Wills Vs Probate: What’s the Difference

If you’ve been putting off estate planning and are finally ready to take your first steps towards sorting out the information required, there’s never been a better time to take charge and ensure your family is protected in the event of sudden loss. Even though thinking about leaving behind those you love is one of the most difficult things for any of us to do, the simple reality is that estate planning is one of the most important ways you can support them and ensure they’ll be taken care of once you’re gone.

At Paperclip Law, we understand just how delicate and, at times, overwhelming, it can feel to handle planning your will, but we also know just how hard it can be for families to handle probate cases when a will isn’t present. Our team of experts is here to help you make sure that doesn’t happen, and that those that matter most are protected during one of the most emotional times of their lives. If you need help getting started, we’ve included a few basic info bits below, including defining the difference between making a will and a probate estate matter is. Read on to learn more.

First Things First: Wills Vs Probate, What’s the Difference?

Are you one of the many people that assume that once you pass that your estate will simply pass on to your next of kin? While this is an extremely common assumption and may be the case in certain parts of the world, in British Columbia, the practice isn’t that simple. Wills and probate cases are the two most common ways someone’s death are handled within the Province, with a willed estate typically being much easier to execute.

Why? Where a will generally dictates exactly where everything needs to and to whom, probate cases refer to deaths that occur without a will being drafted. Should someone pass without a clear mandate for their estate, things become much trickier for all parties involved, with family members having to work with legal providers to prove their entitlement to any aspects of the estate before they can receive anything. Because your estate must handle any outstanding debts before being distributed amongst beneficiaries, probate cases can be tied up in quite a bit of “red tape” and take as long as 2 years to be resolved in BC’s court system. Having a will helps to avoid such difficulties and allows your family to grieve without any added stress.

Preparing Your Estate

In order to avoid a probate case, you’ll need to draft a will. While there are DIY kits that you can find online, we strongly advise against this, especially if you have any unique assets, business holdings, or are hoping to set up any kind of future trust for younger family members. While kits do have some benefits to offer, they generally lack finesse and, without intricate legal knowledge on the part of the writer, drafting a will this way often leads to important details being missed, inappropriate wording being used, and ultimately more headaches down the line. Working directly with a lawyer removes the chance of any errors, and ensures that everything is outlined exactly as it should be when it matters most.

Let Us Help You Plan for Tomorrow, Today

Paperclip Law is proud to help our clients throughout the Vancouver Region and Squamish find perfectly tailored solutions when it comes to managing their assets today, tomorrow, and in the many years to come. We believe that estate planning can be simple, and are happy to partner with you to make the process feel easy and transparent. Contact us today to learn more!

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