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Do you need a casket to be cremated?

demise Jan 29, 2020

Caskets are for burial and cremation. Caskets can be made out of materials, from solid hardwood to metal.

A casket can be cremated but most people chose to purchase a cremation container. These containers are used for cremation only. The purpose of a cremation container is to accommodate the deceased in a dignified manner allowing for placement in the cremation chamber. The container is...

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Should my 18 year old have a will?

In Alberta, most people have to be 18 years of age to write a will. There are a variety of exceptions to this rule, for example if you a minor has a child or is a member of the military then you may be able to write a will while you are a minor. However, by and large most minors are unable to create a will in Alberta until their 18th birthday. 

Should your child write a will when they turn...

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Protecting the Interests of your Children in a Blended Family

estate planning Jan 15, 2020

Blended families are becoming increasingly common and often face several estate planning challenges. Consider the following scenario:

Don and Pat were married in 2000, and it was a second marriage for each of them. Don had 1 child from a prior relationship, and Pat had 3. Don and Pat had equal financial assets at the time.

While drafting their wills in 2009, Don and Pat agreed that all...

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Do I have a right to be shown the Will?

wills Jan 08, 2020

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...

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It’s a New Year: Make or Update Your Will!

wills Jan 01, 2020

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions each year and, more often than not, these resolutions prove to be unsustainable. In fact, right about now, you may be starting to question whether or not you will be able to achieve some of your goals! Making a new Will or updating an existing Will is a resolution that is relatively easy to achieve.   

Two of the most important functions of...

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Can an executor be liable for the deceased's debts?

executor Dec 18, 2019

In Alberta, the Estate assets must be used to pay any outstanding funeral expenses, burial expenses, taxes, credit cards or other debt. Distributions to beneficiaries cannot be done until all debts are paid. 

What happens if there are not enough assets in the estate to cover the debts?

Only the Estate is responsible for the debt. If there is a shortfall, the Executor cannot be forced to...

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What are the best practices for family trusts?

estate planning trusts Dec 11, 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, trusts have evolved as a tax planning and minimization tool, especially for the family business and high net-worth individuals. In many instances Trusts...

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The Time to Tax Plan is Now

tax Dec 04, 2019

Taxes are tricky business, making tax planning an essential tool for any business to plan ahead effectively. Regular tax planning can help business owners lower the amount of taxable income, reduce the tax liability, and gain more control  of when tax is paid.  Here are a few reasons that every business owner should make tax planning a priority:

A.) It's All In the...

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Capital Gains Tax on a 1994 Property

real estate tax Nov 27, 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...

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Executor Compensation: What are the tax implications?

executor tax Nov 20, 2019

An estate executor recently contacted our office and advised that they were unhappy with having to pay the CRA tax on their remuneration for acting as the administrator and trustee of an estate.

Paying taxes are never fun, and we know that – but acting as the executor of an estate is still a job. Similar to working as a teacher, truck driver, or business owner – you are compensated...

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