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Wills and estates: Transferring an estate in British Columbia

There are various ways of transferring an estate in Canada. British Columbia residents who are thinking about their wills and estates may find it helpful to know what those means are. Wills are the most common and most popular way of transferring an estate, but there are other ways that can work in conjunction with wills. Having a will in place first, though, is a must since, without one, an estate can get complicated, and when a loved one dies intestate — or without a will, it can cause further heartache for family members. 

In addition to wills, testamentary trusts may be useful for some testators who become grantors when they have established trusts. This type of trust takes effect when a grantor dies. Assets pass to beneficiaries without beneficiaries having control over them, since they are managed by a trustee who can make investments on behalf of beneficiaries. Capital and assets are doled out to beneficiaries as per the wishes of the grantor. This may be useful for beneficiaries who aren’t particularly financially adept.

Registering property jointly is another way of transferring assets. Testators have two ways of registering property in Canada: joint tenancy with the right of survivorship or tenancy-in-common. There are pros and cons to each, and an experienced lawyer may be able to help an individual decide which is best for his or her circumstance. Another way of transferring assets is with a gift before death, and that could have positive tax benefits.

A British Columbia lawyer who deals with wills and estates may be able to help a client to decipher by what means to transfer his or her assets. Every person’s circumstance is different. A lawyer is in a position to make suggestions after reviewing each client’s particular case.