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Estate administration brings raw emotions to the surface

No one relishes administering the assets of an estate. For one thing it means a loved one has died and for another, it may mean that volatile emotions are making the process even more stressful. Estate administration in Canada can be smooth sailing or it could get caught up on some rocks, depending upon how unified family members are.

Who is going to get grandma's blanket box? Who will be fishing with grandpa's fishing pole? Estate administration might bring out the worst in people's sensibilities, and it seems the higher value something has, the more people are likely to question who it should go to. Jewellery among women seems to be a sore spot, while other things could include a family cottage or a vacation home. Not only are they expensive things, but can also be priceless in terms of memories.

Lawyers involved in the estate administration process usually give those thinking about fashioning their wills the advice to choose an executor, a power of attorney -- and anyone who will be making decisions for them when they are not able -- with a clear head. And it may be that more than one person should oversee the administration of the estate. Talking to children even before a decision is made on any particulars may be a prudent idea.

For instance, by talking to children, the testator will be able to learn who may want the cottage or the family home. If there are any contentious issues, they can be discussed between all family members before anyone dies. Hurtful feelings could be sidestepped this way and no one will feel slighted.

Any estate administration issues in Canada should be discussed with a lawyer experienced in wills and estates law. He or she will be able to help facilitate the process and arrange for any pertinent documents to be drawn up like wills. A lawyer's advice could work to curtail those volatile emotions involved with the estate planning.

Source:, "Talk to your grown children about estate plans", Catharine Metzger-Silver, Accessed on Aug. 26, 2017

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