Ryan Howe

A Tale of Two Wills: When and Why Dual Wills are an Effective Estate Planning Tool

Dual wills[i] are an estate planning tool that has gained popularity in British Columbia since 2014, when the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (“WESA”) came into effect. In essence, this planning tool involves the use of two …

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Trustee Liability Under The Environmental Management Act (BC)

Land often forms a significant portion of the value of most estates in Canada, especially here in Vancouver. However, depending upon the nature of the land owned by the deceased, there may be unexpected liabilities associated with the administration of …

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Left Out in the Cold: Estate Freezes and Shareholder Oppression

Estate freezes are a common tool in the estate and tax planner’s toolkit. Their purpose, in essence, is to transfer corporately held wealth that has been accrued during one generation’s lifetime to another generation in a manner which is usually …

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Have You Planned For Your Digital Legacy?

As estate planners, we often receive confessions from our clients that they had a tough time getting the motivation to have their estate plans drawn up. There seems to be an inherent inertia which affects most people when they turn …

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Wills and Estates Update – Notaries, Trusts and Probate

In a recent case heard before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, The Law Society of British Columbia v. MacDonald, 2013 BCSC 1204, the court provided helpful guidance on the scope of wills and estates services which notaries in …

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Primer on Probate

The B.C. Ministry of Justice defines a Grant of Probate as “an official confirmation given by the court that the person named as executor is the proper person to settle the estate. Financial institutions, when they hold any of the …

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How to Safeguard the Assets of an Estate

Many people are familiar with the concept of being named the Executor of an Estate, but few are aware of the various statutory and common law obligations that come along with being named an Executor. One of the fundamental obligations …

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Executors and Electronic Assets of the Estate

What happens to your Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Ebay, PayPal and other digital assets when you die? According to the current Canadian law, we do not know.

At the present time, neither the federal nor provincial legislatures have addressed this growing …

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Storing and Protecting Your Estate Planning Documents

The only thing worse than dying without a will is dying with a will which cannot be located.

The location of your original will is important. There is only one original will – the one that is signed by the …

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