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Wills and estates in British Columbia

For most British Columbia estate plans, the will is the most important estate planning document. Your will allows you to express what you want to happen with your estate in the event of your incapacitation and/or death. Wills provide important direction as to who shall be named the guardian of your children. They say who shall serve as executor of your estate after you have died. They also can be used to provide clear information about how you wish your affairs to be handled if you have become too mentally ill or physically incapacitated to make decisions for yourself.

At Garton & Harris, we help our British Columbia clients draft watertight wills that limit the dangers associated with them being challenged -- for example, in the event that an excluded family member feels that he or she has been treated unfairly. We can even help clients draft their wills in a way that will prevent the likelihood of family disagreements, so that all family members feel fairly treated, relating to the dispensation of your estate.

It important to keep in mind while drafting a will that the document will not cover every type of assets. In fact, assets like Registered Retirement Income Funds, Registered Retirement Savings Plans and Tax-Free Savings Accounts will not be covered under the dispensation plan laid out in your will. These types of assets have a beneficiary form that must be completed in order to identify who will receive the funds in the accounts after you are gone. It is vital not to forget to update these account beneficiary forms following changes to your family structure, which might occur following a death or divorce. An experienced estate planning lawyer can help you with this process.

At Garton & Harris, we are available to help British Columbia residents take care of every aspect of the will drafting process. We know exactly what kinds of questions to ask you and what kinds of information to look for in order to determine the most appropriate estate planning measures for your situation, goals and needs.

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