Lending or gifting money and the implications on your estate

Lending or gifting money - What are the implications on your estate plan   Sometimes our children or close family members run into a financial bind and need to borrow money. In many cases both the lender and the borrower assume that this money will be paid back quickly. But what happens if the person who is the lender, who is often an elderly parent, dies before the loan is repaid? In my experience this is Read More

What to look for when you are reviewing your own Will

Whenever we do presentations on Estate Planning in and around Edmonton, we always here the same question..."how often should someone update their Will?" There is no real answer to that question because everyone's situation is different.  What we recommend is that that you  review your Will whenever there is a change in your life, such as the birth of a child, a large inheritance, or a diagnosis of a critical Read More

Second Marriages and Mutual Wills

My secretary came to me last week and was shocked by the story she had just been told on the phone. She said that an elderly gentleman had just called our office because he quite desperate for some legal advice The man had lived common-law with his wife for 24 years. Three years ago his wife was diagnosed with dementia and last year for her own safety she had been placed in an extended care facility here in St Read More

RESP and Your Will

RESP’s have become a cornerstone in most peoples plan for saving for their children or grandchildren’s education. More and more estates are having disagreements arise over larger sums in RESP’s because many subscribers ( also known as the person who created and contributes) to RESP’s are not taking the time to appoint a person to take over this role if they should pass away. This means that when the initial Read More

Should I Appoint More Than One of My Children To Be My Executor?

Your Executor/Executrix* is the person that carries out the provisions of your Will and settles your estate. It’s not an easy job, and it requires a significant investment of time, emotions and resources. You may think that sharing this responsibility among your children will make things easier for them, but that is not the case. An Executor has to make firm decisions, sign off on documents and provide input into Read More

What Does An Executor Do?

An Executor* is the person appointed by the testator (the person that created a Will) to carry out the provisions in the Will and see to the settling of the estate. Asking someone to be your Executor is not an easy task. This person will become responsible for nearly 150 duties after your death, including: Checking for insurance on the deceased’s life and property Securing the list of the deceased’s property Read More

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 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 Read More