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Estate Planning

Make-A-Will Week - Passing Without A Will

October 04, 2021 by Jen Schreurs

This week in the Province of BC is dedicated to individuals and families making sure they have a Will. It is one of the most important documents; however, most people in the province don't have a Will.

Associate Jen Schreurs explains what happens to your estate and even young kids if you do not have a Will in place prior to you dying.


One question we get asked quite often is, “What happens if I die without a Will?” If you die without a Will, you are considered to have died “intestate,” and anything you own in your name will be divided and distributed according to the scheme as set out in the Wills, Estates and Succession Act. For example, if you have a partner and no children, everything will go to your partner including a common-law partner or a same-sex partner. However, if you have a partner and children, the first $300,000 of your estate will go to your partner, and the remainder will be divided one-half to your partner and the other one-half equally between your children. If your children are minors at the time of your death, their shares will be held in trust by the Public Guardian and Trustee until they are 19. Further, if you and your partner both die without Wills and have minor children, you get no say in who will be their guardian. A Will is one of the few documents where you can name a guardian for your children after your death.