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Archive for Calgary Lawyer



Estate Planning Canada

In Alberta, from a legal point of view a gay or lesbian couple is the same as a heterosexual couple. A more relevant factor may be whether or not the couple has children. A childless couple will often want to appoint adult nieces and nephews, or even younger adult friends, as alternate executors for the wills, alternate attorneys for the powers of attorney, and alternate representatives for the personal directives. On the other hand, a couple with adult children will typically appoint one or more of the children as alternate representatives.


Some jurisdictions allow for joint wills. However, my practice is to prepare two wills, one for each spouse. I think joint wills have too many drawbacks. In particular, a husband and wife’s wishes are not always in line. For example, the husband may wish for one of his siblings to be his alternate executor, and the wife may wish for one of her siblings to be her alternate executor. In all likelihood, one spouse will predecease the other, rather than both dying at the same time. Since a joint will may be probated for the spouse who dies first, the second spouse would then likely have to do another will anyway.

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.

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.

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.

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.