When a loved one dies with a will, British Columbia residents left behind may give a sigh of relief. At least they have a road map for how the decedent intended to distribute his or her property after death. Unfortunately, that relief may be short lived if the will was not updated as needed over the years. Discrepancies could lead to costly and time-consuming estate litigation.
For British Columbia residents left in charge of administering the estate, it could help to know what kinds of issues could make his or her job more challenging. For instance, if someone has died since the will was executed, addressing that person's portion of the estate could prove difficult depending on the circumstances. Any changes in the tax laws could affect how the probate proceeds as well.
As children age, their needs change, and so should a parent's will. When they are minors, appointing a guardian in the event of death in a will is common. However, once those children reach the age of majority, it is no longer needed. Instead, an estate plan may need to address protecting an inheritance from creditors, former spouses and litigation. Failing to make these changes could prove expensive for the children.
In fact, any number of changes can occur during a person's life, and each time, the will and other estate-planning documents need a thorough review. Outdated documents potentially cause unnecessary problems for heirs and beneficiaries after death. If an executor is already aware of changes that should have been made but were not, he or she may want to either head off or prepare for the possibility of estate litigation.