How Vancouver Estate Lawyers Can Help
What is a Legal Estate?
To understand what a legal estate is and the importance of estate planning, it’s best to start by understanding the definition of a will, as well as an executor, beneficiary, estate lawyer, and probate lawyer.
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 (or assets) is called the estate, while the individual responsible for managing and distributing these assets is called the executor. In most cases, the executor will use an estate planning lawyer or probate lawyer to help write the will, although probate lawyers generally only handle a legal estate after a person dies. The person who receives the assets in a person’s estate is known as the beneficiary.
This brings us to estate planning, which is the process of arranging the distribution of assets in a way that allows the beneficiary (or beneficiaries) to receive the maximum amount of benefits. So how can an estate planning lawyer help?
For starters, a Vancouver estate lawyer can create a plan that limits the amount of taxes and other expenses incurred when planning the distribution of assets from the legal estate. It’s also important that estate planning lawyers in Vancouver and throughout BC be familiar with both provincial and federal laws surrounding this specific subject. If necessary, they can also help with the transport of land and ensure that any assets being received by beneficiaries are safe from their creditors.
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 difficult time by ensuring that your legal obligations are fulfilled and the wishes of your loved ones are respected. Our Vancouver estate lawyers are sensitive to the private details of your life and will exercise the utmost discretion and care when handling your legal estate.
Regarding the administration of a legal estate, there are two scenarios that could occur. As such, there are two separate application categories, including:
- Probate Applications (for those who have passed away witha Will); and
- Administration Applications (for those who have passed away withouta 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, we have a team of compassionate estate planning lawyers in Vancouver and other areas of BC who 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.