There are many legal complexities to estate planning and preparing a will. However, before digging into details and exceptions under British Columbia law, it is a good idea for individuals to understand the two central documents needed for a plan. Wills and powers of attorney are the two cornerstones of estate planning. To be valid, both documents should be drafted by a competent adult with the support of an attorney.
Someone you love and respect has asked you to be their executor. They, the testator, trust you to handle their estate once they're gone and to ensure that their final wishes are respected. It may feel like an honour, and it often is, but there is a lot more to estate administration than meets the eye.
Most people assume that an ex-spouse will have no right to their estate once a divorce is finalized, but this is not always the case. Depending on the separation agreement, a spouse may be able to make a claim support on assets from their former partner's estate. It is a good idea for British Columbia individuals to clarify how estates will be handled when drafting a separation agreement and to update wills to reflect the new arrangement.
You have met someone you really like and the romance is blossoming. Your kids are happy for you as you have been so lonely since your spouse died. All is going well but don't forget that there is a timer ticking on your relationship. In B.C. if you live in a marriage-like relationship for two years, then you may be considered to be "spouses" under the new B.C. Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA). This means should you die, your "spouse" would be entitled to make a claim on your estate if you have no Will and if you do have a Will, your "spouse" can apply to the court to vary the will in their favour.