Wills Lawyers in Calgary
Here to solve your problems
About Our Calgary Wills Law Firm
At Navigator Law, we know that it might seem daunting to start creating a will or make decisions about the future of your estate. That’s why our Calgary 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 the distribution of your assets, your beneficiaries, how much they will receive, 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.
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.
OUR WILL SERVICES
The following services are typically part of an estate planning package.
At Navigator Law, we’re here to help you prepare your estate plan and a properly executed will with the appropriate witnesses. 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.
The process involves:
ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY
Our wills lawyers can help you draft an enduring power of attorney as part of your estate planning package. An enduring power of attorney is a legal document used to empower someone to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf should you suffer mental incapacity or become infirm. Examples of when an enduring power of attorney will take effect are 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 directives are also typically included as part of our estate planning packages. 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 and personal care 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.
How a Wills Lawyer Can Help
While there are useful do-it-yourself options, the many intricacies and complexity 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.
Also, as a protection for your family, it is important to plan who will take care of your legal, personal, and financial affairs if you are ever incapacitated. If you have not made a Power of Attorney or Personal Directive, your family will have to endure the lengthy, expensive, and uncertain process of applying to the court to become your Trustee and Guardian. Preparing ahead with the help of a wills lawyer allows you to determine decisions reflective of your personal beliefs and values.
Contact a Calgary Wills Lawyer Today
At Navigator Law, our Calgary wills lawyers have extensive experience with the preparation of wills and estate planning. We can provide expert advice for many different types of wills based on each client’s needs.
Let us help you solidify your family’s future. Our skilled lawyers will help you every step of the way to ensure your wishes are met.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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.
A will can be changed or updated at any time. With major life changes such as marriage, it is best to change your will or draft a new will. You can make minor changes to your will via a legal document called a codicil.
A will should be reviewed at least every 1 – 2 years to make sure it is still accurate.
An executor 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 alternatives for your main executor.
Legal requirements vary from province to province. The following requirements must be met to ensure your will is valid in Alberta:
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- You must be of sound mind
- You must sign your will in the presence of two witnesses
- Your witnesses must also provide their signatures on your will
- You must sign your will in wet ink
- You must store a paper copy of your will
Holographic wills are an exception to some of these rules
Although it is possible to make a legal will in Alberta without a lawyer, the Government of Alberta encourages you to consult a lawyer when making a will to ensure your wishes are represented accurately. Without legal advice from a lawyer, you run the risk of your will being challenged or even declared invalid.
No, wills do not need to be notarized in Alberta.
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.