When a will is vague, estate administration may be complicated

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

The responsibility of being executor of an estate, or the British Columbia court-appointed administer, is a heavy burden. Fortunately, a well written will leaves little room for doubt as to what needs to be done with the deceased’s assets. Vague wording, however, can lead to misinterpretation and may complicate the task of estate administration. When specific instructions are not left … Read More

Have you chosen the right person as executor of your estate?

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

In order to have your wishes carried out regarding the administration of your estate, it’s important to select the right executor to handle your affairs when you die. Making the wrong choice can delay the distribution of assets to your heirs, inspire contested will battles and potentially open the estate to tax liabilities. The right person for the task should … Read More

When the administrator cannot serve in that capacity

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

There are cases where it is appropriate that the Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) administers estates when the circumstances do not permit the beneficiary, intestate successor, executor or other eligible person to serve in that capacity. When that occurs, the PGT can agree to an appointment as executor. However, when these situations arise, it’s important to understand that the PGT … Read More

Unruly heirs? Welcome to the estate administration world

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

Sometimes the administrators of estates have to deal with demanding and unpleasant heirs and beneficiaries. If they are really unlucky, they may even be related to them by blood or marriage. In cases like that, the best strategy is learning how to best manage these types of people. Often their disagreeable behaviours stem from a lack of control over what … Read More

We can help when there is no will

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

If you have been named as administrator of an estate where there is no will, your job will be more complicated than it would be if the decedent had legally spelled out his or her intentions. These kind of cases are often best dealt with by legal professionals who are well-versed in the estate laws governing British Columbia residents. Retaining … Read More

Do I really have to pay off my deceased dad’s debts?

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

When spouses, parents or others die, their heirs may have concerns about any responsibility they may have to pay the debts the deceased accrued over a lifetime. In short, the answer is that they have no responsibility. However, just as with many of the complex aspects of estate administration and probate, there are exceptions, and they include: Joint debts where … Read More

Can a corporate executor lighten the probate load?

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General, Probate

People tend to seek out the most trusted friends and relatives they have to serve as estate administrators of their estates after they die. After all, who best to carry out one’s wishes but a trusted loved one?  Actually, in many cases, the administrator, while trustworthy and well-intentioned, is not the ideal person for the job at hand. Perhaps they … Read More

How can I minimize my liability as executor during probate?

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General, Probate

When accepting the responsibility of being the executor of a decedent’s estate, one also accepts any liabilities. According to one senior will and estate planner in Newfoundland, the primary risk to executors is the last will and testament. Many people draft wills that are quite vague and fail to specify important information about bequests to heirs and beneficiaries. For example, … Read More

Understanding the Probate Process

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

In March of 2014, British Columbia enacted the Wills, Estates and Succession Act, which modernized estate law and made the probate process easier. Whether probate is necessary or not depends upon the policies of the financial institutions or agencies that hold any assets that are part of a decedent’s estate. Some agencies require that executors apply for representation grants so … Read More

Do I have to accept being an administrator of a will?

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

If you are named as executor of someone’s estate, that is an indication that the person had great confidence in you and your ability to carry out his or her wishes. But while it may be considered an honour, it is also a big responsibility. Some people who are named as executors wind up renouncing those duties. There can be … Read More