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Wills a must for parents of blended families in British Columbia

Families like the Brady Bunch might have been unusual back in the 1960s and 70s, but blended families are becoming the norm in today. There are many changes to get used to when two families are brought together. The need for two-family parents in British Columbia to have wills is essential when it comes to spelling out what should happen in the event of the death of one or both parents or step-parents.

If the parents of this new family unit were to die intestate (or without leaving a will), the family would not only left to grieve but also left with a situation that could be very complicated when it comes to their parents' and step-parents' assets. If each parent has his and her own estate and dies without wills, his or her estate will be divided according to the intestate succession law in British Columbia. That could mean years of anguish for the children and step-children of the estates.

Wills of parents and step parents in blended families can be straightforward or a little more complicated depending of several factors -- one of which includes the ages of any children that are a part of the union. Minor children cannot inherit anything directly. Any inheritance left to them will go into trust and looked after by a trustee until they become adult; in British Columbia, that means 19 years of age. 

Splitting the estates of the parents of blended families is not always straightforward. These types of wills need the help of a lawyer experienced in wills and estates law. A lawyer will be able to fashion wills suitable to specific family dynamics and will also be able to provide other documents essential for estate planning when it comes to blended family situations.

Source: legalwills.ca, "Wills for Blended families and stepfamilies", unattributed, Accessed on July 7, 2017

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