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Vital terminology for estate planning in British Columbia

British Columbia residents who are unfamiliar with planning their estates and what is involved with the process may want to familiarize themselves with some vital terminology. This article will discuss some key buzzwords and terms that you will want to know:

-- Will: A will is a document that is written out -- usually by a lawyer -- in order to detail the estate planner's wishes to be carried out in the event of his or her death. The will says how the individual's assets will be distributed to heirs, family members and loved ones. The document goes into effect following the will planner's death.

-- Trust: A trust is usually created by the trust grantor in order to benefit particular individual, also known as the beneficiary. The beneficiary in some cases could be the same person as the grantor. The trust is managed by an individual referred to as a trustee, named by the trust to carry out the instructions within the document. There are a wide variety of trusts types available and the documents are generally flexible and can be tailored to the grantor's unique requirements.

-- Power of attorney: A power of attorney is a special document providing special rights to a particular individual who can act on the POA creator's behalf.

-- An estate: In estate planning, the estate refers to the property belonging to an individual. The estate is generally what an individual leaves behind after he or she passes away.

These are the absolute most basic terms a British Columbia resident, new to the world of estate planning, will encounter. By getting assistance from an estate planning lawyer, individuals can finalize their estate plans, wills, trusts, powers of attorney and any other associated documents.

Source: Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, "Wills, Estates and Trusts," accessed Oct. 20, 2016

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