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McLellan Herbert, Barristers & Solicitors McLellan Herbert, Barristers & Solicitors
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What happens if I die without a will?

This is a question many people may think to themselves if they keep putting off making a will. It’s quite normal to put off making a will, as its creation means thinking about something unfortunate – what will happen to your loved ones and your property in the event of your passing.

However, not having a will could leave your surviving family and friends in a challenging situation. Generally speaking, your assets will be distributed as per British Columbia estate laws. This means however you wanted your property and assets distributed may not be how it gets divided. Whatever your intentions were, if you did not leave behind a valid will, there’s no clear blueprint for what you would have wanted.

Having an estate plan in place not only allows you to provide for family and friends in the way you intended, but it can also reduce some of the financial strain on them as well. Having a valid will or powers of attorney can reduce the likelihood of disagreements, which could help your family avoid taking matters to court to sort out specific estate details.

As outlined on Sun Life Financial website – a national financial services firm – there are a couple of key considerations people should think about and discuss with their partners, families and friends when creating their testamentary documents.

One of the points they highlight is to determine the ownership of certain assets. Some items, such as physical property like a business location, may be owned with another person with a right of survivorship. This means that if one of the owners passes, his or her portion of the ownership transfers directly to the other owners. Also, certain assets may pass outside of a will as well, such as insurance beneficiaries.

If you have questions about estate planning, it’s best to discuss your options with an experienced estates lawyer. He or she will be able to assess your situation, and help you identify solutions that work for your unique family dynamic.

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