Is Your Will Up to Date?
In British Columbia, whatever the value of your assets, you have the right to decide how your assets and possessions will be distributed, direct the care of your minor children and decide who will look after the carrying out of your wishes. Perhaps you have certain items you would like to pass along to specific people. Possibly you would like to help a deserving charity. A Will gives you the ability to set all this out.
Your Will allows you to state your preference of who will be asked to look after your minor children (their Guardian) and to make provisions for their care.
Each phase of life brings with it different important factors which should be given due consideration, consequently over time your Will and Estate Plan should also evolve.
Recent studies show, however, that over half of the adults in Canada do not have a Will. A 2012 study by LAWPRO says:
Is Your Will Valid?
With today’s mobility from one province to another, whether from career choices or lifestyle decisions, it is not uncommon to forget that a Will drawn up in one province may not be valid in another.
Inheritance and Wills come under the jurisdiction of the province in which you reside at time of death and each province has it’s own legislation with often quite distinct provisions. If you have moved since your Will was drawn up, you should have it updated to reflect your current situation.
In addition, under such circumstances you should also have any Powers-of-Attorney and Representation Agreements (or similar documents made under other provincial jurisdictions) reviewed.
Moving from a different province, however, is not the only thing that can invalidate a will: changing circumstances in your life may also have that effect.
If You Die Without a Valid Will (Intestate)What Happens?
Without a valid Will, these very important decisions will be made by the government. The results of these decisions may not be a desirable outcome for your family’s particular needs and quite possibly not the results you intend.
Keep It Current
Your Will should also reflect the current realities of your family. Provisions that were suitable when your children were minors, for example, may not reflect your current wishes.
It takes very little time to properly plan your Estate and set out your wishes in a manner that meets legal requirements and makes it more likely that your desired outcome will actually result.
Other Important Related Subjects
We are all (unfortunately!) growing older. As we do, we need to be concerned with the areas of the law that effect older people. Two important topics for seniors are Representation Agreements and Powers of Attorney.