All three partners at Kuefler Stevenson Bennett have expertise in these areas of the law.
There are many reasons why it is a good idea to have a Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Personal Directive. You never know when you will need them and, if you do not have them, it may leave your grieving loved ones guessing. To facilitate the process after your passing and to ensure your family understands your wishes, we highly recommend creating a plan and executing the documents to support it.
- Deals with your assets after your death – this is a contract you make with yourself and you can change it any time as long as you are competent.
- Names the person(s) or organization that you want to administer your estate – this should be someone you trust completely as they will represent you and administer your estate.
- Provides for an orderly distribution of your wealth to your children or grandchildren and makes sure that the proper trusts are set up so the young people in your life do not get a great deal of wealth when they are too young to have the responsibility.
- If you want to provide for some charitable giving this will not happen if you do not have a Will.
- The executor obtains his or her authority from the will and, while they cannot distribute the estate immediately, on your death, they can begin dealing with your estate.
- If you do not have a Will the person in line to administer your estate gets their authority from the Court Grant. It can take six months or more to obtain a Grant in Alberta. This may have the effect of prolonging the grieving process for your loved ones.
Enduring Power of Attorney
We have the Powers of Attorney Act in Alberta that allows for the preparation and execution of a power of attorney that will survive your mental incompetency.
- Deals with your money in a situation where a medical doctor or someone else that you designate states that you are no longer able to manage your financial affairs.
- If you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney your next of kin will have to apply to the Court to be appointed as Trustee under the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act – this is a long and costly process.
In Alberta, the Personal Directives Act allows for a person to provide an advance directive with respect to their health care which will be triggered when they are not able to communicate themselves.
- Deals with your person when a medical doctor says that you are no longer able to make reasonable decisions with respect to your care.
- Allows you to direct what care you do not want to have in a situation where you will not regain a meaningful quality of life.
- In the future, will allow you to make an advance directive with respect to your wishes concerning medically assisted dying.
What you own the day you die is your estate and if you have a Will it directs how you want your estate to be distributed.
- Deals with preparation of Application for Probate or Grant of Administration if there is no Will.
- Once the Grant is received from the Court the Executor or Administrator, as the case may be can then distribute your estate.
We can assist with both the preparation of the Application for the Grant and the eventual administration and distribution of the assets to the beneficiaries.
We will assist with the preparation and maintenance of Family Trusts in the appropriate circumstances.