When people agree to take on an executorship, they are often aware of the overarching responsibility to administer a will. But, many are not as clear on where to start, or what the step-by-step process is when it comes to estate administration. Here are some of the first things British Columbia executors should do when the estate owner passes away.
There are many steps involved in managing a person's assets, liabilities and affairs after they pass away. When no formal estate plan or will is left, this can make the estate administration process more complex. In British Columbia, the term for passing away without a valid will is dying "intestate." Fortunately, there are legal options available when this happens.
Those who are planning the future of their estate often have have concerns about fees when it comes time to transfer their wealth to next of kin. These concerns are amplified for those who own a significant amount of property, as probate fees increase for higher-valued estates. Many homeowners or wealthy individuals in British Columbia have questions about how they might take actions prior to passing away to avoid expenses where possible.
Having an estate plan is vitally important for all adults regardless of their circumstances. In fashioning an estate plan, British Columbia residents must keep in mind who will be involved in estate administration once the time comes and there are a few things to think about when choosing an executor -- especially if the executor doesn't live in the country. For example, if a parent names two children as executors and one lives abroad, there may be some hurdles to overcome, but it could work.
Some couples may have lived together for years, yet choose to remain unmarried. Things are different today than they were decades ago and it has become socially acceptable for couples to live in common law unions. But some things still aren't so easy for such couples and one of them involves estate planning so that estate administration in British Columbia can be as seamless as possible when the time comes.
Taxes are something about which most adults are concerned. It's no different when it comes to estate planning. An individual who has been tasked with estate administration duties in British Columbia needs to have some knowledge of how RRSPs and RRIFs are taxed after a person's death. The values of both are usually included in the amount of assets of the deceased person and subject to taxation, but it's not always that simple.
Everyone needs estate planning documents. Single British Columbia residents should also have wills and other estate planning documents, but when it comes to choosing an individual for estate administration duties, a single person without children may wonder who to choose for that task. When other family members are too busy with their own lives to take on the task, a single person does have other options.
Being named as a beneficiary of some estates may not exactly be a windfall. During the estate administration process it may be found that some British Columbia estates are actually insolvent. In other words, they have more debts associated with them than assets and that can pose problems for beneficiaries and executors who should be aware of what to do and what not to do in such cases.
Getting an inheritance can take some time. One of the last jobs an executor is likely to do during estate administration in British Columbia is to disseminate inheritance funds. There are many things to be done with an estate before it can be closed, the first of which is taking inventory of the decedent's assets and debts. Estate planning documents must be located and must be in order before anything else can happen.
People work hard for their money. Having a family's wealth protected from unforeseen events like divorce will likely ensure that when the time comes for estate administration in British Columbia, there won't be issues connected with a divorce. The last thing prosperous Canadians want is for the money they've worked so hard for to end up going to those who they wouldn't want it to go to and that sometimes means to a divorced adult child's former spouse or common law partner.