There are many little known rules, regulations and laws governing your assets even after you die. Our Kamloops-based Wills and Estate Lawyers are experienced at understanding and working with these rules.
In a Will, you leave instructions on how to distribute all your property. With proper planning you can save on taxes and probate fees for those you have named in your Will. You can also name guardians for your minor children. Despite its importance, however, an alarming 49 per cent of Canadians do not have a Will.
What happens if you die without a Will? Your assets will be divided among your relatives in accordance with the Estate Administration Act and the estate will be tied up in the courts until everything is sorted out. To insure that your wishes are carried out in a timely manner, you should complete a Will.
In planning a Will, think about whom you want as an executor. It should be someone you trust completely and who is capable of handling financial matters prudently. Many people choose their spouse as the first executor and name an alternative, in case their spouse cannot act. You may choose two or more executors, depending on how complex the estate is, and how much you trust them.
Not everything you own becomes part of your estate. Life insurance proceeds may be paid directly to a beneficiary named in the policy. If you have houses, properties, bank accounts or other assets in joint tenancy, they will automatically pass to the other owner(s) who survive you.
Increasingly, family dynamics and social changes are adding complexity to the issue of Estate Planning. Marriage breakdown, remarriage, blended families, special needs children and elder care are becoming concerns to many. There are often issues regarding a person becoming incapacitated prior to death. There may be a need to plan for business succession or tax implications. As a result, an Estate Plan may require a Will, Enduring Power of Attorney, Representation Agreement, Trust, Buy-Sell Agreement, or other related documents. Your estate plan will involve the input and assistance of a number of professionals, including your lawyer, accountant and investment advisors.
We offer estate planning, the preparation of Wills, powers of attorney and representation agreements, advice on taxation and tax planning, the development of Trusts, administration and probating of estates. If you think that you have been unfairly dealt with in an estate of a parent or spouse we can advise you as to the provision of the Wills Variation Act and any potential claim you may have against the estate.