Westcoast Wills & Estates

Westcoast Wills & Estates

North Vancouver Wills Lawyer

Why get a Will?

  1. Increased cost of dying without a Will

Without a Will:

  • Simply put, the cost of dying without a Will is often far greater than the cost of drafting a Will. There is generally confusion as to who does what and this often ends up costing money.  Legal advice will need to be obtained to figure out what to do.  An extra step in the probate process may be required.  And finally, the court may ask the person who ends up being the administrator to post a bond in order to administer your estate.  Premiums for such a bond can be expensive – sometimes in the thousands of dollars per year.

With a Will:

  • A Will simplifies things – and with simplicity comes reduced cost.  The court would also not ask for a bond.
  1. Confusion

Without a Will:

  • If you die without a Will, there is confusion as to who does what.  Who arranges the funeral?  Who pays the taxes? Who applies to the court for administration of your estate?   Whoever does administer will likely have difficulty dealing with financial institutions and government agencies before obtaining the grant of probate – leading to a lot of frustration.  If there is more than one person who is interested in administering your estate, then the court will have to decide between the two people.

With a Will:

  • The executor is in charge.  They simply follow the instructions in the Will, and generally they don’t have much trouble dealing with financial institutions and government agencies.
  1. Restricted access to your information

Without a Will:

  • Banks do not like dealing with estates where there is not a will because it is unclear to them who they should be dealing with.  Because of this, family members often have a difficult time obtaining account information about the deceased’s accounts.  Obtaining this information may involve an additional court procedure – which adds more cost.

With a Will:

  • Most banks are comfortable giving information about a deceased person’s accounts to their executor named in their will.
  1. Unfair distribution of Assets with spouse and children

Without a Will:

Your estate will pass according to the strict rules of “intestacy,” as set out in the Wills, Estates and Succession Act of British Columbia, some of which are:

  • If you have a spouse and no children, your estate passes to your spouse.
  • If you have a spouse and children, and the children are both yours and the spouse’s, then your spouse gets the first $300,000 value of your estate, and if there is any remaining, half of the balance goes to your spouse, and the other half is divided among your children.
  • If you have a blended family, where you have a spouse but the children are from a previous relationship, then your spouse gets the first $150,000 value of your estate, and again, if there is any remaining, half of the balance goes to your spouse, and the other half is divided among your children.

With a Will:

  • You have the freedom to decide who to give your estate to.
  1. Estate Planning with a Will

Without a Will: 

  • If you don’t have a will, chances are you have not done much estate planning either.  Estate planning is the equally important process in which your finances and personal picture is reviewed and restructured to best avoid taxes, disputes and delay when you die.  About 80% of our clients do not have things ideally structured when they first see us.  Through the in-depth process of estate planning that we conduct at our meetings, all of our clients leave with a streamlined estate plan.

With a Will:

  • It depends really.  If you have prepared your own will or had someone prepare one for you who doesn’t routinely prepare wills, chances are you don’t have an ideally structured estate plan.  Because our highly focused lawyers live, eat and breathe estate law, all of our clients leave us with an ideally structured estate plan.  Contact us today to get your estate plan and will!

 

This website is strictly informational.  None of the information contained on this page is legal advice, and it should not be relied on.  Links on this webpage are not endorsements of any product.  Please see the complete terms of use of this website.

Reviews

Clarified the probate process from start to finish

After becoming executor of my late grandmothers estate, I reached out to Westcoast Wills and Estates for help with the work load. Working with Mike was great. He clarified the process from start to finish and really put my mind Continue Reading

Nick Z.

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