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Professional tips for wills and estate planning in BC

Going through life without doing any estate planning is like going on vacation without making reservations. Odds are, upon reaching the final destination without any plans, there will be chaos and frustration trying to sort things out. Wills are the primary tools for dispersing estates in British Columbia, and making an effective will requires careful consideration. For those entering the planning stages, here are some expert tips to remember.

Discussing matters with one's heirs is a good place to start. If they understand the testator's situation and intentions, and the testator also understands the needs and desires of his or her heirs, it is far more likely a plan can be made which will not be met with resistance when the time comes to enact it. Blended families may particularly benefit from pre-communication, as they may have more complicated needs and wants.

Choosing an executor is a big step, and it is vital to pick someone with the capability of handling the task properly. It is also important that he or she be willing to take on the responsibility. It may be possible to simplify the executor's task by preparing a thorough inventory of all one's assets and debts. Having such a list readily available can greatly ease and shorten the time required for probate.

Do-it-yourself will kits are readily available online or in stores, and are appealing to some. However, a professional will be better prepared to cover all contingencies in a will. The extra investment now could pay dividends for loved ones in the future. A lawyer experienced with wills, and who has a deep understanding of British Columbia estate law, can help prepare a comprehensive plan.

Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Tips To Get Your Estate Plan In Order", Cindy Crean, April 5, 2017

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