Estate planning and administration fees can often feel like a frustrating process for individuals, especially without the help of an experienced legal team. Staying on top of updating your will is a vital part of asset management, as well as ensuring those you love are taken care of in the event of your passing. For those with investments and assets owned by a company, those who have recently experienced a significant increase in net worth, as well as those who have had a change to beneficiaries, updating your will (or creating one, if you haven’t already) is crucial. If you’re looking to streamline the distribution of your assets and avoid the headaches that can often be associated with probate, dual wills, also referred to as “restricted wills” can be a valuable resource. Learn more about dual wills and their benefits below.

What are Dual Wills?

As the name suggests, having dual wills simply refers to having more than one will to handle the allocation of your estate upon passing. Under WESA (Wills, Estates and Succession Act), dual wills can serve as an effective strategy that helps you make the most of your estate planning while minimizing probate fees and more.

What is Probate and Probate Fees?

Probate is essentially the process of proving the validity of a will upon the death of the will maker. Upon the death of the estate holder, an application is made to the Supreme Court of BC to validate the deceased’s will and the grating of probate confirms that the named executor has the authority to deal with the estate. In British Columbia, the court requires that the estate pay a 1.4% probate fee on the value of the assets, before the court will issue the grant of probate.

How Do Dual/Restricted Wills Help?

Holding dual wills for your estate can be an effective strategy to save on probate fees. One will can deal with assets that do not require a grant of probate to be allocated, such as company shares, while your second will can handle all remaining assets that do require the grant to be made. For individuals that own major shares in companies or other such assets, this can save your executors time, and ultimately help to alleviate the fees that your estate is subject to, giving your loved ones more financial assistance for the long term.

Need Help Making Estate Planning Make Sense?

Planning ahead shouldn’t feel like a burden. The team at Paperclip Law is here to help clients throughout the Greater Vancouver and Squamish regions face the future with confidence. Learn more about dual wills by contacting our team today!