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Preparing your Last Will and Testament – Part 2

Preparing your Last Will and Testament – Part 2

Posted by Graeme Maitland — filed in Wills and Estates Law

You have decided to get a will and take the first step towards planning how your affairs will be dealt with after you die.  But what exactly goes into a will other than who looks after the kids and who gets the house?  While thinking about who gets your possessions is important, estate planning includes several other things that you need to think about when you start preparing a will.

Estate Planning Basics

There are several standard questions you will need to answer when drafting a will:

  • Who would you like to oversee the distribution of your estate (also known as the Executor)?
  • Are their any minor (under 18) children and who will look after them?
  • Who will you designate as a beneficiary for assets like RRSPs?
  • Do you have any specific gifts you want to make, to people or charities?
  • Do you have any specific funeral arrangements?
  • What happens if the people you give your estate to die before you?
  • How will your debts be paid after death?

Each of these questions is the start of drafting a comprehensive will that allows for your wishes to be carried out.  Key among these questions is appointing an Executor, the person who will carry out your instructions on your behalf.  Executors take possession of your estate, pay off debts, and distribute your gifts.  Click here for more information on the duties of an Executor.

Special Request and Conditions in Wills

When estate planning, many people want to make a special gif to someone, but with a provision that they do or not do something.  Placing conditions of gifts in wills can be difficult and certain things cannot be done.  Three things can invalidate a condition in a will:

  1. Restraints transfer of property after it is given away (e.g. “you cannot sell or mortgage the land for 25 years“)
  2. Uncertainty in what the condition is (e.g. “you shall receive inheritance only if you stay in Canada“)
  3. Where a condition goes against public policy (e.g. encouraging criminal activity)

Speaking to a lawyer during estate planning about what conditions you can and cannot include in your will helps to ensure that the final document will be valid.

For more information on why you should get a Will, check out Part 1 of our series.

If you require a Will or have questions about dealing with your estate after death, speak to one of the lawyers at Aarbo Fuldauer LLP in Calgary.

Address: 3rd Floor, 1131 Kensington Road NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 3P4

Phone: (403) 571-5120


The information in the blog is not legal advice. Do not treat or rely upon it as legal advice.  If you require legal assistance, please contact a lawyer
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