Ridout Barron

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Wills & Estates Archives

Estate management upon the death of a spouse

Some people in Alberta shy away from thoughts about their own and their spouses' deaths. However, dealing with wills and estates in a timely manner can provide peace of mind. Losing a spouse is understandably traumatic, though having estate plans in place can ease the financial and emotional impact of such a loss.

Make sure conditions in your will are valid

Estate law in Alberta can be contentious and complicated. The stakes can be high, and in some cases, a will can lead to bitter disputes. When the testator chooses to impose conditions on gifts or bequests, he or she might risk the will, or specific conditions of the will, being declared invalid.

Will: Who will handle your affairs if you become incapacitated?

Albertans often shy away from thoughts of their own mortality, but it is never too soon to consider estate planning. As soon as an individual starts earning an income, it is advisable to draft a will. A will is just one aspect of estate planning. 

Why are wills and estates important?

Many people in Alberta feel uncomfortable discussing or even considering their own mortality. However, those who die without establishing wills and estates could make life very difficult for the surviving loved ones. Estate planning can give directions about how to distribute a person's assets after his or her death.

Questions business owners must answer when doing estate planning

Estate planning as an Alberta business owner is significantly more complex than dealing only with personal assets. Wills, trusts and other estate planning documents of business owners should also cover their business assets. Dealing with large estates, tax issues and business succession will likely complicate the process. The business owner may be unsure of whether to seek legal counsel, and looking at specific questions might provide the answer.

There are no "one-size-fits-all" wills to suit your unique needs

Many Albertans might consider do-it-yourself kits when they decide it is time to address estate planning. The amount of money they can save by finding cheap -- or even free -- offers to draft wills online is often the primary consideration for choosing to proceed without legal counsel. However, the slightest mistake can ultimately result in a will being declared invalid, and it is therefore not surprising that the DIY kits typically have disclaimers that seek to absolve the entity that offers the service of any responsibility for errors and omissions.

Why is a power of attorney necessary along with wills and estates

Many people in Alberta do not realize the importance of estate planning, and those who do might not realize that estate plans do not only serve a purpose after the death of the testator. While wills and estates might record the testator's wishes for distributing assets after death, there are ways to protect his or her interests in the event of incapacitation. Establishing powers of attorney can protect a person who becomes unable to handle financial and medical matters.

Dealing with wills and estates in a digital world

Technological development has changed how most people in Alberta and across Canada navigate their daily lives, including their finances. Goods are ordered and paid for online and dealing with bills, bank accounts and more are done on smartphones, laptops and PCs. This has also brought about changes in the way wills and estates are handled.

Why do so many adults neglect to draft wills?

According to a recent survey, over 50% of Canadian adults, including many in Alberta, have not taken the trouble to do estate planning. The survey also addressed why the individuals who don't have wills have not made the effort to have them. Almost 30% of those without signed wills felt they could not afford to have wills drafted, or they had no idea how to go about establishing a will.

Choose beneficiaries wisely when setting up wills and estates

Drafting estate plans needs careful consideration of various matters that will affect the decisions made. Many people in Alberta choose to seek legal counsel to support and guide them through setting up their wills and estates. The choice of beneficiaries is one aspect that offers various options, each with its pros and cons. Along with irrevocable, revocable and contingent beneficiaries, there might be minor children to add as well.

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Ridout Barron

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Phone: 587-315-8454
Fax: 403-271-8016
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