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Done Deal

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Will and Estate Lawyers in Alberta


Wills And ESTATE

  • Wills
    Wills are an essential document to be written before death. Without a Will, your assets may not necessarily end up going to the people you thought they would.


    • Your Last Will and Testament
      Your Last Will and Testament outline and enforce your wishes regarding your estate. Dying without one may mean your assets will be distributed against your wishes.

  • Power of Attorney for Property
    We put together frequently asked questions about Powers of Attorney For Property (Assets). These include, What is a Power of Attorney? Do I need two Powers of Attorney? Can a Power of Attorney be used after death? and more.


When Is Probate Required?

Probate is not always required, and not all executors go through the probate process. However, probate should be undertaken where:

  • Court approval is needed to validate the will or the chosen executor because of a dispute about who it should be;

  • Where proof of an executor’s authority is required for third parties, such as banks;

  • Where the estate includes a land transfer, as land registry offices will require probate to transfer land from the deceased’s name into the name of someone else.


Estate Administration Where There Is A Valid Will

A written will name the individual(s) responsible for overseeing (i.e. administering) the winding up of the testator’s estate. This individual is known as the executor. There can be more than one executor. The named executor(s) must apply to the court for a Certificate of Appointment as Estate Trustee with a Will. Once the court is satisfied that the will is valid, it will issue the certificate which confirms the executor’s authority to administer the will.


Estate Administration Where There Is No Will

Where there is no will, someone (usually the surviving spouse) must be appointed by the court to administer and distribute the estate as executor. If there is no spouse or is the spouse is unable or unwilling to act in this capacity, another family member can apply to do so. If there are no eligible family members, another person may apply to become executor, for instance, a close friend, a lawyer, or the Public Guardian and Trustee. The court will grant a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee without a Will, which gives the designated individual the authority to manage and distribute the estate in accordance with intestacy rules.

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