call today: (780) 723-3245
or by email at advice@westernlegal.net

Estate Planning & Administration Lawyer

Deciding what will happen to your assets after you pass away can be difficult. If you are dealing with the administration of an estate of a loved one, the process can be confusing.


Western Legal Barristers & Solicitors can help. Our estate planning and administration lawyer will work to address all of your concerns regarding your own estate or one that you’re administering. It is our goal to provide you with personalized legal services, just as we would our friends and family.

We care about our clients and want them to achieve their estate planning and administration goals. We will evaluate your needs and develop a tailor-made plan just for you. Call or text an estate lawyer at Western Legal Barristers & Solicitors today at (780) 723-3245 or use our online form to send us a message.

Estate Planning Services We Offer

You have worked hard to achieve a level of success that you want to pass on to your family and others when you are no longer here. To make sure that your wishes are carried out when you pass away, you should develop documents that convey what you want to happen. Our estate planning lawyer can guide you through the process of planning for the future.

Wills

By writing an effective last will and testament, you can make sure that your estate is properly managed after your death. A will allows you to choose who administers your estate and who inherits your assets when you pass away.


Our will lawyer can help you with reviewing an existing will, codicils, holographic wills, updating a will after you have children, and any other questions you may have about estate planning.

Why Do I Need a Will?
Everyone needs a will, regardless of whether they have a large or small estate. A will ensures that your money, property, and other assets go to the friends, family, and charities of your choice. It allows you to provide for those who are important to you. A will can also detail your wishes regarding your funeral arrangements, appoint legal guardians for your children, and determine who will handle legal matters after your death.

What Happens If I Die Without a Will?
If you die intestate or without a will, then the government will decide who gets your assets. Someone you had hoped to remember, such as charities and friends, will be left out. Also, people you wanted to write out of your estate may receive assets that you did not want to go to them. By working with a will lawyer at Western Legal Barristers & Solicitors, we can help you avoid dying intestate without a will.

Is a Handwritten Will Valid in Alberta?
A handwritten will is often referred to as a “holographic will.” These documents can be valid if they meet specific requirements. The entire document must be handwritten; however, there are no specific words or phrases that must be used in a handwritten will. You cannot use a template with blanks to fill in. The will must also be dated and signed. No witnesses are required for a valid holographic will. However, these wills are commonly challenged in court after a loved one dies. It’s best to work with a will lawyer who can guide you through the process of developing a legal, witnessed will that will hold up after you pass away.

What Should Be Addressed in My Will?
Your will should plan for all of your assets after your death. That includes all real property, money, bank accounts, personal possessions, and other assets. When you meet with a will lawyer at Western Legal Barristers & Solicitors, you should have a list of all of your possessions and assets. We will organize the list and help you decide how it should be handled after you pass away.

Can a Will Address Property Outside of Alberta?
Western Legal Barristers & Solicitors often handles estates for people who own property both in Alberta and outside the province. We can even help you determine how to handle property in the United States or elsewhere. When you pass away, you may owe taxes on those properties. A will can appoint someone to handle legal matters and taxes for you after your death.

What Happens to My Will If I Get Divorced or Remarried?
Upon a divorce in Alberta, your will shall be read as if your ex-spouse is predeceased. Thus, if assets in your will are to go to your ex-spouse, they will pass to other individuals. Other provinces have different laws, some of which may make your will invalid upon divorce or remarriage. If you were divorced or remarried, you should have a skilled will lawyer evaluate your document and help you rewrite it to address your changing needs.

Power of Attorney (POA)

A skilled power of attorney lawyer can guide you through establishing POAs for difficult situations.


There are many different types of POAs, including enduring power of attorneys, general and specific power of attorneys, and durable power of attorneys. They allow you to choose who makes decisions for you regarding your finances or real estate matters when you are not able to make choices for yourself.

When Does a Power of Attorney Become Effective?
Your power of attorney may take effect immediately when you sign it, or it may become effective only after you become incapacitated. You may also develop a springing power of attorney that takes effect only in the occurrence of a specific event. An immediate power of attorney is often used by married or partnered couples to address situations where they are still mentally capable, such as signing real estate or business documents when one is not present.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me with a Power of Attorney?
You may think that a POA is a simple document with clauses that will direct your attorney when you are unable to make decisions. However, if your POA is not carefully crafted, your attorney will be unsure of how to meet your wishes. A skilled POA lawyer will listen to your desires, answer your questions about powers of attorney, and develop a clear document from your instructions.

What Restrictions Can I Address in My Power of Attorney?
Your power of attorney can have as many restrictions or conditions as you wish. You can be extremely specific about the management of your finances or real estate. However, the more restrictive your power of attorney is, the more difficulty your attorney will have when administering it. It is beneficial to be specific in your power of attorney, but you should work with a power of attorney lawyer who is familiar with effective POA conditions.

Estate Administration Guidance in Alberta

When a loved one passes away, it can be difficult to mourn and administer their estate at the same time. However, some legal concerns require immediate attention. By working with a knowledgeable estate administration lawyer at Western Legal Barristers & Solicitors, you can rely on us to handle the legal issues while you focus on your family and moving forward.

Contact Us

Personal Directives

You may choose someone to make decisions regarding your health when you no longer have the capacity.


With a personal directive, advanced care plan, or advanced medical directive, you can determine what types of care you want in specific situations and name someone to handle these difficult decisions. A personal directive lawyer can guide you through the process of writing and retaining these documents.

How Do I Choose My Agent?
The person that you choose to administer your personal directive is called your “agent.” This person will have the power to make decisions about your health care and other personal decisions. It is best to choose someone who knows you well or who can be responsible for your medical decisions when you’re incapacitated.

Responsibilities of Your Personal Directive Agent?
The agent that you named in your personal directive will have the responsibilities that you establish in your document, and nothing more. You may specify that your agent can choose your doctors, treatments, and procedures, or you may select those yourself. You may give your agent permission to make end of life decisions, or you may give those powers to your medical team. Your agent only has as much responsibility as you give them.

Whether you have a lot of personal belongings or very few, it’s important to plan your estate so that your assets can be passed on as you wish after your death. Our estate planning lawyer understands that this is a difficult topic to consider. Our staff will compassionately listen to your needs and help you develop a complete estate plan that provides for your loved ones in the future.

Probate

The probate process involves the steps that many estates go through after the death of an estate owner.


However, not all estates must go through probate. To determine what you need to do to properly administer your loved one’s estate, contact a probate lawyer from Western Legal Barristers & Solicitors to help you understand your legal options. When your loved one passes away, you should seek legal advice from a probate lawyer who can guide you through the process and help you determine if probate is necessary.

Do I Have to Probate a Will?
Not all wills have to go through probate. For smaller, straightforward estates, probate may be avoided. When an estate is jointly owned or most of the property will pass directly to a spouse or partner, it may be able to avoid the process of probate.

You must go through probate if:

  • Real property, bank accounts, and other assets are in the name of the deceased person only;
  • There are significant bank accounts and other investments;
  • Someone is challenging the validity of the will;
  • There is no will; or
  • The estate includes a registered retirement plan.