Having a will allows you to do two key things:
If you don't have a valid will, legislation will impose defaults that are unlikely to align with your wishes for the care of your family and assets
For example, if you pass away and your minor children are left with no surviving guardians, they will be placed under the care of BC’s Director of Child Protection, and the assets they inherit will be controlled by the Public Guardian and Trustee, for a significant fee.
Since minors cannot inherit assets directly, it is crucial for parents to have a valid will that sets up trusts to hold assets for their kids until at least the age of majority.
Consider that you will work your entire life for your assets; don’t you want them protected upon your death?
An estate plan consists of the documents and strategies you put in place to ensure that your loved ones are provided for upon your death. A thorough estate plan enables you to minimize losses to taxes, fees and legal expenses, and control how your assets are distributed to your chosen beneficiaries.
Through your will you can set out how you want your assets divided among your chosen beneficiaries.
You can set up trusts to hold assets (of any amount) for your children until at least the age of majority (19).
Many parents prefer to have their assets held and protected for their children until a later age, such as 25 or 30.
You can appoint the people you want to fulfill the various roles:
Wills also contain directions for how your executor is to divide your assets among your chosen beneficiaries, and/or how your trustee is to hold those assets in trust for beneficiaries.
We will review the terms of your pensions, life insurance plans, RRSPs and TFSAs, to ensure you are using beneficiary designations effectively.
In some cases, we may enact additional Beneficiary Designation documents to put the proceeds of these plans into trust for minor beneficiaries.
Without proper planning, RESPs collapse upon the holder’s death instead of being held for the use of their children.
We will review the terms of your RESPs to ensure that those plans would stay active and useable for your kids’ educations.
An estate plan may include other documents and strategies, depending on your unique situation.
A complete estate plan also provides for your own care, in the event that you experience a period of incapacity during your lifetime, such as through illness or injury. Using the following documents, you can appoint trusted persons to provide assistance:
Without valid appointments in place through these documents, even your spouse would be unable to manage many of these matters on your behalf.
©2022 McKercy Law Corporation - Wills and Estates Law Bowen Island BC · (604) 562-1505