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Registering a will could prevent wills and estates litigation

When a British Columbia resident passes away, his or her family will eventually have to get down to the business of closing out that person's affairs. As that process begins, family members will first need to locate that individual's estate planning documents, particularly the will. This process could be made simpler if the decedent filed a wills notice with the Vital Statistics Agency here in the province. Otherwise, the probate process could easily degrade into wills and estates litigation.

The Wills Registry provides pertinent information regarding the location of an individual's will. This could save family members a great deal of frustration since they will not need to conduct an exhaustive search in order to determine whether one exists. It could also help clear up any confusion if more than one version of a person's will is located since filing a wills notice intimates that document is the one intended for probate.

This may very well be the reason that British Columbia maintains a Wills Registry, along with why a search of the registry is one of the first steps in any probate. As long as the individual updated his or her wills notice when changes were made in the location or contents of the will, the one registered should be the one used. In some cases, the absence of a wills notice is just as telling since it indicates that the person may not have created a will, especially if one cannot be found through a search of his or her belongings.

Most grieving family members would rather avoid wills and estates litigation if possible. This makes registering a will one more last act of kindness from a departed loved one. However, even the best intentions could be undone by a mistake. Anyone wanting to make sure his or her family does not have to go through any unnecessary frustration or stress when the time comes may want to make sure to make use of a wills notice.

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