Planning for the Future
It can be a difficult task to address what might happen to you and your family in the future. However, without a will in place, the assets that you work so hard to amass over your lifetime are distributed without your input, sometimes in ways that you may not have wished. A personalized last will and testament can also avoid misunderstandings amongst your family members and avoid unnecessary litigation, legal fees and taxes.
Proper estate planning has three primary objectives:
- The preservation and protection of your assets during your lifetime.
- The orderly and tax-effective transfer of your assets to the people and charities that you care about (your beneficiaries); and
- Securing your beneficiaries’ future through ongoing management of assets through trusts, after transfer to a beneficiary.
Calgary Wills and Estate Lawyers
Our wills and estates lawyers can assist you with implementing a personalized and comprehensive plan. Our services include:
A no contest clause in a will is intended to discourage the beneficiaries under it from challenging the will. The clause does this by creating a condition that, typically, the beneficiary’s bequest under the will is forfeited and becomes part of the residue of the estate if they challenge the will and are unsuccessful.
Agreeing to take on the role of personal representative (aka an executor) of an estate can be a big decision and in many circumstances, one that should not be taken lightly. This is particularly so as a personal representative has many legal responsibilities with respect to the estate he or she administers.
What happens when a Will appears not to be the expression of the testator’s own free will, but instead, the will of another? The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench in Kozak Estate (Re), 2018 ABQB 185 recently explored just such an issue.
It is common for testators to make gifts to their “children”, “descendants” or “issue”, such as a “gift of the residue of my estate to my issue per stirpes.” Because biological lineage is, it would seem, the criterion for entitlement to such gifts, beneficiaries under a will can try to increase their share of the gift by proving that other beneficiaries, such as their siblings, are in fact not biologically related to the testator and are thus not properly members of the class of beneficiaries.
Making your will can be a challenging experience. No one wants to think about death or the death of a loved one, but it’s important to have a will prepared in case of an unexpected event to ensure the handling of your estate is a straightforward and easy process for your loved ones.