A will is a very important instrument when it comes to estate planning.
When a person dies without a will in B.C. and leaves a surviving spouse and children, the spouse receives a preferential share of the estate and the residue is then divided as follows: one half to the spouse and one half divided equally between the children; the surviving children of any deceased child (i.e. grandchildren) receive that deceased child’s share. When making a will, it’s important to consider how you want your estate to be distributed.
Many people may be unaware that if they die without a will in B.C., their estate cannot be distributed until at least one year after their death. There are exceptions, for example, if a minor is dependent on the estate, but in most cases the year must lapse.
It’s also important when making a will to consider who you would want to care for your minor children. A surviving parent will retain guardianship of a minor child, but what if both spouses die? In your will, you can appoint alternate guardians for your minor children and include a compensation clause to assist them with the financial burden.
Having a valid will in place means your estate will be administered according to your wishes and your loved ones will be taken care of.