Layout Image

In short, no. You should make sure that your Alberta Law will can be found in the event of your death. Good places to keep your will are with your lawyer or in a safety deposit box. In either event, you should let your executor (and perhaps your beneficiaries) have a copy of your will along. It is of utmost importance that your executor (and possibly beneficiaries) is informed of the location of your will.


In most cases, no. I, as an Executor of a Will,  recommend keeping your original will in a safe place or with an executor of a will. If anything ever happens to your original will, sign another will as soon as possible.

Calgary Lawyer | Russ Weininger


You can certainly indicate such wishes in your will. However, there are a couple things to consider. You should make sure that your funeral wishes aren’t so lavish that it bankrupts your estate. The other thing to consider is that a will may not be carefully read until after you are dead and buried. For this reason, I suggest making your funeral wishes known to family members prior to your death.

Not in Alberta law. At any rate, there’s no legal obligation to do so in this province. I’m not sure, but I think the formal reading of the will is an invention of Hollywood. However, the probate process typically requires the notification of beneficiaries.

Not typically. A will is a legal document dealing with the transfer of assets after your death. As such, it is nowadays rare for a person to express religious sentiments within a will. That being said, historically, wills often used religious wording. Also, sometimes a person will indicate in a will that he or she wishes to have a particular form of religious funeral. In some cases, a person contesting a will indicate that he or she wishes for children to be placed with particular guardians, and the motivation for this may be religious in nature. As well, sometimes people will leave gifts to religious charities.

That depends on the circumstances. Testamentary freedom (the right to deal with your assets as you see fit) is sometimes limited by public policy considerations. A court may consider any number of legal loopholes to overturn a racist or sexist provision in a will. I would strongly advise against such provisions.

When a will is probated, it becomes a document of public record that potentially anyone, including the media, may have access to. You should keep this in mind, if you are saying things that you would not wish to be made public. As well, you should consider the long term effects that your words may have on your friends and family members. In some cases, negative comments may actually encourage others to challenge the validity of your will, whether or not there is any legal merit to such a challenge. This may have the effect of making things difficult for your executor and may deprive your beneficiaries of what would otherwise be their rightful inheritance.

It is important that at least two or three people know where you have kept your will, or can easily find your will after your death. If your will cannot be found after your death, it is useless.

Is a will valid if I commit suicide?

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Potentially, yes. The simple act of suicide doesn’t invalidate a will. However, if your suicide suggests that you weren’t mentally competent, or were under duress, at the time you wrote your will, then your will might end up being challenged.

That depends on whether the beneficiary is found guilty of your murder. If the beneficiary gets away with your murder, he or she may still benefit from your estate. If the beneficiary is found guilty of your murder, he or she is not legally allowed to profit from the crime.