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Navigator Law LLP can help you navigate through the probate process. Being a Personal Representative (executor) or Administrator of an estate can be a stressful and time-consuming job at a very difficult time in your life. Let us give you peace of mind by providing you with legal advice on probate in Alberta and guiding you through the intricacies of probate law and estate administration.

We know that it might seem daunting to start creating a will or make decisions about your estate’s future. That’s why our wills lawyers take extra care in helping you and your family plan your wills & estates.

What is a Will?

A will outlines your wishes for how your assets are distributed, to whom, how much, and at what time. In addition, your will dictates who will administer your estate.

Your will is a plan for how you plan to provide for your loved ones after your passing. You can also use a will to name the person(s) who you want to appoint guardians for your children, set up special trusts, or specify funeral arrangements.

In addition to wills, including enduring powers of attorney and a personal directives are typically part of an estate planning package. These are legal documents that dictate who can make financial and medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to because of a serious injury or illness.

Why Do I Need a Will?

Without a will, Alberta law will dictate how your estate will be distributed. This default distribution might not align with your wishes.

A will is an important legal tool to ensure your loved ones are provided for and to simplify the estate administration process.

How a Wills Lawyer Can Help

While there are useful do-it-yourself options, the many intricacies of the law are generally not accounted for. We think your family is too important to entrust their future to a $30 kit that may be challenged or even declared invalid. Or worse, if you choose not to make a will, and your affairs are left to the courts to be dealt with.

A lawyer specializing in wills will be a cost-effective way of ensuring your will reflects your wishes, encompasses your assets and estate, and reflects your unique family situation. Getting legal help to draft a will ensures the will is properly drafted and mitigates the risk of it being declared invalid or any legal challenges such as estate litigation.

Our Wills Process

At Navigator Law, we’re here to help with legal advice to help plan your estate plan and prepare a properly executed and witnessed will. Your will is a personal document and is unique to you. Our wills drafting process typically includes a conversation with you regarding your life circumstances and priorities.

  • Selecting an appropriate personal representative/executor to oversee and represent your estate.
  • Obtaining an overview of your assets and their ownership structure.
  • Identifying which administrative clauses should be included to reflect your circumstances.
  • Ensuring the interests of minor children are safeguarded with properly drafted trusts.
  • Appointment of suitable guardian(s) for minor children.

Enduring Power of Attorney

An enduring power of attorney is al legal document used to empower someone to make financial and legal decisions on your behlf should you become mentally incapacitated or infirm. Examples of when an enduring power of attorney will take effect is if you go into a coma or suffer from dementia.

The person you choose to manage your affairs should be a person you trust to administer your finances according to your wishes. You should have a conversation with the person to ensure he or she is willing to take on the responsibility and understand your priorities.

Personal Directive

A Personal Directive guides your personal decisions. It is a legal document allowing you to name a decision maker and/or provide written instructions to be followed when, due to illness or injury, you no longer have the capacity to make decisions such as where you live or the medical treatment you will receive.

The most common instructions relate to your medical care, such as life support and pain management, but could include any personal decision that is important to you. The person you choose to make these types of decisions for you should be someone who knows you well and who you trust to make decisions that are right for you. If you regain mental capacity, your personal directive is no longer valid.

As protection for your family, it is important to plan who will take care of your financial, legal, and personal affairs if you are ever incapacitated. If you have not madea Power of Attorney or Personal Directive, your family will have to endure the lengthy, expensive, and uncertain process of applying to court to become your Trustee and Guardian. Preparing ahead allows you to determine decisions reflective of your personal beliefs and values.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I Draft a Will?

Any person over the age of 18 should have a will, enduring power of attorney and a personal directive in place. You never know what your future might hold, so it is best to start your estate planning while you are healthy and have time to consider your options.

What if I want to Change my Will?

A will can be changed or updated at any time. With major life changes such as marriage, it is best to change your will. You can make smaller modifications to your will via a legal document called a codicil.

How Often should I Review my Will?

A will should be reviewed at least every 1 - 2 years to make sure it is still accurate.

Who should I Name Executor in my Will?

It could be anyone you trust to manage your estate according to your wishes, and who you know is willing and capable to take on the responsibility. It could be a family member, friend or a trust company. It is best to pick one or more alternates to your main Executor.

Contact Us

A properly executed will can provide you peace of mind in knowing your interests are protected. Our wills lawyers have 30+ years of experience working with wills & estates. We can help you ensure your wishes and intentions are correctly drafted with a minimum of expense and delay for your family and beneficiaries.

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