British Columbia estate litigation: Inheritance angst

When a loved one dies, emotions of family members are probably running at full steam. It is likely each person is grieving in his or her own way. Feelings may not only include sadness, but anger, which could translate into problems when it comes to the will of the deceased British Columbia resident. There may be times when issues can't be ironed out, and the result, sadly, is estate litigation.

With more people dying with considerable assets, there is bound to be more families headed to court when who gets what becomes an issue despite what's written in a will. Experts indicate that more than $1 trillion will change hands in Canada over the next 20 years. Apparently, Canadian lawyers are already feeling the punch. It seems those who are dying in their 80s and 90s have more assets to leave to their baby boomer heirs and seeing that baby boomers are Canada's most indebted generation ever, they are wanting to use their inheritance to get rid of their debts.

So, there is tension all around. Also, since older generations are living longer, baby boomers have the stress of waiting for their inheritance longer. Although there have to be certain things in play to contest a will in most parts of Canada, British Columbia has been nicknamed the Wild West when it comes to estate planning. Under the Wills, Estates and Succession Act, the avenues are wider when it comes to being able to contest a will. 

Inheritance tension can be less stressful when British Columbia residents sit down with a lawyer who has experience with wills and estate planning. A lawyer will ensure the wishes of his or her clients are clearly spelled out in all necessary estate planning documents. Such efficient estate planning goes a long way to thwarting possible estate litigation. 

Source: cbc.ca, "Inheritance 'tension': Why more families may be headed for court", Talin Vartanian, Accessed on Oct. 18, 2017

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