With the introduction of the Wills and Succession Act in 2015 in Alberta the importance of a well articulated Will has never been more important and instrumental in how an individual’s Estate will be administered and critically how the wishes of a individual can and should be respected and followed.
If you have a Will that dates back before 2015 when the Wills and Succession Act came into force, there is a good chance that your Will may have outdated language, does not include the necessary provisions required to probate a Will through the Surrogate at the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, or your Will may include provisions or exclude matters that are relevant under the new Wills and Succession Act.
While updating your Will is very important and you should do this if you are concerned that your Will is outdated, what is often more concerning is the lack of a Will due to the fact one has not got around to getting a Will executed, or that they have embarked on a self-filled out Will kit that is not properly executed or does not address the Estate and financial issues of that particular individual.
Often individuals are under the misunderstanding that they may have embarked on getting a Will executed but they have not completed the process, but they believe that they have given instructions that are legally binding. This is not the case; an individual must have an executed Will in order to have legally binding instructions regarding their Estate.
In addition to getting the process completed and having an enforceable Will executed, when having your Will consultation and engaging in the process of having a Will customized
to your needs what needs to be considered is a detailed review of your assets and debts and how they relate to your Estate, including:
- Insurance policies with special attention paid to death benefits and cash values;
- Registered accounts including RRSPs and TFSAs;
- Jointly held accounts;
- Jointly held property with special attention paid to the ownership structure of this property including whether property is owned in joint tenants, tenants in common, freehold, leasehold, or other property ownership structures that may be applicable;
- Debt obligations with special attention to whether a debt is secured and unsecured; and
- Corporate ownership - with special attention to the ownership of shares and how property owned by a corporation can be included or excluded as part of an Estate.
The above is a list of the central property matters that should be reflected upon when understanding the drafting and execution of your Will and how this will impact the value, tax implications and ultimately distribution of your Estate.Finally, when consulting with a wills and estates lawyer, a client should feel confident in not only executing a Will that will be upheld with their wishes respected, but they also should be able to rely upon that lawyer providing services such as storage of the original Will on site in a fire proof safe, providing certified copies of the Will, and providing updates of your Will when changes need to be made at affordable rates.
At Family Central Law Office, we would be happy to schedule a consultation regarding the drafting and execution of your Will or update to your existing Will, kindly contact us today for your free 20-30 minute consultation on your matter by calling our office at: 587-392-7970 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or our consultation page directly on our website so we can get back to you within 24 hours of contacting us.