ASK THE EXPERT Archive HOME > ASK THE EXPERT

WHAT IS THE WILLS VARIATION ACT?
In a nutshell, the British Columbia Wills Variation Act is the statute which permits a surviving spouse or children to contest a will on the basis that it does not make adequate provision for the claimant. The class of eligible claimants includes the surviving spouse, common-law spouse, same-sex spouse and both the natural and adopted children of the deceased.

Using insurance contracts with products like segregated funds, GICs, or annuities in your estate plan can be hugely beneficial for many reasons.

The need to say goodbye is a universal human experience.

Through every era and across all cultures, our families, friends and communities commemorate the death of someone special with ceremonies to mark their passing.

Over the years in Canada, this ritual has become a standardized service recognized as the “classic funeral.” This beautiful, traditional format is still the right choice for many families; but today, you can choose a different approach for a more personalized event

How many times have you heard of friends who had to move out of their rental housing because the owner decided to sell the property? It happens a lot. Such was the case when Dan and his wife, Bonnie, unexpectedly, found out that the house they were renting was up for sale. In their case, they saw it as a great opportunity to buy a permanent home for themselves. As a couple, they were committed to their decision, but realized it would take a larger team to make their dream a reality.

They contacted a realtor to write up an offer and, shortly after that, the realtor referred them to Auxilium to negotiate the finances they would need for their mortgage.

In some cases, having a will may not be enough. We are all aware that family dynamics are becoming increasingly diverse, and when it comes to planning your legacy, things are rarely as simple as they once were. Even the most straight forward estate can benefit from avoiding probate and all the associated time, energy, and costs.

There are many different options available to carefully construct an estate plan to provide maximum benefits and minimize complications for your family members.

I work with many seniors & clients that have been in their home for years. The family is gone and they know they need to move into something smaller and with less maintenance. But just the thought of moving from a home is very overwhelming for them. Downsizing is especially daunting if they have been living in their current home for 20 years or more. It is like being a first-time buyer and seller all over again—not to mention the decades of accumulated stuff that built up over the years.

If you are considering downsizing, let me offer you some tips that can make your feelings about moving less stressful.

Most adults understand the concept that a Will is an important document to create when you have assets, debts and, most importantly, minor children. However, many people are unaware that a Will only plays part of the role in a well thought out Estate plan.

In the event of your death, your Will kicks in and your named Executor takes over handling your legal and financial affairs. But what happens if tragedy strikes and you are still alive? Who would take care of your everyday bills, daily financial affairs and potentially even manage all of your assets, including your Real Estate if you were unable to?

It’s hard enough to think about death without having to consider the financial realities that go along with it. Making the right decisions about funeral and memorial expenses can be especially tough when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one. But, as thousands of Canadian families have already discovered, there’s a way around that.

Funerals and cemetery services cost money—that’s unavoidable—but if you’re smart, you can cut those costs and protect your family for that day when you have to leave them. With well-informed estate planning, you could save thousands of dollars and spare your spouse and children from a heavy financial and emotional burden.

Over the years my parents have attended many funerals. Dealing with these losses can take a toll, as often the people they lose are part of their support system. As adult children, we can support our parents through this process, even though death is something that makes many people uncomfortable.