Dying Intestate with No Living Blood Relatives? Your Estate Goes To The Government

There are many Canadians who don’t update their will and estate plans on a regular basis or upon significant life changes, but even worse there are those of us who do not have a will at all! I thought I would point out that if you die intestate (without a “last will and testament”), and you have no living blood relatives then your entire estate goes to your provincial government.

Suggestion: write a simple holograph will (a will written and signed by you in your own handwriting). It doesn’t require witnesses, but there are some drawbacks if your estate is complex and if you make directions that are not accurate or allowed. You can name me as the beneficiary of your estate (after-tax please!). Or, you know, a charity or a friend. (NOTE: Holograph wills are not recognized in all provinces – Thanks to Tim from Canadian Dream: Free at 45 for the tip)

I think these are all better options than leaving it to the Crown, don’t you? :)

Of course, my suggestion to leave it to me is a joke and you should seek independent legal counsel on matters such as this. Happy Monday!

Preet Banerjee
Preet Banerjee
...is an independent consultant to the financial services industry and a personal finance commentator. You can learn more about Preet at his personal website and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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  • Nicolas

    Good post. A will is important.

    A holograph will might not require a witness, but it’s always better to have one in the event the will is contested. Furthermore, the witness does not need to know the details in the will but just attest that you are the one who signed the and that you seemed to have all your head.

    Nicolas

  • Leslie

    Preet, I’m eagerly looking forward to when you publish your book about estate issues :-)

  • Canadian Dream

    Preet,

    My memory may be incorrect on this, but I recall reading that a holograph will isn’t legal in all provinces. For example, I believe BC you are required to have a will with two witnesses.

    Just something to check on before you try to use it.

    Tim

  • Preet

    Thanks for the tip Tim! I just did a google search on it and found an authoritative looking site that mentioned that holograph wills are not recognized in BC.

    Cheers!

    Preet