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Thursday, September 8, 2011

The dangers of dying intestate

I'm attaching a link to an article from http://www.myfinances.co.uk/ which gives some good information and excellent examples of what can (and does) happen when people die without valid wills. Click here to read the article.

5 comments:

  1. Lynne, I've just discovered your site and it's very informative. My father lives in Alberta and I live in Ontario. My parents have been divorced for over thirty years, and have no other children (separately or together). My father has not remarried and does not have a partner. He is no longer in good health and has told me verbally that 'everything goes to me' and also that he has no will. I gently tried to suggest that a will would be a good idea but he doesn't seem receptive, and I don't want to push it. It is his decision after all. It does concern me though that there may be complications because we are in different provinces, and because nothing is written down. He does not own property but has substantial investments and savings (I don't know the details of any of these). Is there anything in particular I should inform myself about or prepare myself for? I have limited resources to travel back and forth but I do try to visit him as often as possible.

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    Replies
    1. If your father isn't interested in making a will, perhaps he will at least tell you whether he has designated beneficiaries on his RRSP or RRIF. If he has designated you as the beneficiary, his intent to leave them to you will be carried out. The reason you might want to check on it is that an awful lot of people - particularly those who do not go to lawyers to get wills done - tend to forget all about those designations. People divorced 30 years and more don't realize they still have the ex's name on the RRSP or RRIF.

      If your father passes away without a will, the law of intestacy of AB will leave his estate to you, his only child. Because the investments and savings are significant, the banks are going to need a grant of administration (to replace probate) before they will release funds to you.

      You are the person who has the right to apply to be the administrator. Because you live outside the province, you may have to post a bond. If money and time for travel to look after the estate are an issue, as they are for most people, there is an easier way. Consider asking a trust company in AB to act as your agent to look after the estate. This would mean that you would still be in charge of the estate, but someone else would do the leg work, Sure, you have to pay the trust company, but they charge no more than any individual executor would charge, and besides, it's still going to be cheaper and easier than flying back and forth.

      Lynne

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  2. Thanks so much for the quick reply. I have just returned from visiting him and it was distressing to see how ill he is (although mentally he is as sharp as ever). In these circumstances, it is stressful to think about estate management issues, especially with no siblings to assist, but I will look into a trust company when the time comes.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it certainly is very stressful. Nobody really wants to make an ill parent talk about dying, since we don't want to frighten or upset them. I'm sure he appreciated your visit.

      Lynne

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  3. Hello Lynne....I love your blog. My father passed 16 years ago without a will. My oldest brother had a joint bank account with father as he was incapable. I don't get along with brother. Is there any way I can find out what he had in his bank account when he passed?

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