Estate planning may seem daunting, but it is essential for Alberta residents who want their wishes to be followed after their death. Dying without a will leaves all the decisions about the deceased person’s estate in the hands of the court, as explained in the Distribution of Intestate Estates in the Wills and Succession Act. However, it does not stop at drafting the will, because life’s changes may affect the testator’s wishes for the distribution of his or her estate.
If a person dies with an out-of-date will, the court might deem it invalid. Changes in laws and changes in the person’s financial circumstances must be reviewed from time to time. Depending on when the initial will was drafted, a marriage, births of children, divorce and other personal matters may need to be updated in an existing will as they happen.
Furthermore, real estate and other property that is acquired or sold may affect the will. Moreover, the deaths of beneficiaries or designated guardians for minor children will need to be changed or updated. In cases in which a person dies without any immediate living family, a whole new set of rules come into play.
There is no need to put estate-related matters on the back burner. It is always a good decision to seek the support and guidance of an experienced estate planning lawyer in Alberta. A lawyer can assist with drafting a will and reviewing it to make adjustments according to changing circumstances. Legal counsel can ensure that any changes meet legal requirements to avoid having the will declared invalid by the court.