Doing a Will:  
Mike Says Get it Done Already

Doing a will is very very important. It is important for your peace of mind and it is important for your loved ones. At Hemminger Law Group Westshore we know the importance of doing a Will for our clients. 

That is why we have an offer to prepare your Will for $350 per person. We's a great deal right? 

Although we agree doing a will is a boring thing to spend money on, it is an important thing to do.

The Wills, Estates and Succession Act deals with this area of the law.

The Importance of Doing a Will:

A Will is the legal document that directs where your money, assets, and investments will go after you die. If you have young children, a Will allows you to decide who is going to care for them in the event of your death. 

Your estate planning process will likely include other parts. A Representation Agreement is designed to plan what will happen if you lose your mental capacity. A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to manage your financial affairs. Hemminger Law Group Westshore can help you with these steps too, but having your Will drafted and completed is a very important first step in ensuring your estate needs are looked after. 

Is Doing a Will Important for You? How Do You Know?

If you have any assets whatsoever, a spouse, or young children, you should consider doing a Will. 

Without a properly executed Will, you do not get to decide what happens to your assets or even your young children in the event your death. 

If you don’t have a Will, it will cost your children, your spouse and your loved ones considerably more time, stress and money than if you had prepared a Will. Essentially, the cost and stress of administering your estate by your loved ones can increase dramatically. 

What Happens if You Die Without Doing a Will?

When looking at the importance of making a Will, the big reason why it is so important is because you don’t want to die without one. If you die without a Will, at least in British Columbia, the Wills, Estates and Succession Act governs how your estate will be distributed.  With no will, how your estate will be distributed has nothing to do with your wishes, or even what makes sense in your circumstances. 

The Importance of Doing a Will and How Your Estate Gets Distributed If You Don't Have One:

  • Your spouse receives the first $300,000 of your estate, or $150,000 if you have children from a prior relationship.
  • Of the remainder, your spouse and children share what’s left – the spouse gets a one-half share and the children divide the other half equally.
  • If any of your children have died before you, leaving their own children, then their children would take equally the share of your deceased child.
  • If you have no spouse, children or grandchildren, then your parents (or the survivor of them) will inherit the estate.
  • If your parents are deceased, then the estate goes to your siblings, but if one of them has died before you and left any children living when you died, those children receive your deceased sibling's share.
  • The distribution scheme will stop at the fourth degree of relation. At that point, if there is no surviving heir, the estate will pass to the government. Relatives of the fifth degree or greater are treated as if they have predeceased you and cannot be your heirs if you have no Will.

So, you can see that when making a Will, you can distribute your assets the way you want to distribute them instead of having things distributed in a way you do not want or had not planned. 

By Michael Sandhu, lawyer at Hemminger Law Group Westshore