Like it or not, debt is a big part of modern life. Most homeowners carry mortgages, many people have car payments and some people carry balances on their credit cards. But when it comes to estate administration in British Columbia, what happens to all the debt -- and rewards in some cases -- after a person dies? Most people believe their loved ones will be on the hook for their debts, but that's not the case.
Statistics Canada says one in three retired citizens 55 years of age or older and two in three citizens 55 years of age or older who are still working are in debt. In terms of estate administration in British Columbia, this is something adult children of the 55-plus crowd need to think about. Are they legally responsible for their parents' debts?
It's horrible to think about, but what if disaster should strike and an entire family perishes at the same time? British Columbia residents in the process of fashioning their estate plans might do well to consider adding a "Titanic" clause to their wills to make estate administration easier should the unthinkable befall an entire family. The clause gets its name from Ida Straus's refusal to leave her husband on board the ill-fated Titanic steamship. The elderly pair died together.
No one relishes administering the assets of an estate. For one thing it means a loved one has died and for another, it may mean that volatile emotions are making the process even more stressful. Estate administration in Canada can be smooth sailing or it could get caught up on some rocks, depending upon how unified family members are.
When a parent dies, there are many uncomfortable things an adult child must endure. The loved one may have suffered through a long illness that was difficult to watch, or the funeral may have been particularly emotional. Before the dust even settles, however, the matters of estate and probate administration begin, including some of the fiduciary duties of the designated executor. However, do family members in British Columbia have any say if they don't trust the estate executor?
It isn't always easy to know who to trust. However, hopefully by the time a person is old enough to think seriously about writing a will, one will have ongoing relationships with people who are concerned with one's best interests. From that pool of people, a person writing a will in British Columbia must choose an executor to take on the onerous task of estate administration.
If one is named as executor of an estate, a potentially complex process is about to unfold during one of the most emotional times in anyone's life. Handling probate and estate administration in British Columbia is not an easy task even at the best of times. If it were possible to largely eliminate the need to probate, it could simplify matters considerably. There are circumstances under which this may be possible.
There are many responsibilities assigned to the executor of an estate. Of these, probate is perhaps the most important, as it precedes all other aspects of administering the estate. In order for probate to proceed in British Columbia, several important documents must be submitted.
Acting as executor of an estate can be an emotional roller coaster. While seeing beneficiaries receive their gifts may bring some comfort or even joy, there are other aspects that provide neither. For example, no one enjoys paying taxes at any time, but even after an individual has passed away, the government is still owed its share. This is an important, if less pleasant part of estate administration.
Most men and women who find they have been named as executor of an estate have probably never performed the task before. As such, they may have some questions about unfamiliar terms and processes. One word that will come up a lot in the early stages is 'probate.'