Wills, Probate & Estates

Making a Will

Your Will is your opportunity to specify how your estate is distributed after you pass away. It allows you to choose who will receive your valuable assets and sentimental possessions after you are gone as well as letting you choose who administers your estate (the executor). It’s important to create a Will that is:

  • Clear
  • Accurate
  • Legally valid

This is where the estate planning team of Resolutions Law Corporation can help. We have the expertise to create both simple Wills and Wills that involve more complex assets or distribution.

Do you need to make a Will?

The short answer is no, you don’t need to make a Will. However, making a Will has a number of benefits:

  • Having a Will makes the estate distribution process faster (meaning your beneficiaries get their inheritance more quickly).
  • Having a Will makes your passing less stressful for your family.
  • Having a Will lets you have a say in how your assets get distributed.
  • Having a Will ensures you can provide for your family as you want.

How do you know if your Will is valid?

It is always possible to draft your own Will but why would you want to take the chance that your wishes will not be followed after your passing or for conflict to occur leading between your beneficiaries. When drafting a Will, there is often zero margins for error and even a typo or misplaced punctuation could lead to your wishes not being realized or costly litigation between your intended beneficiaries and those you intended to excluded all of whom legal costs may be paid from your estate.

Probate of Will

At Resolutions Law Corporation, we are on hand and ready to answer all your questions when a loved one has passed away. As a commonly used term during estate administration is it important you understand Probate and what it means.
Probate is the Supreme Courts recognition that a Will is legally valid. While probate isn’t always a prerequisite to estate administration, there are instances where it may be required. For example, organizations such as banks and shares registries may need to sight a grant of probate before releasing estate assets.

Probate – Types of grants

  • Grant of probate – This form of grant exists where a Will has been validly constituted and the person applying for probate is listed as the executor of the Will.
  • Grant of letters of administration of the Will – This grant exists where there is a valid Will, but someone other than the executor is seeking probate. In this instance, the authorized person will be an administrator.
  • Grant of letters of administration on intestacy – This grant arises where this is no valid Will. The authorized person will be an administrator and the entire estate will be governed in accordance with the intestacy rules.

It is also important to note that where another legal jurisdiction grants the probate but the assets to the estate are found in British Columbia, it may be necessary to reseal the grant.

Do you need probate?

There are a number of circumstances in which probate is required. These include instances in which:
1. The deceased owned real estate in his or her sole name; or
2. The deceased had non-registered bank accounts in his or her sole name.

Who can apply?
Before probate is granted, a court must be satisfied that it is being sought by the appropriate person – that is, the person who is recognized as the personal representative of the estate whether it be by Will or closest living relationship in those cases where the deceased did not have a Will in place at death.