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

When the Estate Includes Digital Assets

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

If you are selected to administer a family member’s, close friend’s or business associate’s estate, chances are that in this digital age, your responsibilities could include management of the digital assets of the deceased. When you consider that may entail responsibility for a lifetime’s worth of accounts and files uploaded to the cloud, coupled with bereaved loved ones clamoring for … Read More

Definitions of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act

Fast & CompanyGeneral

If you are involved in the probate of a will, below are some definitions and interpretations as set forth in the Wills, Estates and Succession Act that took effect in British Columbia in 2014. Beneficiary¬†– An individual named in wills to receive a portion or all of an estate, or an individual who has a beneficial interest in any trusts … Read More

Can I Disinherit my Children?

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

Many people find great comfort in knowing that their will clearly designates who will take possession of their treasured belongings and other assets after their deaths. However, what about those to whom they prefer to leave nothing? Are people able to disinherit family members if they so choose? Under the Wills, Estates and Succession Act of British Columbia, the testator … Read More

Dealing with Disgruntled Heirs

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General, Probate

If you are handling the probate process as an estate administrator, one challenge you may encounter are disappointed beneficiaries. There can be many reasons for their disappointment, and few of them will likely be because of decisions that you make. However, it will be to you whom they turn with their dissatisfaction, so you must be prepared should this occur. … Read More

The Duties of an Executor, Part III

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

Many executors don’t need to apply for probate, depending upon the estate’s assets, as some can pass on to the heirs directly. Properties owned as joint tenancies with other people don’t have to be probated. All executors must do is file applications accompanied by the death certificates in the Land Title Office to register the properties in the surviving joint … Read More

The Duties of an Executor, Part II

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

This is the second installment of our series on the duties of an executor in British Columbia. ¬† Many executors elect to retain a lawyer to prepare the paperwork and provide legal advice on the probate process. Legal fees are considered to be a legitimate expense of the estate and are paid out of the assets. Most lawyers can provide … Read More

Avoiding Problems with Probate

Fast & CompanyGeneral, Probate

Despite the best intentions, not all probates proceed smoothly. If you are responsible for probating and administering an estate, you might run into some of these typical problems. Inadequate will searches. The process must include all variations of names. When handling land transfers, the names must be listed exactly as they appear in the first part of the Title of … Read More