Real Estate Can Make a Challenging Gift

A colleague asked about handling a will with a clause saying to “pay or transfer” a piece of real estate to a charity. This sounds quite straightforward but raises some complications about whether the executor could just sell the property and give the proceeds to… Continue Reading

What is in a Simple Will?

Someone asked me what gets included in a basic Will. The first thing a Will sets out is who is to be the executor to handle all the matters of the estate and make sure the tax filings are done, and… Continue Reading

Why We File Wills Notices

Whenever I complete a Will for a client, I file a notice with the provincial government. The Will itself isn’t filed, the notice is just to provide details of the place and date a Will was signed. The first reason… Continue Reading

Yes, it can be Possible to Have Two Spouses (for Estate Purposes, anyhow)

A situation I have seen that causes immense trouble with wills and estates is where someone is married, the marriage ends, there is no divorce, and then they move in with a new partner and don’t marry. I can’t give… Continue Reading

Why Naming a Beneficiary (Other than Your Spouse) for your RRSP Can Mess Up Your Estate Planning

I was chatting with someone recently who thought he might need to look after a Will. He was into his second marriage and had a son from a previous marriage. “Oh, I don’t need more than a simple Will,” he… Continue Reading

The Challenge of Wills for Second Marriages

Divorced parents remarrying is perfectly normal and quite common. So you would think preparing a will would be straightforward, right? No, definitely not. I have had more than a few conversations with people wanting to get their affairs in order… Continue Reading

The Meaning of Joint Tenancy

    Not everything a person owns will be part of the assets that are distributed under the terms of a will. Real estate, pensions, bank accounts and insurance can pass outside of a will. In British Columbia we call… Continue Reading

What happens when someone dies without a will?

  There are two major things that must be sorted by relatives if someone dies without a will. The first is who gets the job of being the executor (the term administrator is used in cases where there is no… Continue Reading