After the passing of a loved one, beneficiaries to an estate may be surprised to learn the assets held by the deceased person do not form part of the estate. Assets owned by the testator may be held jointly with another person or be placed in trust. At Onyx Law Group of Vancouver, we guide our clients through the intricacies of estate law and represent them in litigation proceedings.
Individuals have the right during their lifetimes to give away property as they wish or to hold it jointly with another person. For this reason, beneficiaries may be surprised to learn which of their loved one’s assets are considered assets within the estate and which are not included in the will.
Sometimes, an individual may hold an asset jointly with another individual with the intent that the asset be distributed equally to all beneficiaries upon the individual’s death. When death occurs, however, the surviving individual may claim the asset was not in fact held in trust and other beneficiaries are forced to commence legal action to contest the claim that this was a gift.
A person’s estate will include only those assets that are in the name of the deceased person at the time of his or her passing. This means that assets held jointly and assets held in trust are outside the estate. Assets held in trust are administered by the trustee and assets held jointly at the time of death pass to the surviving individual. Similarly, insurance proceeds and R.R.S.P.s do not form a part of the estate.
Therefore, assets that were given to others as gifts or were placed in trust in order to ensure they were not subject to the provisions of wills variation actions do not form part of the will and are not inside the estate.
At Onyx Law Group, we pride ourselves on our integrity, competence and passion for justice. We represent clients engaged in highly personal and emotional disputes that can also be legally complex. We take the time to listen to and understand our clients’ needs and use our legal knowledge and skill to find practical and effective solutions to meet them.
We believe it’s important to know your legal rights and obligations before making any decisions. That’s why we offer 30 minute free consultations to give you the opportunity to discuss your matter with a passionate and knowledgeable lawyer who can advise you on the best steps forward.
Onyx Law Group represents clients in family law, estate and trust litigation, estate planning and probate matters. Consult with our experienced team at