Strategic Wills Advice
A will is an important part of an estate plan, even for those with modest assets. The document is a tool to express your wishes for those aspects of your life that mean the most to you. They include guardianship of your children and who should be your executor.
Garton & Harris can draft a will that, in conjunction with other legal documents, makes sure your assets go to whom you want. In British Columbia, the Wills, Estates and Succession Act permits a legal challenge of a will if certain members of your family are excluded, or if they feel they have been treated unfairly. Our Port Coquitlam team members are also seasoned B.C. lawyers who can help you to carefully plan your estate.
Drafting A Will
At Garton & Harris, we make drafting a will simple.
While many people understand a will to be a comprehensive document for all of your assets, in fact many assets will not be addressed in a will. This includes Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) and Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs). All of these will generally have a beneficiary already established. If you want to change the beneficiary of these assets, we at Garton & Harris can instruct you on how to do it.
Joint assets, such as bank accounts or property owned under a joint tenancy, will not be in the will. In general, they will become the property of the surviving owner, unless they are to be held in trust for other beneficiaries.
Many other assets will be part of your will. When deciding on asset distribution, you should take into account that the law says you must make adequate provision for your spouse and children. If you do not, your will can be changed by a court. You also have other options you can consider, such as creating a trust.
Estate planning does not need to be complicated. At Garton & Harris, our approach is simple: we will ask you what you want to do, and provide you with the legal tools to do it. With careful drafting, we can help ensure an unhappy estate beneficiary does not cause disruption by attempting to challenge the will.
Contact The Firm
To schedule a meeting, call us at 604-468-8900 in the Port Coquitlam / Tri-Cities area. You can also use our online contact form.