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What should you look for when reviewing your own will?

wills Jul 01, 2020

Whenever we do presentations on Estate Planning in and around Edmonton, we always hear the same question… ”how often should someone update their Will?”

There is no real answer to that question because everyone’s situation is different.  What we recommend is that that you review your Will whenever there is a change in your life, such as the birth of a child, a...

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What are the implications of lending and/or gifting money in an estate?

estate planning Jun 24, 2020

Sometimes our children or close family members run into a financial bind and need to borrow money. In many cases, both the lender and the borrower assume that this money will be paid back quickly. But what happens if the person who is the lender, who is often an elderly parent, dies before the loan is repaid?

In my experience, this is when the family feud begins.  The borrower...

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What are the rules for leaving children out of your will in Alberta?

estate planning wills Jun 17, 2020

Have you considered leaving your child or one of your children out of the property distribution in your Will?  You are not alone.  Our office deals with this question on a regular basis.

Can you leave your child out of your Will?  This would depend in large part on whether the child is a minor or an adult child who can’t earn a living because of disability. In Alberta, the...

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How do I leave my child's spouse out of my estate plan?

estate planning Jun 10, 2020

This sounds harsh but to be honest, we have clients ask us this all the time.

If your daughter inherits money and subsequently divorces her spouse, these funds are generally exempt from a matrimonial property division.

The problem occurs if your daughter inherits money and then uses these funds to pay off the couple’s mortgage or to buy nice jewelry.  These items could become part of...

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Electronic Signing for Estate Planning Documents

firm updates Jun 05, 2020

In light of COVID-19 and the safety measures that have been put in place by the Government of Alberta, social interactions have been limited to circumstances that are considered “essential.” There are various different ways in which we risk contracting the virus – and for our older clients, self-isolation comes highly recommended. So, what happens when you need to...

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Joint Tenants vs. Tenants in Common: What is the difference?

real estate Jun 03, 2020

Have you made sure that your spouse is the beneficiary on all your investments and life insurance policies? What about your house, car and RV trailers?

Several times a year, our office is hired to Probate a Will because a spouse has passed away and it wasn’t until after the death that the surviving spouse realized everything was not jointly owned. This can be a...

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Protecting a Different Kind of Property: Stored Genetic Material

estate planning May 27, 2020

Estate Planning is about protecting what matters the most. Over the course of my 18 years practicing law I have come across a wide variety of property that needs to be included in our clients’ Will.

Recently we had to deal with a unique type of “property”… the cryogenically frozen embryos and sperm of our clients. With cryogenic freezing, it is possible for children to...

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Separation vs. Divorce: Is there a difference when estate planning?

estate planning May 20, 2020

When couples split up, the last thing they’re thinking is, “What happens if I die?” Breakups are emotionally difficult times, with many hard decisions. But the ramifications of a split are magnified when the parties do not go through with a divorce.

Many people think the mere act of “separating” will result in cancelling their partners in their Wills, estate plans,...

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Should you hire a trust company to handle your estate?

The demand for professional Trust and Estate administration is an area that is experiencing significant growth. This growth is caused by a number of factors including our ageing population, our modern family structures, and the vast distances that spread family members apart.

Estate professionals are being asked to step in and help families resolve emotionally charged family disputes.

There are...

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Why Appointing Children as Executor Can Be a Mistake

estate planning executor May 06, 2020

We all hope that when we are gone, our family members will work together to settle our estate.  Unfortunately, our office sees many estates where the testator created a Will filled with some common problems.

One of the most common problems we see is where a testator appoints all their children as their Executors.  This is a mistake.

If your family members do not get along, they...

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