The housing market continues to boom in the Okanagan. Homes are being bought at a record pace and new land or property is at a premium. With housing the way it is right now, should a special provision be included in someone's Will? Associate Colin Flannigan discusses in this edition of Legal Matters.
With what is going on in the housing market right now people often ask the question should they make a special provision in their will for real property?
As the old Will Rogers quote that comes to mind that real property is a unique commodity, there's not more being made. If you do want to make a special provision in your will, whether or not it’s appropriate, always depends on the circumstances. You could give directions for your executor to sell the property, you could give it in kind to a particular beneficiary. Now if you have multiple beneficiaries you could also give an option to purchase the property to one or more of those beneficiaries, this way it could allow them to use part of their inheritance as well as to provide additional funds to buy out the other potential beneficiaries. If your executor is one of these people, you might even change the power clauses in your will to allow the executor to do so.
Another option might be to grant a life estate. Now a life estate is a very special tool that could allow someone to occupy a property but whether or not that’s appropriate always depends on the particular circumstances, you always need to look before you leap, look into all the different cost consequences and particularly the tax implications. If you have an existing will and you have a provision in there to deal with land you should review this regularly, particularly with real property right now. It's worth looking over and making sure that you got the right balance in your will.
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