Archive For The “Wills and Estates” Category

Executors, Estates Administration & Digital Assets

FASTHelp old-couple-on-computer-740x394

The pace of change in the world is ever increasing. Oddly enough, many of our seniors
are embracing that change, particularly the use of technology – computers, the INTERNET, tablets and PDA’s. They use internet banking and investing; Paypal,Bitcoin, Ebay, Amazon, interac email money transfers; Instagram money transfers and the like. If you are a named executor of someone’s estate and you don’t know what a PDA is, or any of the things listed above, you have a potential problem.

bitcoinsThe reality is that assets having real value, including “cash money”, now have a virtual
existence that you simply cannot see without a device to get you on the internet AND
without the necessary passwords to access the person’s computer(s) (there is likely
more than one device involved) to ascertain what those digital assets are and their value.There are a host of legal issues surrounding sharing or divulging login passwords, however, there are even bigger legal issues if you, as an executor, miss substantial estate assets because you did not possess a reasonable amount of technological proficiency. password
So, if you are making new will; or revising or replacing an existing one as a will maker;or have agreed to act as an executor for someone, you should make a thorough examination of what digital assets exist and how the can be accessed an controlled.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, as many domestic partners are wont to do, only one partner “takes care of business” via online banking etc., and the other remains blissfully, and willfully ignorant of the whole scheme of things. This is a disaster waiting to happen.
You simply cannot ignore technology any longer.

You do so at the peril of your partner and other loved ones!

Start a dialogue, make the time now to sit down and have a plan.

Open communication eases the struggle for your surviving spouse.

Open communication now, will ease the struggle for your surviving spouse.

 

Dogwood lawyers can help.

Call us for a free initial consultation.

778 410 5090

 

 

 

 

 

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FASThelp: Wills Variation Actions

On March 31, 2014 the Wills Variation Act was repealed by WESA – the Wills, Estates
and Succession Act, SBC 2009, c. 13. The statutory right available to those classes of
persons to have the Supreme Court review and vary a Will was preserved unchanged in
Division 6 of WESA.

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What is a Wills Variation Action?

Section 60 of WESA provides as follows:
“Maintenance from estate 60 Despite any law or enactment to the contrary, if a will-maker dies leaving a will that does not, in the court’s opinion, make adequate provision for the proper maintenance and support of the will-maker’s spouse or children, the court may, in an action by or on behalf of the spouse or children, order that the provision that it thinks adequate, just and equitable in the circumstances be made out of the will-maker’s estate for the spouse or children.”
Section 62 of WESA also provides:
“Evidence 62 (1) In an action under section 60, the court may accept the evidence it considers proper respecting the will-maker’s reasons, so far as may be determined,
(a) for making the gifts made in the will, or
(b) for not making adequate provision for the will-maker’s spouse or children,
including any written statement signed by the will-maker.
(2) In estimating the weight to be given to a statement referred to in subsection (1), the court must
have regard to all the circumstances from which an inference may reasonably be drawn about the
accuracy or otherwise of the statement.”

hourglass
While a Wills Variation lawsuit is open to the spouse and children of a will-maker there
are legal time limits within which it must be brought, and, as is the case with all litigation in the
Supreme Court of British Columbia, the unsuccessful litigant usually pays the costs of the
successful party as well as their own. So, this is not a course of action that is embarked upon
lightly, but should be thoroughly investigated                                                                                               beforehand.

If you think you have been treated by a parent in his or her Will contrary to what the law provides, contact us. We can help you decide what is the best course of action to take.

Dogwood Law Corporation 778-410-5090

 

FASTHelp: Must you have a will?

Don’t know if you should have a will or not?

There is no law of general application in force in British Columbia which requires you to
make a Will.

Last Will and TestamentIn the absence of your having a Will to express your wishes after your death, your
possessions (collectively termed your “estate”), will be distributed in accordance with a
legislated scheme set forth in the Wills Estates and Succession Act (WESA) which will vary
depending on the next of kin you have left behind. This scheme may not be agreeable to youeither now or in the future.

A person who dies without having a Will is said to die “intestate”.
Just because there is no legal requirement for anyone to make a Will does not mean
that a given person should not make a Will. On the contrary, making a Will and keeping your
Will up to date, is not only the assurance that your estate will be given to those people to
whom you want it to be given, but it’s also a labour of love on your part to ease the burden
and suffering of the loved ones you have left behind as to what they should do with your
estate.

Attractive Happy Senior Couple in Front Yard of House.

Make a will and feel secure.

For the most part having a valid and up to date Will goes a VERY long way toward
making a difficult time for your partner and family much, much easier to contend with.
All Wills are not equal however, and our law is a living thing which constantly changes.
Accordingly we do not recommend the use of “stationers Wills”, the prepackaged
one-size-fits-all Will “Form” available for a few dollars from a stationer or from the internet.
(UNLESS, of course, you want to send your estate into years of protracted and expensive
litigation.) The difficulty with a do-it-yourself Will is that you cannot fix any problems created
by it…..you are no longer here.

legacy and will
Generally, if you: own a home; have a spouse; children; or are in a second/blended family, then you should make a Will.

Contact us for more information and a free initial consultation. 778-410-5090

 

FASThelp: Wills, Estates and Succession

Updating our law

For more than 100 years in British Columbia the administration of the estates of deceased persons was governed primarily by a statute called the Estate Administration Act.  On March 31, 2014 all that changes when the Wills, Estates and Succession Act came into force and a number of older statutes (and statutory provisions) including the Estate Administration Act were repealed.  Gone are:

Estate Administration Act, RSBC 1996, c. 122
Probate Recognition Act, RSBC 1996, c. 376
Wills Act, RSBC 1996, c. 48
Wills Variation Act, RSBC 1996, c. 490
Law and Equity Act, RSBC 1996, c. 253, s. 46, 49, 50, & 51
Survivorship and Presumption of Death Act, RSBC 1996, c. 444, s. 2
and some 41 other statutes have been amended to fit with the new legislative scheme.

in addition to new rules, forms and procedures regarding making Wills AND administering deceased estates, there have also been significant changes made to this extent of law in this entire area. The law now IS NOT NECESSARILY THE SAME AS IT WAS BEFORE MARCH 31, 2014

Since WESA embodies some very sweeping legal changes indeed, we at DogwoodLaw recommend that if you have undergone any substantial changes in your life or estate planning recently, or have been thinking about reviewing or changing your estate plan in the near future, you may wish to consider doing that and addressing your planning objectives sooner rather than later.

 

Our experienced lawyers can help answer your questions and provide you with the advice and documentation you need to accomplish your goals.
Contact us with no obligation.
We are approachable.
We understand what you’re thinking.

Dogwood Law 778-410-5090

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