Step-grandchildren and your estate plan

These days, blended families are more common than the traditional nuclear family.  As a grandparent who has step-grandchildren, you may wish to understand who will inherit should you leave a portion of your estate to your “grandchildren”, or should you provide in your Will that if your child pre-deceases you, their share will go to “the deceased child’s children”.  

In Alberta, step-grandchildren are not automatically included in a Will.  Unless you or your child adopts a step-grandchild, they are generally not treated as a member of your family from a legal perspective.  As a result, unless step-grandchildren are explicitly included in your Will, they will not inherit.

Some grandparents wish to include their step-grandchildren as fully as their biological or adopted grandchildren, and others prefer to leave their step-grandchildren out of their Will.  It is entirely up to you and will likely depend greatly on your relationship with your step-grandchild and how long they have been in your life.  However, whatever you choose, it is important to make your wishes clear in your Will.  This is particularly important if your desire is to ensure your step-grandchildren are treated the same as the rest of your grandchildren. 

As new grandchildren and step-grandchildren come into your life, it is important to re-evaluate your estate plan and to consult with your estate planner.  Reviewing your estate plan regularly will ensure there are no future misunderstandings. 

We can help you create an estate plan that prioritizes your individual wishes for your unique family. Contact our office today at (780) 458-8228. 

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