QUESTION OF THE WEEK: If a common law couple dies and grandparents are in different provinces what happens to the children.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: If a common law couple dies and grandparents are in different provinces what happens to the children.   It depends if the person died with out making a Will that has Guardianship provisions in it. With a Will the guardian in the Will can act. Without a Will, the family members would need to apply to court and have a Justice look at the situation and choose who would be the Read More

Choosing Your Kids As Executors – Why It Is A Mistake

We all hope that when we are gone, our family members will work together to settle our estate.  Unfortunately, our office sees many estates where the testator created a Will filled with some common problems. One of the most common problems we see is where a testator appoints all their children as their Executors.  This is a mistake. If your family members do not get along, they are not going to suddenly be able Read More

Trusts Companies That Handle Your Estate Are No Longer Just For The Rich

Trusts Are No Longer Just For The Rich The demand for professional Trust and Estate administration is an area that is experiencing significant growth. This growth is caused by a number of factors including our aging population, our modern family structures, and the vast distances that spread family members apart. Estate professionals are being asked to step in and help families resolve emotionally charged Read More

Separation is Different Then Divorce

When couples split up, the last thing they're thinking is, "What happens if I die?" Breakups are emotionally difficult times, with many hard decisions. But the ramifications of a split are magnified when the parties do not go through with a divorce. Many people think the mere act of “separating” will result in cancelling their partners in their Wills, estate plans, powers of attorney and beneficiary designations. Read More

Protecting A Different Type of Property

Estate Planning is about protecting what matters the most. Over the course of my 18 years practicing law I have come across a wide variety of property that needs to be included in our clients’ Will. Recently we had to deal with a unique type of “property”…the cryogenically frozen embryos and sperm of our clients. With cryogenic freezing, it is possible for children to be conceived well after a parent has died. Read More

New Parents and Writing A Will

Many new parents think that they should write or re-write their Wills after the birth of a child and for many couples this is the first time they have written a Will. One of the most important issue new mothers and fathers need to consider is who will be the guardian of their child if the unthinkable happens to both parents. This is not fun stuff to consider, but necessary. You do not want your family going Read More

Joint Tenants VS Tenants In Common – What’s The Difference?

Joint Tenants VS Tenants In Common – What’s The Difference? Have you made sure that your spouse is the beneficiary on all your investments and life insurance policies? What about your house, car and RV trailers? Several times a year, our office is hired to Probate a Will because a spouse has passed away and it wasn’t until after the death that the surviving spouse realized everything was not jointly owned. This Read More

How Do I Make Sure My Daughter’s Husband Does Not Receive Any Of My Estate After I Die?

How Do I Make Sure My Daughter’s Husband Does Not Receive Any Of My Estate After I Die? This sounds harsh but to be honest, we have clients ask us this all the time. If your daughter inherits money and subsequently divorces her spouse, these funds are generally exempt from a matrimonial property division. The problem occurs if your daughter inherits money and then uses these funds to pay-off the couple’s Read More

What Are The Rules For Leaving Children Out Of Your Will In Alberta?

Have you considered leaving your child or one of your children out of the property distribution in your Will?  You are not alone.  Our office deals with this question on a regular basis. Can you leave your child out of your Will?  This would depend in large part on whether the child is a minor or an adult child who can’t earn a living because of disability. In Alberta, the law states that you must support minor Read More

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