The legacy of love blog

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. ...

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Stepchildren: Another reason to create a Will

Each blended family is unique. Maybe your second marriage happened late in life, after your children and your spouse’s children became adults.  As a result, you may not want to include your stepchildren in your Will.  On the other hand, you may have a very close relationship with your stepchildren, having raised them as if they were your own children. In this case, you may very much want to ensure that they get to share in your estate when you die. 

If you...

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Location, location, location!

assets estate planning Mar 21, 2019

The number of Albertans looking to purchase a vacation property is growing every year... and that’s not surprising! There is nothing better than owning a chalet for weekend ski trips, or a house in Palm Springs, or a place on the golf course in Phoenix.  However, if you own a vacation home, you need to ensure that you have taken it into consideration when you are making your Will and planning your estate. 

Something that many families fail to consider is how the...

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Keeping the cabin in the family

assets Mar 14, 2019

Many Albertans have fond memories of spending long summer days at the family cabin with parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents, and aunts and uncles – and their intention is usually that future generations will be able to enjoy this family cabin experience as well.  As a result, passing on the family cabin is often a priority when creating an estate plan.  Unfortunately, complications may arise, both tax and otherwise, that can create challenges.

Whether you decide to...

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Communicate and bulletproof your Will

communicate Mar 07, 2019

The merging of blended families and the resulting combined estates has created the perfect storm for a flood of estate litigation. Beneficiaries, or people who think they should be a beneficiary, are lawyering up and heading to court like never before to fight for their perceived right to a piece of the pie. Justice is a relative concept depending on where you sit and the fight for this style of justice has never been more expensive.

My advice to clients who are upset and want to fight about...

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Joint ownership and no Will

joint title probate Feb 14, 2019

We recently had a client who call our office looking for help. The client stated that her husband had passed away 3 months ago and did not have a Will. She was calling because they owned some collector vehicles that had a considerable value, and when she went to transfer the insurance into her name, the insurance company refused to do so because she was not the registered owner of the vehicle. When she contacted the local Registry Agent, she was told that the only way they would complete the...

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Should I choose more than one child as Executor?

executor Feb 07, 2019

Your Executor/Executrix* is the person that carries out the provisions of your Will and settles your estate. It’s not an easy job, and it requires a significant investment of time, emotions and resources. You may think that sharing this responsibility among your children will make things easier for them, but that is not the case.

An Executor has to make firm decisions, sign off on documents and provide input into often sensitive situations. Having to constantly chase another person to...

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Top 5 estate planning questions for family businesses

Sadly, many family businesses don’t survive after being transferred to the next generation.  This is often due to a lack of effective succession planning – and a vital component of any succession plan is careful estate planning!

Take a moment to consider the following estate planning questions:

  • Do you have a buy-sell agreement with any co-owners of your business that will be triggered upon your death? If yes, do you understand the effect of these provisions and is your...
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The top 8 mistakes that many Executors make (part two)

executor mistakes Jan 28, 2019

Being an Executor isn't easy.  There's a lot of paperwork to be done, lots of interaction with government agencies, Alberta Registries, banks, insurance companies, accountants, realtors and lawyers.  And there's always beneficiaries pressuring you to do things quicker or are questioning everything you do.  It comes as no surprise that Executors make mistakes.  We thought we would look at the top eight mistakes Executors make:

In our last blog post, we discussed the first...

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The top 8 mistakes that many Executors make (part one)

executor mistakes Jan 28, 2019

Being an Executor isn't easy. There is a lot of paperwork to be done, a lot of interaction with government agencies, Alberta Registries, banks, insurance companies, accountants, realtors and lawyers. And there are always beneficiaries pressuring you to do things quicker or questioning everything you do.  It comes as no surprise that Executors make mistakes.  We thought we would look at the top eight mistakes Executors make:

 

Mistake #1 – Executors Do Not Keep Proper...

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