Multiple Wills for Private Company Share Owners – Wills/Intestacy/Estate Planning


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When a person dies, their will may need to be probated. The validity of the will and confirmation of the appointment of the executor are verified through the probate process. Probate of a will is not always mandatory. It depends on the assets of the estate and what is required by the holder of the assets in order to allow the executor to access the assets. If the executor must obtain a grant of probate (a type of grant of representation) in order to deal with estate assets, probate fees of approximately 1.4% must be paid on the value of the assets of the estate. the estate before the grant is issued.

Multiple wills can be used in British Columbia to separate property for which a grant of probate must be obtained from property for which a grant is not required so that the executor can deal with it. The primary or general will governs all property for which probate must be obtained, such as real estate in the single name of the deceased. The secondary or limited will deals with assets that do not require probate, such as shares of private companies. Only the primary will needs to be probated when the testamentary dies, so probate fees do not have to be paid in respect of the value of the assets governed by the secondary will. This strategy can result in substantial savings in probate fees.

Writing multiple wills can be complicated and to be effective under British Columbia law, certain requirements must be met.

On Mackrel International – Canada – Lindsay Kenney LLP is a full-service business law firm with offices in Vancouver and Langley, BC and a member of Mackrell International. Mackrell International – Canada is made up of four independent law firms in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Each firm is regionally based and well connected in our communities, a benefit shared with our clients. Through close relationships among our Canadian member firms, we are committed to working with clients who have legal needs in multiple jurisdictions in Canada.

This article is intended as an overview and is for informational purposes only.

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