A large number of people die each year without a will. In the event that occurs, their assets will pass according to the provincial intestate succession laws. Intestate succession is defined by provincial law, and a judge will order the passing of property to heirs according to those laws.
When an individual is named the administrator of a deceased person's estate in British Columbia, the job may overwhelm them. Oftentimes, the administrator of the estate was a close friend or relative of the deceased person, and they are going through a grieving process. If the administrator has little experience dealing with financial matters, this can make the job even more difficult.
A simple will is the foundation of many individual estate plans in British Columbia, and a number of people rely on wills to ensure that their last wishes are honoured and that their property is distributed properly on death. Often, though, people must update or alter their wills to reflect changes in attitude or life events. Additionally, heirs and potential heirs may choose to challenge a will if they feel the testator's wishes were not properly contained therein. In either case, the laws of British Columbia provide guidance.
According to a recent survey, the average Canadian who receives an inheritance gets just under $100,000. The average inheritance was $96,000 across the country; however, there were regional variations. In Atlantic Canada, the average inheritance was $32,000, while it was in excess of $120,000 in British Columbia.
British Columbia residents who have drawn up an estate plan may be surprised to learn that they may have to revisit their plan periodically to make important updates. Due to changes in a person's life and the law, these updates can potentially have a large effect on how their property is distributed.
Many senior citizens in British Columbia may live frugally as they try to help their children cope with financial challenges and leave as much of their estate intact to pass on after they do. However, some financial planning experts believe that this may not always be a prudent path to take. Health care costs that will not be covered by the government are expected to rise sharply in the coming decades, and too much concern over what will be bequeathed in their wills could leave retirees vulnerable.