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Abbotsford, BC Wills & Estates Lawyers

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    With offices in 15 locations across Canada, we are in your corner.

    You’ve worked hard to build your wealth and your assets. We’ll work hard to make sure those assets serve your family after you die. We’ll also make sure those assets serve you, at the end of your life, when you might not be able to make decisions on your own behalf.

    Our experienced team of estate planning lawyers will take a holistic look at your entire asset profile and will help you develop strategies to ensure that those assets continue to work for your family. 

    We also help heirs whose parents or spouses failed to provide for them as demanded under the dictates of British Columbia law. 

     

    Consequences of Dying Without a Will in British Columbia

    Dying without a will, or dying intestate, has severe consequences here in British Columbia. The province will distribute all of your assets in accordance with the simplistic Wills, Estates, and Succession Act. 

    While the Act will distribute your assets in a basic way, it won’t allow you to leave your assets to some heirs. You won’t have an executor, just an administrator—a stranger—who distributes your estate with the court’s blessing. In addition, it is unsuitable for those who have complex asset profiles.

    • If you have a spouse and have children in common, your spouse gets the first $300,000 of your estate and your natural-born children get whatever is left, divided equally between them.
    • If you have a spouse but no children in common, your spouse gets the first $150,000 and the rest is divided between your spouse and all of your children.
    • If you have no spouse but have children, the children divide the estate equally. 
    • Grandchildren inherit after children.
    • If you neither spouse nor children or grandchildren, then the courts start looking for next-of-kin in priority order: parents, siblings, nieces & nephews.
    • If the province can’t find a suitable next-of-kin the province takes all your assets.

    This distribution cuts out any step-children you might want to provide for. It cuts out more distant relatives, family friends, and charities you might want to support. Dying without a will may even mean that assets go to estranged family members. 

    In addition, it will force all of your assets into probate, creating delays in when your heirs may receive them. If your heirs are underage, they won’t be able to benefit from them until they turn 19. This is in sharp contrast to certain other estate planning vehicles which might allow your heirs to start benefiting from your assets right away.

    In addition, when you fail to draw up a will the province, not you, will choose who raises your children after you’re gone. A will allows you to name who your child’s legal guardian will be. 

     

    Consequences of Living Without a Will in British Columbia

    All of us age. A good estate plan can help you manage your twilight years. We can help you with:

    • Elder care planning
    • Guardianship and power of lawyer planning
    • Medical planning

    With our help, you can choose who will manage your affairs in the event of your own incapacity, before your family starts fighting over who gets the right. This will allow you to choose the relative you trust.

    You can also vet your own long-term care providers and make your wishes clear to your family, which means your family cannot choose a nursing home or care facility that is abhorrent to you. 

    Without this planning, you’ll be at the mercy of whatever relative manages to win the struggle over the right to control you and your assets. 

     

    Estate Planning

    We help with complex estate planning by using a variety of different vehicles to put your money to work.

    • Wills, to communicate your wishes.
    • Trusts, to keep assets out of probate and to ensure they’re used in accordance with your wishes.
    • Life insurance policies.
    • Naming beneficiaries for your investment accounts. 
    • Drafting prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
    • Setting up healthcare directives.
    • Naming the executor of your estate. 

    It’s vital to choose the right legal vehicles for the specific goals you are trying to accomplish. Our team helps you do just that. Our status as a full-service law firm even gives you a broader perspective, as you will get help from individuals who have a background in real estate law, family law, immigration law, and business law. This means that we can help with situations that are a little more challenging and complex than some of our competitors. 

    In addition, we help high asset clients with international assets navigate asset freezes, stock asset restrictions, and other issues which can prevent heirs from enjoying the fullness of your legacy. If you want the kind of deep experience that transcends national boundaries, reach out to our team to get help today. 

     

    Help for Disinherited Daughters 

    Here in British Columbia the law requires will-makers to provide for their spouses and children. Many Asian and South Asian parents hold to traditional values in their estate planning, and thus create illegal wills that may be challenged. 

    We’ve been highly successful at helping disinherited daughters claim their fair share of their parent’s estates. Here in British Columbia, women are equal, and we want to help you claim financial equality. Ask us how we can help you claim your share of your inheritance today. 

     

    Get Help Today

    We know that it’s not easy to think about death. Yet it happens to everyone. 

    We’ve helped thousands of British Columbia residents manage the estate planning process. We’ve also helped thousands of disinherited daughters challenge unfair and illegal wills. 

    We’re a responsive, empathetic legal team who is absolutely dedicated to protecting you and your interests. In addition, most of our lawyers have more than 20 years of experience in their respective specialties and disciplines. That kind of experience makes a huge difference.

     

    Call (604) 394-2777 to schedule your case review and to get paired with your own dedicated family law lawyer.

    Please note: The information provided on this website is Not Legal Advice. The information may or may not be accurate. The information is for discussion purposes only. Reliance upon any information provided would not be grounds to advance a claim against Merchant Law for providing any advice. In order to get a formal legal opinion upon which you may rely about any specific fact scenario, you would have to first retain the services of a lawyer and request a formal legal opinion.