Garton & Harris

The need for wills even when accounts have beneficiaries

People who have worked hard all their lives and have several accounts with sizable assets -- like life insurance policies or retirement savings plans -- still need to plan their estates. British Columbia residents who have beneficiaries attached to these assets still need to write wills to streamline the process of disseminating specified assets when the time comes. Assets are frozen upon the death of their owner.

A will is necessary since it allows an executor to do many of the things required by law when a person passes away. A will gives the executor the right to file and sign a final tax return, liaise with creditors and basically take care of anything associated with the deceased person's estate. Many people don't realize that if a spouse is not the executor, he or she can't automatically take on that role. So, those who die intestate (or without a will) may leave a lot of messy loose ends for their loved ones.

The bottom line is that everyone needs a will, no matter if they have many assets or not. Sadly, dying can cause a lot of red tape if issues aren't documented. Having a plan is better than having nothing, even when that plan may not always run smoothly. 

A lawyer is in a position to explain further why wills are important, even if there are beneficiaries already named for certain assets. A British Columbia lawyer will ensure that any estate planning documents will be free of errors. Vague wording in a will may just create further problems and a lawyer can help a client to draft a document that is complete.

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