Do I Need a Will?

Probably, yes. While the surprisingly common belief that without a Will your estate will go to the government is NOT true, it is true that without a Will:

–The Public Trustee, rather than a trustee of your choice will hold funds for minor children or other minor beneficiaries AND the funds must be given at age 18. In a Will you can provide for the choice of Trustee and age for distribution.

— Your spouse will receive all of your estate if all of your children are also your spouse’s children, but if not then your spouse will receive the greater of $150,000 or 50% of your estate, with the balance going equally to your children.

— If you have no spouse or children your estate will go to your parents but if neither are alive then to your siblings equally, but if none then to your nieces and nephews equally.

— You cannot provide for assets with named beneficiaries such as insurance or RRSP’s to be subject to the same trusts (i.e. for children) as your other assets.

What Does a Will Cost?

This depends on the complexity of your estate and wishes. A basic Will starts at $575, or $875 for husband/wife mirror image Wills. We would be pleased to discuss your situation.

Does Alberta recognize common law spouses and does the survivor have any rights on the other’s death?

Yes. Recent legislation has given certain rights to persons now known as an Adult Interdependent Partner. The laws are complex and far reaching. We would be pleased to discuss this in more depth should you desire.


Enduring Powers of Attorney and Personal Directives

Enduring Powers of Attorney and Personal Directives are often discussed and made at the same time as your Will, as part of your global disability and estate planning.

To avoid the process and expense of a court application for Guardianship and Trusteeship, you can sign an Enduring Power of Attorney appointing a person (attorney) to handle financial decisions, and a Personal Directive appointing a person (agent) to make personal care decisions, both to take effect if and when you lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions. There are basic provisions that these documents must contain to be valid, but otherwise they may be as specific or general as desired. However, they must of course be made before you lose capacity — otherwise Guardianship and Trusteeship will be required.

For more information, please contact:

Shel Laven at 263-2444 ext #302