A properly prepared Will is a legal document that expresses your desires for the disposition of your Estate upon your death—allowing you to have a voice in the disposal of your assets according to your wishes and desires. It is a good idea to occasionally read through your existing Will to ensure it accurately meets your desires. You may want to change the beneficiaries of your Will if, for example, there is a birth of a child or the death of someone mentioned in your Will. If you remarry, your existing Will becomes void and must be redone.
A person who dies without a Will is said to be “intestate” resulting in the settlement of the Estate being handled by the Public Trustee. While a Public Trustee may settle the Estate, the result may not be what you would have desired.
Regardless of whether you have children or the extent of your assets, having a valid Will is the means for you to have a say in the matter.
What would happen if you passed away without having a Will in place? In British Columbia, your assets would be distributed in accordance with the Wills, Estates and Succession Act which came into force on March 31, 2014. And this could be completely contrary to how you will want your assets to be distributed.
You may be thinking that you won’t have to bother with a will if you don’t have any dependents or children and that all of your assets will automatically revert to your spouse through right of survivorship. But, what if unfortunately you and your spouse passed away at the same time? Your assets may end up with unintended beneficiaries.
We encourage you to at least seek advice from a Notary Public you can trust. We can help you settle your estate in a way you truly want it to be handled.