Burnaby General Practice Law Blog

Powers of Attorney and Estate Trustees

Estate planning involves many different considerations. Two of the biggest ones are what to do while you are alive and cannot make decisions, and who will look after your affairs after you have passed.

For the first consideration, many people choose to appoint a power of attorney. This designation is someone who acts on your behalf while you are alive, but incapacitated. He or she can will primarily look after your financial interests and your health interests.

What are my rights if a loved one passes away without a will?

If a loved one passes away without a will, his or her estate will be distributed along legislative guidelines. This means that the will be distributed in accordance with a set of rules as which surviving family members gets which parts of the estate.

Unfortunately, however surviving family members may have believed a loved one would have wanted his or her possessions distributed, no will means there is no clear or legal instructions to follow.

Communication Between Parents After A Divorce

When there are hurt feelings or resentment following a divorce or separation, communication between ex’s can be strained. However, when there are children involved in the breakdown of a marriage, it’s possible that communication between parents could continue for years.

When parents decided to share parenting duties following a split, a parenting plan can be a great way to facilitate communication between the parties and create guidelines that each parent can adhere to.

Are you thinking about renewing or refinancing your mortgage?

Many British Columbia homeowners face the situation every few years: the time your mortgage term will be expiring. Yet, it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience if you know what to expect. You may be up against different interest rates, and you also might be thinking about finding another lender with more attractive rates. Being aware of how to avoid potential drawbacks will give you a head start when renewal or refinance time actually rolls around.

Renewing your mortgage is actually a great time for you to think about how well your existing arrangement has been fitting into your day-to-day life and how it marries with your current financial footing. Depending upon the term of your initial mortgage – whether that was for five or more years – your financial picture may be a little brighter and you may be able to afford higher payments. If lifestyle changes have occurred over the last few years, these could potentially reflect in your mortgage renewal or refinance terms.

Estate planning after a marriage or divorce

The marriage and divorce of two people can have a large impact on your estate planning documents. Generally, its best advised to re-evaluate your testamentary documents such as wills, powers of attorney and insurance policies each time you pass a major life milestone, such as getting married, buying property, having children, or filing for divorce.

The reason for this, as described on the Royal Bank of Canada website, is to make sure that your assets and property go where you intended them to go in the event of your passing.

The Psychological Effects of Parental Alienation

For couples that don’t have children, a divorce could be the last time the pair ever see each other. For divorcing or separating parents, that might not always be the case. For many parents who decide to end their relationship, they may need to communicate with each other if they want to play a role in their child’s life. However, if there are residual feelings of animosity between the parents, its possible this may trickle down into how they each parent their children.

Known as parental alienation, this concept explains when one parent badmouths the other parent in front of their child. The effects of this type of behaviour can have a major impact on a child’s emotional and mental development.

Parenting After Divorce: The Health of Your Child

After you have divorced your partner, you may still need to interact with him or her if both of you share children together. Parents may need to consult with each other over important issues, ranging from schooling or behaviour issues to health issues or participating in certain activities.

One of the more critical reasons parents may need to communicate is the health of their child. Items like medical appointments, insurance and benefit claims, or meeting special needs are all items that both parents should be able to discuss amicably in order to make a decision that best benefits their child.

Marriage Contracts and Millennials

Marriages are often seen as one of those lifetime goals that people need to achieve, along with a post secondary education, having children and buying a house. However, sometimes the person you decide to be with early on in your adult life is not the same person you find yourself wanting to grow old with later in life.

In these situations, many married couples file for divorce. At this point, when things are frustrating and emotional and raw, it can lead to bitter arguments and escalate to resolving matters in a courtroom.

What happens to an estate if you have no spouse or children?

Many people may not be aware of what happens to their assets if they pass away without a spouse or children. Whether you are married or not, or have children or not, a will is an important tool for you to bequeath your possessions according to your preferences.

Generally speaking, those that pass away without a will have their estates divided according to intestate laws. Each province is different, but the general idea is that the courts try and find the next of kin – whether that is a sibling, parent, niece or nephew, or cousin. This could possibly result in a person inheriting your estate that you may not have preferred to receive all the wealth you’ve accumulated over the years.

Passing Away Without a Will

When you pass away without a will, your possessions and wealth are divided along legislative guidelines. These guidelines are fairly generic – which can be problematic since no two families are alike.

In situations when there are blended families, special circumstances, special needs or allowances to be made – it may be hard for surviving family members to allocate your estate to meet any unique situations.

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