can draft a legally recognized will. That being said, let me preface this by saying: we would still recommend you to see an estate attorney if your estate situation is complex. This is a guide for people with relatively simple estates that would like to save on costs. We want to make sure our information is accurate. Therefore, we read the Law Society’s Professional Legal Training Course material so you don’t have to. Table of ContentsWhy Even Write a Will? The Importance of Estate PlanningWhat to Include in the WillConditions for a Will to be Recognized in CourtWESA Technical RequirementsLegal RequirementsTestamentary CapacitySigning (Executing) the WillAfter signing the willWills noticesWills storage best practices Why Even Write a Will? The Importance of Estate Planning Before we get into the nitty gritty, it’s important to understand why having a will is so important. If someone was to pass away without a will, that person is said to have died intestate. In the case of a person passing intestate, their estate will be distributed based on preset statutory rules. Here’s why passing without a will might not be ideal for you: Risk of beneficiaries being disqualified from assistance programs Since you have no control over how your estate will be distributed, the result might disqualify your beneficiaries from assistance programs. Here is an example: Your spouse was on BC’s income assistance program. If you pass without a will, the statutory rules of intestate allocated $50,000 to your spouse, increasing their assets past the income assistance eligibility threshold. Your spouse gets removed from income assistance. Risk of unfavorable asset distribution in other jurisdictions If you’re someone who owns real property in other provinces or countries and you pass without a will, the assets you own in other jurisdictions will be distributed according to the rules of that specific jurisdiction which may not be ideal. Your estate may not be allocated to the beneficiaries who need it most If you have children or other beneficiaries, your spouse will not be entitled to the entire estate according to the rules of intestacy. This may be troublesome if your spouse needs significant support from the estate. Here is a chart of how your assets would be distributed according to the rules of intestacy: Dies LeavingDistributionSpouse and no descendantsEntire estate to spouseSpouse and descendants of intestate and spouseto spouse: preferential share of $300,000; furnishings of spousal home and right to acquire spousal home from estate for 180 days after representation grant residue: half to spouse; half to intestate’s descendants pursuant toSpouse and descendants of intestates but not spouseto spouse: preferential share of $150,000; furnishings of spousal home; and right to acquire spousal home from estate for 180 days after representation grant residue: half to spouse; half to intestate’s descendants pursuant toMore than one spousespousal share divided as the spouses agree or as determined by the courtDescendants but not spouseequally among the descendants, pursuantParents but no descendantsequally to surviving parent or parents Descendants of parents (deceased’s siblings) but no parent of descendants equally to the descendants of the intestate’s parents or parent grandparents or descendants of grandparents (deceased’saunts, uncles, cousins) but no descendants, parents, or descendants of parentsequally to surviving grandparent(s) or, if any grandparent is no longer surviving, that part to descendants of the deceased grandparentgreat-grandparents ordescendants of great grandparents, but nodescendants, parents,grandparents, or descendants of grandparentsequally to surviving great grandparent(s) or, if any great-grandparent is not surviving, that part to descendants of the deceased great grandparents Here is an example of how assets will be distributed if a person passes intestate: Loss of distribution control if you have a sole successor If you pass without a will and have a sole beneficiary who is a minor or is mentally incompetent, the Public Guardian and Trustee will have to be notified and may take over the responsibility of your estate distribution. This not just results in you losing control of how you want to distribute your estate, it also results in additional costs. Avoidable taxable gain and liability for estate tax Assets that can roll over to your spouse on a tax deferred basis generally can’t roll over to your children on a tax-deferred basis. So in the case that someone passed away without a will, the asset allocations according to the statutory rules might mean extra costs in the form of taxable gains and liability for estate tax. Guardian for minor children If you pass away intestate, you lose the ability to select a guardian for minor children (unless you’ve already done so under the family law act) which can be unfavorable for your child depending on who the court appoints as a guardian. What to Include in the Will Now that we’ve talked about how important it is to have a will, we can go over what elements are mandatory to include in a will. Preface The preface paragraph needs to identify who you are and confirm the intention that the will is intended to be your last will. Ex. Revocation of all former wills Since the court only recognizes the most updated will, it’s imperative to include a paragraph specifically stating that you intend to revoke all previous wills as well as the date of this current will. Ex. Appointment of executors and trustees as well as alternatives An executor is someone that you appoint to handle your estate and carry out your will after you pass. A Trustee is someone who manages specific trusts for you. It’s a good idea to list out your executors and trustees as well as 2 or more alternatives in case they are unwilling to act or continue to act. Ex. Appoint Guardians Passing away with minor children is one of the most worry-inducing situations to be in. Everyone wishes to pass away knowing that their children will be properly taken care of. Make sure to include a section appointing guardian(s) as well as 2 or more alternatives just to be safe. Ex. Gifts This is probably the most important part. In this section, you list out how you want to distribute your assets amongst the beneficiaries. Try to be as comprehensive and specific as possible to ensure your will gets carried out as you intended. Ex. RRSP/RRIF, debt, or life insurance beneficiary designations Outline how to allocate your RRSP/RRIF accounts and life insurance payouts if any. Then include how to deal with debt like funeral expenses, income tax, and estate related taxes as well as which trustee you would like to handle this task. Administrative powers In this section, you may grant your executor specific administrative powers. Couple examples are: The power of saleThe power to compromise claims of creditorsThe power to value and distribute propertyThe power of investmentThe power to borrow, secured by mortgage or pledgeThe power to manage real estateThe power to make income tax elections and designations. Ex. Conditions for a Will to be Recognized in Court WESA Technical Requirements WESA (Wills, Estates, and Succession Act) has set some requirements for a will to be considered valid: The will must be in writingThe will must be signed at its end by the will-maker (or by another person in the will-makers presence and by the will-makers direction)The will-maker must make or acknowledge the signature in the presence of two or more witness who are both present at the same timeTwo or more or more of the witnesses must sign the will in the presence of the will-makerThe will-maker must be at least 16 years of age *WESA has recently broadened the meaning of presence to include remote signing where parties are in each other’s “electronic presence” Legal Requirements Now for the most important part. No matter how perfect and comprehensive your will is, it means nothing if the court does not recognize it to be legal. When that happens, your assets will be distributed as if you passed away without a will, so we want to make sure we get this right. Here are the conditions for your will to be recognized in court according to the Law Society: Will-maker must have intended the will to have a dispositive effect Dispositive is basically a fancy (legal) way of describing “the intent to settle a claim, legal issue, or controversy”. So this condition means that the will-maker must intend for the will to serve the purpose of a will. Will-maker must intend for the will to not take effect until after death and be entirely dependent on death for its operation This one is pretty self-explanatory. Will-maker must intend for the will to be revocable This means that the will-maker must understand that the will can be altered or canceled and intend for the will to be so. Will-maker must have executed the will in accordance with the formal requirements of WESA These are the technical requirements we went over in the above section. Testamentary Capacity In addition to following the technical and legal requirements, WESA also requires the will-maker to be mentally capable in order for the will to be considered valid. To be mentally capable of making a will means: The will-maker must understand the nature of the act of making a will and should intend to make a disposition of property effective on death The person writing the will must understand that the document is intended to resolve claims, legal issues, or controversy of their property after your passing. The will is not valid if the will-maker was coerced or manipulated into making it. Will-maker must be free of mental disorder Victims of mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and schizophrenia are deemed as not having the testamentary capacity to create, amend or revoke a will. You will still be able to do these things if you are diagnosed early enough and you are deemed to have testamentary capacity by a medical professional. If your family history has proven you are prone to these mental disorders, it is advised to make a trusted person as your POA (power of attorney) so that if the time comes, they can make amendments for you. The will-maker must know the nature and extent of their property You must have a general understanding of the property you own. Don’t worry, the court will not expect you to be able to list out every item of your investment or real estate portfolio. Will-maker must know the persons who are the object of their bounty This means that you must know who the beneficiaries are as well as what you are giving them. Will-maker must understand the manner in which their estate will be distributed You will need to know and understand how your estate will be distributed to your beneficiaries. One thing to keep in mind is that testamentary capacity is not something that can be diagnosed. Medical evidence only serves as important and relevant information. Ultimately the court is open to reach a conclusion based on the evidence it has. Signing (Executing) the Will The requirements for will signing is quite straightforward. It simply requires your signature, followed by the signature of 2 other witnesses that are not beneficiaries indicating that they witnessed your signature (order matters; you must sign before your witnesses). Although it’s not required to go to a notary for the will to be legally valid, if your situation is more complex (ex. Child support obligations, blended families, foreign investments), it might be a good idea to go to a notary to save yourself from future complications. In BC, due to covid-19, the government has permitted online witnessing and signing of wills so you are able to execute your will in the comfort of your home using services like NotaryPro. After signing the will Wills notices After a will has been signed and executed, it might be a good idea to file a wills notice with Vital Statistics. The will notice requires your full name, date, your place of birth, date of execution and the location of the will. By filing a will notice, you now have official records of your estate planning efforts and will minimize further complications down the road. Examples where the deceased has written a will but, his family only knows that he put it in an unknown safety deposit box are quite common. Wills storage best practices The Law Society official recommendation is to keep wills in a place where they can be readily located and retrieved when required and free from risk of accidental loss or destruction. If you search “where to store wills” on Google, you will get some interesting results (like in your freezer as it’s the last place to burn in a fire…) Here are some recommended options for will storage: Store it with your Lawyer If you went to a lawyer to draft your will, most attorneys will give you the option of storing your will with them for a fee. If you choose to leave your will with your attorney, make sure to tell your family that you’ve done so and mention it in your will notice if you are planning to submit one. Safety deposit box (only if you’re comfortable with someone else having access) Only store your will in a joint safety deposit box. If nobody but you has access to the safety deposit box, a court order is required for your family to access it after you pass, which could take a long time. This further delays the probate process and might cause nuances for your loved ones. Online Will Storage Since the amendments to Bill 21, BC now recognizes electronically stored wills. Estate document storage tools such as Time Secured are becoming increasingly popular due to its ability to automatically give access to executors and beneficiaries upon passing.
Your personal digital vault, and your best shot at making your cherished documents a legacy.
Time Secured first started as a solution to a problem we as developers faced. We lost loved ones, family members, and best friends that left us lost and overwhelmed, and wishing we had something to remind us of them. This included important documents, old pictures, writings, and sensitive secrets - Small but important things that belonged to them and that if we had access to, would make their memory live forever, enabling us to have material tokens of cherished moments available every time we miss our dear ones a little more than usual.
As the forward-thinking developers we are, we went straight to the drawing board with one simple concept in mind: Create a secure, cloud-based vault for people to store every file, document, and image in to make their memory last forever.
And that’s exactly what we created: a platform that you have complete control over, that can keep your documents of choice and your will safe and sound decades after your passing, and that your loved ones get the memories and the closure they deserve.
Complete accessibility on all mobile platforms.
When developing Time Secured, we also wanted to make sure that whatever you leave behind, truly looks and feels like you, and can be accessed by any of your loved ones no matter their age, their technical knowledge, or the device they’re using. This is why Time Secured is completely customizable, with different themes, color palettes, and separable into multiple vaults. Time Secured is also available on the Apple store and Google play, and only takes a few minutes to set up and start storing. Because time, as life constantly teaches us, is of the essence.
Time Secured started when there was a noticeable gap for tools that allow a person to share their final will, or other important documents, after they pass.
For a number of reasons people may not want to share some sensitive information with their loved ones while they are alive, but they want to make sure they have this information once they pass.
Time Secured was created to solve this problem, helping both the person who is creating the documents and those who receive it, with an easy process.
A passing vault is the main reason for the app. It allows you to share the vault and its contents in a way that makes sure your beneficiary or beneficiaries can get the files in the vault you created, even after you pass away.
If you pass away, the chosen beneficiary can request access to the information through a link in the email they receive; which will be sent to them after you add them to the vault.
When the request is made, the user who created the vault will get an alert. The user can reject access to the file request within a defined number of days, if they are still alive or don’t want to share the documents just yet. The number of days duration is chosen by the user when the vault is created by them.
But if there is no rejection, the beneficiary will be sent all the files in the vault through the selected beneficiary email.
The trigger vault is an added feature to the Time Secured app. It allows the user to create a vault and set a date and time to share the vault with the selected beneficiary.
There is no email request required, when the time for the vault arrives, the documents will be automatically shared with the beneficiary by email.
It is a great way to share information if you know the exact time you want to do so. Once you set the time trigger, just forget about it and Time Secured will make sure the documents are sent on time to the chosen beneficiaries.
This can be useful if you want to share documents to children once they reach a certain age or after a certain event. It can also be useful for sharing signed documents and agreements at a specific time for example.
An email will be sent to them with instructions on how to access the vault if it is a “Passing” vault. They They will request access and if the creator of the vault does not reject their request, they will be able to access the vault and download the documents.
For a “Trigger” vault they will be sent the documents at the specified time automatically.
Depending on the subscription level; for “Standard Subscription” users can upload up to 10MB worth of documents and files such as word, text, excel, and PDF files.
For “Premium Subscription” users, they may upload up to 100MB worth of files permitted in the Standard Subscription, plus a number of multimedia files such as pictures, audio and video.
We might expand this if there is a need to do so in the future.
You will be able to upload a scan copy of your final will, much alike any other file. Please note that uploading a final will to Time Secured may not be enough for a court to determine that the will is valid. In many places they still require to see the original document of the final will, and having an email or scan may not be enough.
Please check with your local area to see what the requirements are, including whether a will needs to be notarized or not.
You may still upload copies of your final will to Time Secured where it will be kept safe, along with confidential instructions of where your original final will document is located. For example you may provide the safe access number if your will is located in a particular safe box, the login information if it is nationally registered, or a instructions on the location if it is in the house.
They will be kept so long as the subscription fees are made. If the subscription payment is not made, a warning will be sent to the user by email to make payment within a month. If a payment is not made, the account, vaults and documents will be deleted.
If the user cancels the account at any time by choice, the account and its contents will be deleted within a two-week period.
Time Secured will delete all the relevant files from the database. Time Secured will not keep any future copies of deleted vaults and the files contained within them.
All new users will receive a free 1 month trial period, following which they will have the option of a either a monthly subscription of $2.5 USD or a yearly flat fee of $20 USD for a “Standard Subscription” which allows document uploads up to 10 MB.
For multimedia uploads, such as audio, pictures and video, in addition to documents with our “Premium Subscription” the monthly rate is $5.25 USD and a yearly flat fee of $50 USD. A maximum file size of 100 MB is permitted under this subscription.
We are looking to adding existing additional features in the future such as increased file size uploads and creating a more streamlined process and interface.
This is an app for you, so any comments or feedback you may have would be welcome. If you would like any additional features, we would be happy to look into it and respond back on where we end up.
GET IN TOUCH
If you have a question or need support, we are here for you. We are ready to answer your questions and look forward to recieving any feedback you may have. We treat your concerns and comments as a priority.