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Preparing your Last Will and Testament – Part 1

Preparing your Last Will and Testament – Part 1

Posted by Graeme Maitland — filed in Wills and Estates Law

It isn’t something we normally think about, but it is never too soon to begin preparing for what happens after you die.  This includes thinking of who looks after your children, what happens to your house, and where you would like to be laid to rest.  But a will includes more than just who gets what; it should settle your affairs to the best of your ability and not leave any loose ends.  In this 4 part series, Aarbo Fuldauer LLP will lead you through why you should get a will, what to put in one, what documents like an Enduring Power of Attorney and Personal Directive are, and what happens to your estate after you die.

Why a Will and Why Now?

Having a will is better than not having one, and the sooner you get one, the better.  It seems rather simplistic, but the law favours people who have wills.  If you do not have one, you are “intestate” and dying intestate is not good.

The Wills and Succession Act has a section devoted to intestacy.  If you die intestate, the Government first uses your estate to pay off any outstanding debts and then passes on the rest of your estate based on your relatives.  For more on what this looks like, click here to see the Government of Alberta’s Parentelic Distribution Chart which determines who gets the net of your estate if you do not have a surviving spouse, Adult Interdependent Partner, or any children.

What about Will Kits?

Take it from senior partner at Aarbo Fuldauer LLP, Darryl Aarbo QC,  when it comes to Will Kits:

“Many thousands of dollars have been spent on dealing with disputes and many more thousands of dollars being given to the Canada Revenue Agency that did not need to be given if there was proper planning.”

A Will Kit seems like an inexpensive solution to dealing with your estate, but they are a potential legal minefield.  From Kits designed around a different jurisdiction to improper wording, a will is something that really should be done by a professional.

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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