Reportedly, a significant percentage of Canadians, including many in Alberta, believe there is no need to do estate planning. Many people reason that it is obvious that their surviving spouses and children will receive their estates. However, that is not the way things work. Wills are the way to ensure that possessions, money and percentages of estates go to the intended beneficiaries. Without wills, the law will decide how the estate assets like real estate, personal items, vehicles, investments and more will be divided.
A will could be a powerful document by which people can express their wishes, often including other than immediate family members. Death can come unexpectedly, and having wills and trusts in place can relieve some of the trauma surviving family members go through after the unexpected deaths of loved ones. A will allows a person to bequest specific items to those who would most appreciate it or show gratitude to someone who deserves it. Another available option is to make charitable bequests.
Wills are also the document in which a guardian for children can be appointed. The same person or another individual can be selected as the executor of the estate. This person will have the duty of ensuring the wishes of the testator are carried out. Those who have pushed estate planning to the back burner may benefit from discussing estate planning with a lawyer.
A consultation with an Alberta lawyer with extensive experience in the laws related to wills and estates can answer questions and explain various options. After assessing the unique circumstances and assets of the client, legal counsel can provide specific suggestions. This will allow the client to make informed decisions and the lawyer to draft a will and other estate planning documents in compliance with the province’s laws.