If there is no Will in place, or the Will is not properly prepared, an estate may not be distributed as the signatory intended. Also, as reported in the media recently, if your healthcare wishes are not recorded in legally valid and current documents, critical decisions could be made through the courts rather than by your trusted designate.
“Careful planning with a legal professional can eliminate or at least reduce stress, taxes and conflict amongst loved ones of those who are critically ill or deceased,” says Laurie Salvador, a Notary in Sidney. “Without these documents, there can be doubt, anxiety, hurt feelings, and delays. The kindest thing you can do for your loved ones is to have your legal affairs in good order.”
“The costs of administering the estate may also be higher if a legally enforceable Will does not exist. I’ve witnessed first-hand the tremendous angst and difficulty a family experiences when there is no Will. It can take years to unravel and sort through at excessive cost to the survivors,” said Nick Aubin, a Notary in Kelowna.
Creating a Will or Advance Care Planning documents takes less time than most people think and can usually be completed in one or two short meetings. A good way to start the process is to identify a legal professional in your community—someone you trust who can assist you in preparing a proper and legal Will.
“Most people are surprised at how easy it is to create a Will or Representation Agreement, once they set their mind to it, and find the process leads to important discussions and decisions. For many clients, creating a Will creates more certainty and peace of mind for both the Will-maker and their families,” said Tiah Workman, a Notary in Nanaimo.
The Society of Notaries Public of BC represents more than 320 highly trained Notary professionals. Most have locally owned and operated offices and all provide personal assistance to clients around the province. Individuals, families, and businesses seek the services of BC Notaries for a wide range of non-contentious legal matters, including residential and commercial real estate transfers, mortgage refinancing, Wills and advanced healthcare planning, powers of attorney, and other important documents.
The Notary’s Tradition of Trust spans 2000 years. Notaries first came to British Columbia over 100 years ago. They continue to serve their valued clients and their communities across the province.
Editors: Local Notaries are available in many areas of BC to talk about the importance of planning and key considerations.