Many people seem to shrug off estate planning, thinking it’s something they only need to worry about once they start building a family or once they retire. But the truth is, it’s never too early to start planning ahead.
Whether you’re in your 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s, it’s important to have a plan in place to protect your loved ones when you pass.
The first step is probating a Will, which is the process that verifies a Will is real under B.C. laws.
Whether a Will needs to be probated or not depends on the agencies and financial institutions that hold assets within an estate. For example, they may require that a Will is probated before the assets are distributed or accessed by anyone.
Each province goes about them differently and it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with BC’s process as soon as possible.
Managing your probate in B.C. may seem overwhelming, but that’s when having a lawyer comes in handy. They can help to simplify the process and ensure everything is handled as efficiently as possible.
Janice simplified the process into 4 key steps:
Probating a Will In BC
“With respect to holding real property as “tenants in common” vs. “joint tenants,” the interest held as tenants in common will have to be probated.
When making a Will, if you are wishing your interest to pass to the person who also holds as a tenant in common, it makes more sense to change the interest to “joint” so you would not have to include this item in your Will; nor would it have to be probated.
Keep assets top of mind
Keep in mind what assets may fall outside the Will (for example, RIF’s or RSPs) and if the beneficiaries are not a spouse, there needs to be other money in your Estate to pay for taxes.
You should have a Will for other assets that can/will be probated and available to pay those taxes.
Probate fees can be much less expensive than paying capital gains (for example, you might want to consider leaving all your real property to your children under your Will rather than adding them to the title before you pass.
If a child is not using the property as their principal residence and then sells, they may have to pay capital gains).
The Process can take time
Keep in mind that probate can take quite some time to complete, so consideration might be given to adding your Executor (or child/spouse) to a bank account so that certain bills can be paid after death but before probate is obtained.”
With a lawyer by your side, navigating probate in B.C. can be a simple and straightforward process. After all, the best peace of mind you can have is knowing that your loved ones have a clear vision of how your estate will be divided up in your absence.
To learn more about CBM Lawyers and how they help with probating a will, estates and trusts in British Columbia, visit them online.
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