Making a Will
Wills are the foundation to every estate plan and are essential to establish your wishes for after you have passed. Despite the level of your assets a Will can be instrumental to ensuring your assets are distributed according to your terms. Making a Will is a vital part of planning for your family’s future, by appointing the guardian of your choice for any children in your care. Having a Will empowers you to trust that your estate will be handled according to your wishes.
Living Wills, Advance Directives, and Representation Agreements
Although BC doesn’t use “living wills,” advance directives and substitute decision-making agreements like representation agreements can serve a similar purpose. In a medical crisis, these documents will allow the person of your choice to make important health care decisions for you, if you’re not able to make those decisions yourself.
If you don’t have a representation agreement or advance directive for health care decisions, the law may allow family members or the Public Guardian and Trustee to make decisions on your behalf.
Being an Executor
Being the executor of someone else’s estate can be a complex and daunting responsibility. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) offers information for Executors, including “What to do following a death” and “Preparing returns for deceased persons.”
CRA also provides online forms related to estate matters like RRSPs, property, tax deferments, and deductible funeral expenses. These forms may have to be included when filing an individual’s final tax return.