Estate Planning & Administration

Why would I pay a lawyer to assist me in drafting my Enduring Power of Attorney and Personal Directive?

There are many resources available to assist people in creating their own documents.  However, it is important to ensure that you are thorough and that all arrangements, including those in your will and those between partners or spouses, all work together. A lawyer is like any other expert, and he or she can offer some […]

Read More...

Divorced? Have you changed your will?

Recent changes to estate legislation in Alberta now cause a gift in a will to a former spouse to be revoked, unless a contrary intention can be shown. However, this new rule only applies to situations where the divorce was granted after the changes were proclaimed, which happened in February 2012. If you were divorced […]

Read More...

Ask an Expert: What happens to my online accounts upon my death?

The new Estate Administration Act requires an executor, also called a personal representative, to manage online accounts and to identify and manage digital assets. When creating an estate plan, care should be given to creating a list of all online accounts (like eBay or PayPal) and virtual property (communications like Gmail or MSN; media like […]

Read More...

Ask an Expert: I’ve been separated for years. Why do I need my ex-spouse’s consent to sell the house I bought after our separation?

Dower rights give a non-owning spouse the right to live in the house following the owner’s death. Alberta law requires any landowner who is selling land in his or her own name to swear an affidavit setting out that: (a) he or she is not married; (b) an ex-spouse has released his or her dower […]

Read More...

Ask an Expert: Why would I pay a lawyer to assist me in drafting my enduring power of attorney and personal directive?

While there are many resources available to assist people in creating their own documents, it is important to ensure that you are thorough and that all arrangements, including those in your will and those between partners or spouses, all work together. A lawyer is like any other expert, in that he or she can offer […]

Read More...

Ask an Expert: My mother just passed away and I am the executor or personal representative named in her will. Do I have to meet with a lawyer right away?

You are certainly welcome to meet with a lawyer to discuss your responsibilities, and whether you wish to assume that role, at any time. Having said that, so long as any urgent matters, like ensuring property is secure and that it will remain insured, have been taken care of, the rest of the estate administration […]

Read More...

Ask an Expert: I would like to make a few minor changes to my will. Do I need to redo the current will? Can I do a codicil instead?

The answer to the first question is no, and to the second is yes. However, I would recommend the opposite! A codicil is a short document to which the same rules of execution apply as for wills and which must be attached to your original will setting out the changes. Codicils can create more problems […]

Read More...

Ask an Expert: Are you the executor of an estate containing firearms?

The executor, or personal representative, is responsible to ensure that all firearms are stored legally or are properly disposed of reasonably quickly. If the firearms are unwanted, the executor may sell them to a licensed purchaser, lawfully deactivate the firearms, or surrender them to a police or firearms officer, after making arrangements to do so. […]

Read More...

Ask an Expert: What does probating an estate mean?

When someone dies, we often hear people referring to “getting probate.” An application for letters probate from the court refers to the process of formally proving a deceased person’s will is valid. An executor is then authorized to act on behalf of a deceased person’s estate, including distributing the net assets to beneficiaries. Once done, […]

Read More...

Ask an Expert: Why do I need a personal directive, an enduring power of attorney, and a will?

With the holiday season now behind us again, thoughts often turn to getting organized and looking toward the future. While you likely do not like to think about your own demise, it is important to think about your legacy, how you wish to be cared for should you become mentally incapable, and how you wish […]

Read More...