Wills and Estates Lawyers Vancouver
Wills and Estates Lawyers at Specht and Pryer specializes in the area of law that deals with the planning, distribution, and management of a person’s assets after they pass away. We also assist clients obtaining Power of Attorney and Adult committeeship, so that their family can make decisions on behalf.
Estate lawyers at Specht and Pryer have extended experience in probate cases such as
- Estate with multiple properties
- Estate matters involving the Public Guardian and Trustee (Minors as Beneficiaries)
- Beneficiaries living overseas
When a person passes away in BC, their family may need to go through a legal procedure called Probate in order to access the deceased’s estate. An Estate is defined as assets, including money and property, owned by the deceased person at the time of their death.
What do probate lawyers do? Assess the situation and provide legal advice as to whether a Grant of Probate or Administration is required for the estate. Streamline and accelerate the court’s processing of probate documents.
- Locating a will
- Reviewing Enforceability of a will
- Preparing and filing documents with the Supreme Court for probate
- Communicating with Probate & Bankruptcy Registry about probate fees
- Communicating with financial institutions
- Working with tax professionals to prepare a tax return for deceased
- Working with real estate professionals to liquidate assets if necessary
Obtaining a Grant of Administration
A deceased person’s family may need to apply for a grant of administration in the following situations.
- A person passes away without a will
- A person passes away without naming an executor in their will
- An executor in a will passes away or no longer be able to perform as an executor
A Grant of administration allows administrators and executors to access the deceased person’s estate. Most financial institutions will require a grant of administration before releasing any funds over $30,000 to executors, administrators and/or beneficiaries.
Estate planning is not all about death, but rather about making decisions for the future.
What you can achieve with estate planning:
- Have control over your assets
- Decide who will look after your assets
- Pass on your assets to the next generations in a cost-effective way
- Minimize stress for your loved ones
Wills can include:
- List of assets (Savings in banks, Investments, property, life insurance, etc.)
- Division of assets
- Who will receive assets
- Who is going to be your minor child’s guardian
- Who is going to be an executor and alternative executor
- Funeral plans
*An Executor is a person who takes care of assets based on a will.
If you pass away without a will, your assets will be distributed according to the Wills, Estate and Succession Act of British Columbia.
We can help you plan your estate early to prevent confusion and to help alleviate stress from your beneficiaries.
Power of attorney
A person you appoint to have Power of Attorney (POA) can make financial decisions and/or real estate transactions on behalf of you. To appoint someone you need to be mentally capable to make decisions. In many cases, people appoint their child or spouse as their POA. POA documents can also be revoked when they are no longer needed.
There are two types of POA:
- General POA: POA ends when you lose the mental capacity to make decisions.
- Enduring POA: POA does NOT end when you lose the mental capacity to make decisions.
If your family member becomes mentally incapable to make decisions and did not prepare a POA, Adult guardianship is another way to help manage his/her finances.
Adult guardianship is also known as committeeship.
When a person over 19 years old is not capable of making financial and/or health decisions on their own, family members or other persons can obtain adult guardianship to make decisions on their behalf.
If a person already has Power of Attorney, then the appointed person can make these decisions.
Who starts probate?
The executor of a deceased person’s will usually starts the probate process.
How often do I need to update a will?
When you experience a significant change in your life such as marriage or divorce, it is usually a good time to review and upadte your will. If you are unsure, please contact us. Our estate lawyers try our best to create a will for you that does not need frequent updates.
How much does a Will cost?
We charge $750 for a will. If you and your spouse want to make mirrored wills (two identical wills naming each other as benficiaries), it will be $1,000 for two wills. However, the price may change depending on the contents of the will. Please contact us for more details and a precise quote.
Is there any age limit for making a will?
In British Columbia, the willmaker must be of sound mind and over the age of 16 at the time of the will signing.
My family member needs help with banking due to cognitive decline with age.
We can help you obtain a Power of Attorney, which allows you to access their money and property. If they are no longer mentally capable to have POA, then we can try to apply for adult guardianship.
How long does probate take in Vancouver BC?
We have completed a relatively simple probate case in Vancouver, BC in 3 months in the past. However, it can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the complexity of the estate, the number of beneficiaries, and any potential disputes that may arise. Generally speaking, probate can take anywhere from a few months to over a year to complete.
How much is the probate fee in BC?
The probate fee in BC can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the size of the estate. The probate fee is a tax levied by the government and is not covered by legal fees. If the estate is under $25,000, there is no probate fee. If it is over $25,000 and less than $50,000, it will be 0.6% for any amount over $25,000. If it is over $50,000, it will be 1.4% for any amount over $50,000. (Probate Fee Act Section 2).
Contact our Wills and Estates Lawyers in Vancouver to discuss your case today.
We're here to help
Monday - Friday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Address: # 1150 – 789 West Pender Street Vancouver,
British Columbia, Canada V6C 1H2