The legacy of love blog

How long does it take to deal with an estate?

estate executor Dec 11, 2019

In Alberta, there is a common-law rule of thumb that an executor has one year from the date of death to complete their administration of an estate. This means that they have 365 days to collect in estate assets, pay estate debts and liabilities, and distribute the residue in accordance with the terms of the Will. Sometimes, this rule of thumb is followed and an executor successfully completes all of their duties within one year. Other times, and generally when the estate is more...

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Do I have a right to be shown the Will?

executor will Nov 29, 2019

Every month, our office receives calls from people who are seeking legal advice on their right to view a Will. They tell us that the executor of an estate is refusing to show them the document and they want to know what their rights are; and the answer to this depends on who they are and what their relationship is with the deceased. Let us explain.

An executor is entitled to maintain the privacy of the deceased. There is no legal obligation for them show the Will to...

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The Taxman and Executor Compensation

Uncategorized Nov 28, 2019

An executor recently reached out to us to let us know that they were unhappy with having to pay the CRA tax on their remuneration for acting as executor of the estate. 

Paying taxes suck. We all hate paying taxes. Being paid for being an executor is no different then picking up a pay cheque for your work as a  teacher, truck driver or business owner. Your being compensated for the work you have done and and this money needs to be declared to Revenue Canada.

Executor...

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Can you be held liable for the wrongdoings of your co-executor?

executorship Nov 14, 2019

It is an executor's ethical responsibility to act in the best interest of the estate; but what happens when you are paired with a co-executor who is acting irresponsibly? Can you be held liable?

In general, a co-executor can only be held liable for their own actions, inactions, errors, or for assets that they personally dealt with. This rule protects them from liability in situations where they were unaware of their co-executor taking money from estate bank accounts, selling...

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Can an executor be held liable for the debts of an estate?

Uncategorized Nov 14, 2019

Our office takes many of phone calls from executors who are worried that they will be held liable for their deceased parent or children's debts. In most these cases the deceased owed more money then they had in assets and was essentially bankrupt. There are three general rules that all Alberta Executors and Administrators must follow when they are administering an estate. The three general rules concerning executors liability that every executor should be aware of are: 

  1. An executor is ...
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Can you renounce your duties as executor?

Uncategorized Nov 01, 2019

Being named as the executor of an estate is an honour, but it is also a major undertaking. It can be difficult, time-consuming and emotionally draining. You may not want to accept the position because you are either grieving or ageing, or because you reside outside of Alberta, are traveling abroad, do not have the time, do not have the knowledge, do not believe you can handle the position, or simply do not want to act - nor do you have to. It is important to remember that you have the...

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Best Practices for Family Trusts

Uncategorized Oct 30, 2019

Family Trusts are a powerful and effective financial planning and asset protection tool. Traditional reasons for creating a trust include will and succession planning, asset and legal liability protection and asset administration.

However, Trust has evolved as a tax planning and minimization tool, especially for the family business and high net-worth individuals. In many instances Trusts were created solely for tax purposes.

In response, the Government of Canada has slowly been closing...

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How "Out of the Box" Can I Be When Writing My Will?

Uncategorized Oct 08, 2019

While many people don't have a Will in Canada ( 51% according a 2016 Angus Reid Institute poll), some of us can't help but leave little creative twists in the ones we do make. There are a range of example, take for instance Roger Brown; in his Will he bequeathed 3500 pounds be left to his seven friends so long as they use it to fund a "boozy trip" to Europe. 

Or perhaps some prefer the sweeter bequest by Jack Benny,  a US comedian, who left instructions that one long-stemmed...

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Blast from the Past - 1994 capital gain exemption

Uncategorized Sep 25, 2019

Recently our office has dealt with several estates where the deceased had purchased property prior to 1994. The property included cottages, artwork, rental properties and business. 

Back in 1994 the government eliminated the general lifetime exemption of $100,000.00 on all capital assets. To make up for the elimination, and to make sure anyone who had property and didn't sell it would still get this benefit, the Revenue Canada (now called the CRA) allowed a one time election (using form...

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Capacity: What Is It And Why Is It Needed To Plan An Estate?

capacity Sep 13, 2019

In Alberta, the only limitation to a person over 18 signing a Will, Power of Attorney and Personal Care Directive is that they have the mental capacity to do so. It may seem like a simple concept, but the truth is many people don’t know that capacity is required to have these documents made for individuals.

Why is Capacity Needed?

The largest concern for these Estate Planning documents is that the person executing them, at the time of execution, understood the nature and effect of...

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