Garton & Harris

October 2014 Archives

Some properties may not be susceptible to ademption

Individuals who are planning their estates in British Columbia may want to be aware of what items may and may not be adeemed after their death. Generally, when a piece of property that is to be gifted to a beneficiary is disposed of or is removed from the will-maker's possession, whether voluntarily or not, the gifting of that property fails. That failure of the gifting of the property is known as ademption.

How the location of the executor can affect an estate

Individuals in British Columbia who are working on their estate plan may wonder whether the location of the estate executor has any impact on their estate. After a person's death, the residency of their estate will be the same as the residency of the estate executor. The executor's location, therefore, can have a major impact on how the estate is taxed.

Who can be named under an enduring power of attorney?

Under certain circumstances, the need for using an enduring power of attorney may arise. The process may not be as complicated as some British Columbia residents may think. In fact, just about anyone qualifies for the role including a relative or a friend who is at least 19 years old and who is trustworthy, willing and informed about the role. The exceptions include caregivers who receive pay for their services at the individual's residence. However, if that caregiver is the individual's parent, spouse or adult child, that person qualifies to act under an enduring power of attorney. Furthermore, an individual may choose a credit union or a trust company to be his or her attorney-in-fact, but arrangements should be made for compensation.

What defines a spouse in terms of estate planning?

Married, divorced or soon-to-be-married British Columbia residents beginning to undertake their estate planning might be wondering how the province's Wills, Estates and Succession Act defines a "spouse" for the sake of estate planning. As it turns out, in keeping with similar B.C. statutes addressing spousal relationships, a person may be granted spouse status without necessarily being legally married; he or she need only live in a "marriage-like relationship" for at least two years. This stipulation applies to same-sex partnerships as well.

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