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

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 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, Read More

6 Reasons You Might Need a Codicil

The purpose of a will is to indicate how you want your estate to be distributed after you pass away. But once it’s made, it should be changed as your life changes. Too many people create a will, put it away, and forget about it, never realizing that by the time it is read, it may no longer adequately address new or altered relationships and circumstances. Fortunately, it is a relatively simple matter to change Read More

4 Questions to Ask before Hiring an Estate Lawyer

There are some important aspects you should know before hiring an estate lawyer. Asking the right questions could make a difference between solving or not your legal problem. The truth is you're most likely looking for more than just a professional attorney-client relationship. Trust is more important and it has to be earned. Your lawyer should be a person with great people skills, so you can talk freely - Read More

Understanding the Different Types of Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney (POA) authorizes another person to handle your financial, legal, and / or personal matters. In Alberta, there are different types of POA, each one intended to fulfill a specific need. For example, you may want someone to temporarily take care of your affairs while you are deployed with the Canadian military or head south for the winter. Alternatively, you might want to appoint someone to take Read More

Meeting Your Estate Lawyer for the First Time? Here’s What to Expect

There are tons of movies that depict lawyers as people you only call when you're in big trouble. Of course, reality tends to be completely different. So, in case you're meeting your estate lawyer for the first time, there are some situations you might expect. Additionally, you should know you have no reason to be nervous or scared. Lawyers generally have really good people skills. That means a professional Read More

Remember, Estate Planning Isn’t Just for Old People

A near-universal assumption seems to be that estate planning is only necessary if you’re old and / or wealthy.  You’re young, still working for a living, and have a long way to go before you need to think about the distribution of your assets, right? Hopefully that will turn out to be the case, but the reality is that we can’t see the future. Something could happen tomorrow that hampers our ability to make Read More