Many people in Alberta might avoid thoughts about their mortality. However, the sooner they realize that death is not negotiable and debilitating injuries or illnesses can happen at any time, the better they could plan for such occurrences. Essential estate planning can be done as soon as a person starts to earn an income and acquire assets, and it can then be modified along with the twists and turns of life.
Estate planning typically involves the drafting of a will, but the benefits of establishing a trust should not be overlooked. While a person can use a will to make sure each beneficiary receives what is intended for him or her, transferring the assets to the heirs might be simpler if it is done by way of a trust. A significant advantage is the fact that the testator can transfer assets into a trust while he or she is still alive, while a will only becomes effective after his or her death.
Real estate, bank accounts, private businesses, mutual fund units, and stocks and bonds can all be transferred into a trust and managed by a trustee — which could be the testator, his or her spouse, or another appointed third party. A trust is confidential; it does not become public knowledge upon death, and there is no moral obligation to be met. A trust cannot be challenged in a court. While most people choose to establish revocable trusts to which modifications can be made over time, while some prefer irrevocable trusts that are more or less set in stone.
Trusts can be established for specific purposes such a special needs trust to ensure proper care for a loved one with special needs. Most people in Alberta choose to secure the guidance and advice of an experienced estate planning lawyer who can answer questions and explain the available options. This will allow the client to make informed decisions about the distribution of his or her legacy. A lawyer can assist with the drafting of the documents and ensure its compliance with legal requirements.