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You Need a Will? There Is a Way!

September 9, 2021

Probate Lawyer

Author: Eleanor Carlson

Properly drafted estate documents are essential to communicate how you want your assets managed and, and upon death, transferred to your loved ones. They are a means through which to continue to care and support for your family. 

Unfortunately, many Albertan’s die each year without a well drafted will, leaving those they love to navigate the distribution of their assets without their guidance. In many circumstances this can lead to family disputes and increased costs. From additional legal fees to estate administration fees, many Albertan’s could have avoided post-death financial burdens by working with a lawyer to set up a customized and efficient estate plan. 

What is estate planning?

You spend your life accumulating assets. Estate planning is the process of putting in place documents that direct the management of those assets on your death or incapacity.

What estate planning documents should I have?

You should have a will, an enduring power of attorney and a personal directive. The latter two are set up to take effect if you become incapacitated. When these documents come into effect the individual(s) you appoint will be able to make personal and financial decisions on your behalf.

What are the steps involved in preparing a will, personal directive and enduring power of attorney?

The first step is to fill out our estate planning questionnaire. This document asks questions about your assets and your loved ones. We use this document to guide our initial estate planning conversation. The next step is to have our initial planning meeting. We can meet in person, over the phone, or by video. In this meeting we work through your estate plan and what you wish to do with your assets. We will discuss the various roles (executor, trustees, guardians), and how you want your estate managed and distributed. We do not expect you to come to this meeting with all the answers, as part of the process is our working together to put in place documents that meet your specific estate planning goals. We encourage you to ask questions as we want you to walk away from this meeting feeling confident and knowledgeable about your estate plan. After the meeting We prepare a draft of the documents and send them to you for review. We can make revisions as necessary. Once you are satisfied with the documents, we will set up a signing meeting.

What does it cost to prepare a will, personal directive, and enduring power of attorney?

For a couple, the average fee for all documents is between $1,500–$2,000. This assumes a limited number of revisions and documents with basic estate planning. If your estate requires complex planning such as trusts, corporate and commercial succession planning, and complex estate distributions, this will be reflected in the fee. For an individual the range is $1,100– $1,600. We can also do each of the documents separately.

Please contact us if you have any questions about estate planning.

To book time with a lawyer to prepare an estate plan and the related documents, please call us at 403-263-5656.

You can also check out the Carbert Waite LLP’s website where you will find more information on our estate planning legal servicesestate administration and estate litigation.