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Putting an estate plan in place starts with a will

An estate plan of any sort will include your will. You may want to give some of your property and assets to your heirs or even a charity that you have grown close to over the years. The Succession Law Reform Act has much to say about estate planning and wills in particular. Your estate will need someone to ensure that your wishes are seen to; this person is your power of attorney. You have the absolute right to give your property to anyone you choose. As long as your estate plan includes a will, you can be sure that your desires will be carried out when you are no longer here.

Have you given any thought to putting an estate plan in place? Beginning with a will, you may want to talk to a professional who has experience in the laws of British Columbia and can guide you through this sometimes confusing and tedious process.

You need to know that your will needs to be in writing. You can tell people what you want to see happen, but if you don't put it in writing, your estate could end up in probate for a long number of years while the court decides what to do with your property and assets. You have to sign it or have a person sign for you, in your presence, if you cannot do it yourself. If this is the case, you will need two witnesses present as well.

If you are a member of the Canadian Forces and are on active service, you may write a will and sign it without a witness. Of course, when you are back from being in active service, you may want to make it official by talking to your lawyer about what needs to happen.

There is a lot more information in the Act that you may want to explore and research. There is nothing more powerful than knowledge.

Source: Succession Laws Reform Act, "Part I testate succession general," accessed Nov. 02, 2015

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