Can I show my personality in my Will?

Over the course of the last decade I have helped my clients write a wide variety of Wills. Some of them are touching and include letters to family members letting them know how much they loved them. Other Wills have included spiteful wishes.  One Will had a husband leave money to the person who had mowed his wife’s grass while he was out of town.   Another gentleman who loved scotch gave elaborate wishes for the type Read More

Guardianship and Your Children

One of the most difficult decisions any parent will ever have to make is who should be the guardian of their children if they are no longer alive. The inability to answer this one question is why most people with minor children do not write a Will. Ok lets get the elephant out of the room. No one will over raise your children as well as you can and will. We will never be able to replace you. That said, who is the Read More

Can I sell estate property before getting probate?

It can take weeks to receive a Grant of Probate from the Alberta courts, and Executors are usually under pressure from beneficiaries to wrap up the estate quickly.  As a result we often meet Executors who are in a hurry to sell the house or other property in the estate. This is particularly true if the real estate market is in the seller's favor. Executors and beneficiaries don't always want to wait until they've Read More

What Your Will Can and Cannot Do

An up-to-date Will is a key part of any effective estate plan. It accomplishes several important goals, allowing you to specify how your estate will be distributed, naming a guardian for any minor children.   It also prevents the time and expense of litigating your estate, protecting the inheritances of your loved ones and preventing a dispute from fracturing the family. WHAT YOU CAN DO IN YOUR WILL: You Can C Read More

Does Adoption Affect Inheritance in Alberta?

Most Wills state that the estate must be shared among the testators children. In many families, it’s obvious who the “children” are while in other families it is less so. An adopted child’s rights against a biological or adoptive  parent are very different under Alberta law. When an adoptive parent passes away, an adopted child has exactly the same legal status as a biological child born to that parent. When the Wi Read More

What happens if you parents owe money when they die

We recently had a client call our office asking a question we hear all the time... "What happens if my father dies owing more money than he has in assets? Will I be personal responsible for paying his debts if I am his Executor?" You will not be personally liable for your father’s debts when he dies. You may however, be taking on a difficult estate where you will be required to negotiate with creditors and p Read More

Capital Gains and Your Estate

We have clients call our office all the time asking "I hear everyone talking about Capital Gains. What is it and what happens when I die?" A capital gain is the increase in value of your capital property. Capital property is an investment or other asset that produces income, or an asset that if sold would produce a profit for you. The federal government currently taxes Capital Gains by you declaring 50% of the Read More

The Point of Points – What happens to your points when you die

Everywhere we shop we are encouraged to collect points. From gas stations like Esso and Petro-Canada; stores like Save-On Foods and Hudson’s Bay Company we have the opportunity to collect points with the individual store, Aeroplan or Airmiles. The points are free and many of us use them to buy little luxuries we might not otherwise enjoy. They are an intangible property that we never see but can have value. I once Read More

Your cruise ship has left port

Many people who do not have a Will believe that they can time the preparation of their Will like they do an oil change. Unfortunately, dementia, which affects many new patients every year, does not provide adequate warning signs so that you can time the preparation of your documents before you become ill. There is no flashing sign that states “you have 25 days to write your Will”. Many times the ship has left the por Read More

How is Legal (In)Capacity Determined in Alberta?

Legal capacity addresses a person’s ability to understand the nature and consequences of making decisions that: A) are legally binding B) affect their rights, responsibilities, obligations, and legal entitlements, as well as those of others Examples of these decisions include entering, buying or selling a home or business; initiating a lawsuit; and executing a Health Care Directive, Power of Attorney, or Read More