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Executor Compensation: How much should I give?

executor Nov 13, 2019

Being an Executor (or personal representative as they are known in Alberta) is hard work. Once you have picked someone you trust who can be responsible to wind up your estate, attention to detail so they can deal with all the little things surrounding your demise, and the tenacity to keep going and complete the job until the end. 

When you ask someone to be your executor you are asking...

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

executor Nov 06, 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...

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Can you renounce your duties as executor?

executor Oct 30, 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,...

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Should I appoint joint executors in my will?

executor Oct 23, 2019

A Co-executor is by definition a bunch of people who work on an estate together. They share in the duties and responsibilities of the estate work. Co-Executors are to work together and be of one mind on all estate decisions. An exception to this rule, is where the will specifically says if the co-executors do not agree then a majority vote allows executors to act in a certain way.

Having...

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How "out of the box" can I be when writing my will?

wills Oct 16, 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...

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Video Wills: Verifying a Testator's Intention

wills Oct 09, 2019

Something that is often forgot throughout lengthy, expensive and emotionally exhausting estate litigation cases is that the court is taking so much care and diligence, and thus time, in hearing these cases because they are trying to determine the intentions of a person who has passed.

This task is rendered all the more difficult if there is ambiguity in wording, missing information or...

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The Line Between Influence and Undue Influence

wills Oct 02, 2019

In a time that should be allocated to grieving over the loss of a loved one and celebrating their life before passing, the friends and family of Brooke Astor were thrown in a legal battle that lasted almost 7 years after her death in 2007.

The Astor fortune was said to be around $100 million at the time of Brooke Astor’s death, and as a well known philanthropist, Mrs. Astor left much of...

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The Power of a Written List

estate planning wills Sep 25, 2019

When thinking of the legacies you are leaving people, it can be difficult to decide what to give and to whom. Money is often a large part of inheritance, but perhaps there are certain items you wish to bequeath to family and friends as a way to remember you. To whom and what you bequeath is an important consideration that is worthy of as much time as is put into considering your residuary...

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Drop the Mic: We have a Canada Wide Wills Registry!

firm updates Sep 18, 2019

The silence is always deafening.

At least once a week over the last 18 years, I have had to end a will signing on an uncomfortable note. Shortly after the document has been signed and my staff have left the room to make the necessary copies, the client asks when I will be registering their will.

I swallow and clear my throat - there is no will registry in Alberta. I have no place to...

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Who should you appoint as your executor?

estate planning executor Sep 11, 2019

Appointing an Executor to administer and handle your estate is an important decision. This is the person (or people – or organization) that you are entrusting with the disposition of your property and possessions. Basically, your Executor will grant your final wishes.

Here are three things to consider when appointing an Executor:

1. Age and Qualifications

It is important to take...

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