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The purpose of a protective trust

Parents in British Columbia may want to make sure that their children will be cared for if something happens to them. Wills provide individuals a way to provide for dependents. If a person dies without a will, his or her estate will be distributed according to provincial law. An additional way to provide for minor children or a spouse is through a protective trust. These kinds of trusts are created to provide a beneficiary with an income.

Is a will valid in B.C. if it was created elsewhere?

Those who want to protect their loved ones in the future often rely on wills and similar documents. According to British Columbia law, however, a will doesn't have to be created inside the province in order to retain its legal validity. Probate courts approach these special documents on a case-by-case basis to determine how they should be handled.

Some properties may not be susceptible to ademption

Individuals who are planning their estates in British Columbia may want to be aware of what items may and may not be adeemed after their death. Generally, when a piece of property that is to be gifted to a beneficiary is disposed of or is removed from the will-maker's possession, whether voluntarily or not, the gifting of that property fails. That failure of the gifting of the property is known as ademption.

What defines a spouse in terms of estate planning?

Married, divorced or soon-to-be-married British Columbia residents beginning to undertake their estate planning might be wondering how the province's Wills, Estates and Succession Act defines a "spouse" for the sake of estate planning. As it turns out, in keeping with similar B.C. statutes addressing spousal relationships, a person may be granted spouse status without necessarily being legally married; he or she need only live in a "marriage-like relationship" for at least two years. This stipulation applies to same-sex partnerships as well.

How can a will be changed or contested?

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.

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