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Estate administration in B.C.: Handling parents' debts

Statistics Canada says one in three retired citizens 55 years of age or older and two in three citizens 55 years of age or older who are still working are in debt. In terms of estate administration in British Columbia, this is something adult children of the 55-plus crowd need to think about. Are they legally responsible for their parents' debts?

No provinces in Canada will pin the debt load of parents onto their adult children; however, parents can seek an order for their children to offer them support in cases where they are destitute. Even if adult children are not obligated to help their parents financially, they may want to offer advice for estate planning purposes. The discussion could include issues like general finances and any potential problems emphasizing concern for their retirement years. 

There are things adult children can do before their parents' situations becomes too dire -- like offering to foot the bill for a financial planner. They could also talk to their parents about becoming their financial guardian -- a good way to protect the elderly from scams. When adult children work with their parents before serious financial issues befall them, there will be much less worry for everyone concerned come their parents' retirement time.

There are many questions regarding estate administration and estate planning that a British Columbia lawyer experienced in wills and estates law could answer. A lawyer will provide guidance on all aspects of estate planning and estate administration. A seasoned lawyer will draw up any documents needed regarding the planning of an estate making sure all legalities are covered. 

Source:, "What to do about your parents' debt", Renee Sylvestre-Williams, Accessed on Sept. 16, 2017

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