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The ins and outs of wills

Residents of British Columbia may create wills in order to distribute their assets to the correct beneficiaries upon death. A will can be changed after its creation until its testator's death. However, wills also have certain limitations of which individuals should be aware when creating them.

The legal implications of choosing wills or trust funds

British Columbia residents wondering whether to create a trust fund to provide for their children may consider the decision made by the late well-known actor Philip Seymour Hoffman not to do so for his own. Hoffman died in February and left his money to his girlfriend instead of his three children. The reason for this, according to a will that he wrote in 2004, was that he did not like the idea of setting up a trust fund for them. Before his death, Hoffman told his lawyer that his girlfriend, who is the children's mother, would take care of them.

Wills and Wal-Mart: Thoughts on doing it yourself

British Columbia residents may be surprised to learn that, according to a 2012 survey, more than 50 percent of Canadians have not completed a will, in part because they either don't think they can afford it or they don't know where to start. They could be right about the price: After all, a basic will can run anywhere from $369 to $1,000 or even more for those that are complex.

New study reveals average inheritance

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.

Estate planning and the family cottage

Many British Columbia residents and others across the nation enjoy vacation time and wonderful memories spent at family cottages. Part of the responsibility of owning a getaway home includes knowing when it's time to sell the property or turn over ownership to an heir. Tax considerations generally mean that a person should transfer the property after they retire because their income will decrease. However, in some cases, family members aren't invested in the property and do not want to take it over when the older generation dies. In such situations, it might be best to sell the property.

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