Although a will is intended to outline a person’s last wishes in full, settling an estate can nevertheless be a complicated process.
1. “Executor” is a complex role
Often the testator (the person who made the will) will choose an executor (a person appointed to carry out the will) who has a law or accounting background. However, this is certainly not always the case, which means the executor must learn a lot about these topics very quickly.
2.There might be tax and legal issues
One of the reasons many executors have legal or accounting backgrounds is because a multitude of issues can arise. These include, for example, when the deceased held multiple properties or when newer changes to the will are not legally valid.
3. Beneficiaries can’t always be found
Even in our connected world, finding each person listed in a will can be a great challenge. People regularly change phone numbers, addresses, and even continents—meaning tracking them down can become a huge task all on its own. This is impacted further if the will wasn’t recently updated with latest contact information.
4. Someone could contest the will
If a spouse or child of the deceased challenges the contents of the will under the Wills Variation Act, the process could hold up estate dispersal for a significant period of time. If a judge rules that the will should be varied, then the beneficiaries and bequests will be affected.
Wills and estates lawyers are available at DBM’s Burnaby, Vancouver and Coquitlam law offices.