Understanding Grants of Administration

When a person dies in Alberta without a Will, they are said to die “intestate.” If a thorough search for a Will turns up nothing and the estate has assets that need to be administered, a person may apply for a Grant of Administration so that those duties may be carried out. Who May Be a Personal Representative? Section 11(2) of the Surrogate Rules specify an order of preference when it comes to who may be a Per Read More

4 Common Mistakes People Make When Naming a Potential Guardian for Their Kids

Estate planning is strongly recommended for anyone, but when you have young children, the process is especially important. Urgent, even. Not only do you want to provide for them financially, you also need to name a guardian who will raise them in the event that you and their other parent die or are otherwise unable to care for them. If you haven’t done this yet, you’re not the only one. Over 60% of parents have yet Read More


I plan to be fair to my children, but if I leave them an unequal amount of money, am I setting up a future battleground?    Fair isn’t always equal in estate planning. The quandary for parents is how to treat their children equally, even when the monetary amount that each child will receive is unequal. This is particularly prevalent in families that own a business and some but not all of the children have wo Read More

The Difference Between a Guardianship Order and a Trusteeship Order

Many adults across Alberta are not in a position to make their own decisions regarding their personal and financial matters. In instances like these, the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act (AGTA) permits family members and concerned parties to apply for a guardianship or trusteeship order to ensure that their loved ones are not compromised or taken advantage of. Because they both support the care and Read More

The Probate Process and Beneficiaries

Families, Estates, and What You Leave Behind The hardship on individuals and families can be substantial upon the death of a loved one. When there are no known beneficiary designations of property and assets for passing onto beneficiaries or heirs, it can become difficult and emotionally taxing for successors to speculate at the deceased's final wishes. For this reason, when a person dies testate, (dies leaving a Read More

What a Personal Care Directive Can and Cannot Achieve

A personal care directive  (PCD) is a legal document that enables you to indicate how, why, and by whom your personal care decisions may be made in the event that you cannot make them on your own. In Alberta, your PCD is placed in your Green Sleeve, an advanced care planning document that conveys your wishes regarding medical, resuscitation, and comfort care to your doctors and other medical support staff. Because Read More

The Basics and Process of Probate

Every human must come to terms with the finite nature of life. One of the greatest hardships in one's life is losing a loved one. When a family member passes away, there are often loose ends to be tied up. It can be surprising how much tape there is to cut through by the surviving members of the family. The paperwork and bureaucratic regulations regarding a personal trauma can feel as though it is adding insult to Read More

6 Things to Consider When Granting a Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney is an arrangement that allows a person you trust to handle certain financial  and responsibilities for you in your absence. It is typically invoked when you are absent or unavailable for a certain period of time (e.g. taking an extended vacation, going overseas for military duty). The person you appoint can pay your bills, sell your house for you, and complete other important financial Read More

What You Need to Know About Green Sleeves

In Alberta, Green Sleeves are often referred to as ‘medical passports.’ They are green plastic pockets that keep your advance care planning documents in a single, easily accessed place. In an emergency situation, Alberta medical providers can review the contents and know what your wishes are. In Alberta most people keep these green plastic envelopes on the refrigerator door where emergency personnel can grab these doc Read More

Ensuring Your Digital Legacy

When we start planning for what will happen to our property after we’re gone, the first things that come to mind are real estate holdings, cash assets, and treasured family heirlooms. Even though we’re deep into the digital age, we don’t normally think about what will happen to our digital estate, which may include: Files stored on your computer Email accounts Social media accounts (includes Facebook, Twitt Read More