Vancouver Estate Law: Estate Planning
What Is a Legal Estate?
A will is a legal document that outlines what you want done with everything you own after you pass away. This collection of accumulated lifelong possessions is called the “estate,” and the individual responsible for managing and distributing these assets is called the “executor.”
There are four documents that form the foundation of an estate plan:
- Power of Attorney
- Representation Agreement
- Committee Application
After someone close to you has passed away, administering their estate can be a challenging and emotional task to handle on your own. Winright Law can help you through this through this difficult time by ensuring that your legal obligations are fulfilled and that the wishes of your loved one are respected.
Regarding the administration of an estate, there are two scenarios which may possibly occur. As such, there are two separate application categories, including:
- Probate Applications (for those who have passed away with a Will); and
- Administration Applications (for those who have passed away without a will).
What Are my Obligations as a Legal Executor?
By being named in a will as the executor of an estate, you inherit very important legal responsibilities. The executor is responsible for gathering estate assets, paying funeral costs, debts and taxes, and distributing the estate’s contents to the beneficiaries named in the Will.
If there is no will, or the will cannot be found, the spouse or child of the deceased will usually be required to apply to the court in order to become administrator of the estate—as opposed to the executor.
Estate administration can be a complicated process, as there are many steps involved when filing for an estate application. Some of these necessary steps include the carrying out a wills search, the drafting of an order, and the filing of multiple affidavits.
What Are the Costs Associated With Estate Administration?
Currently, the fees to be paid to the government during the administration of an estate are as follows:
- If the estate is worth less than $25,000 (no fee);
- If the estate is worth over $25,000 (basic fee of $208);
- If the estate is worth between $25,000 – $50,000 (basic fee of $208 plus $6 per $1,000 – total of $358 for the first $50,000); and
- If the estate is worth over $50,000 ($358 plus $14 per $1,000 of estate value over $50,000).
These fees must be paid up front, however the payer will be reimbursed by the estate.
At Winright Law, our compassionate legal staff can help to ease the stress associated with the passing of a loved one. We would be honoured to help you with your estate application, as well as to answer any questions that you might have during your initial consultation.