When someone owns property outside of British Columbia it is important to consider the law pertaining to estates in the jurisdiction where the property is situated.
Some jurisdictions require that certain property be left to specific family members and these laws may take precedence over the will.
Often it is desirable to hire a lawyer in the other jurisdiction and to prepare a second will that deals only with the property that is owned in that jurisdiction.
The benefits of this are as follows:
- Both of your wills can be probated at the same time saving delay. If you only have one will in B.C. that will can usually be probated or “resealed” in another jurisdiction but only after probate has been obtained in B.C.
- The second will can be drafted in language that is familiar to the probate registry in the other jurisdiction.
- The will can comply with all of the formal requirements of the foreign jurisdiction (i.e. signing it in front of two witnesses, etc.).
- A possible reduction in probate fees as the assets in each jurisdiction are limited and there will not be a duplication of probate fees.
It may also be a good idea to consider obtaining other estate planning documents such as powers of attorney in both jurisdictions.
Deborah A. Todd