In honour of BC's Make-a-Will Week 2021, we are providing short answers to big questions that we are commonly asked in the estate planning process – today's question is: "What Happens to My Kids if My Spouse and I Both Die?"
QUESTION: WHAT HAPPENS TO MY KIDS IF MY SPOUSE AND I BOTH DIE?
THE (SHORT) ANSWER:
Under BC's Infants Act, if a child has no guardian, a director under the Child, Family and Community Service Act is the personal guardian of the child, and the Public Guardian and Trustee is the property guardian of the child. If a relative of the child or another person wishes to be the child's guardian instead, that person must apply to the court to be appointed the child's guardian.
To avoid the default Infants Act regime applying, you can appoint one or more people to be the guardian(s) of your child upon your death. You can make this appointment by Will or by completing a prescribed form. You can also include a trust in your Will to benefit your minor children, so that the property held for your children can be managed without the involvement of the Public Guardian and Trustee.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.