Wills & Estates 2022-08-05T12:19:47-06:00

Wills & Estates

Wills and Estate Lawyers in Edmonton, Alberta

No matter what assets an individual may hold, they should have an estate plan in place, including an up-to-date will, to ensure that their affairs are handled according to his or her wishes.

Stillman LLP has a depth of experience in both effective planning and administration of estates and wills. Our lawyers assist clients in drafting estate planning documents including wills, codicils, personal directives, enduring powers of attorney, and trusts.

How We Can Help with Planning Your Estate

We work closely with clients to ensure that family and assets will be protected and cared for in line with the client’s wishes and directions. We also advise on statutory and other legal obligations that may impact an individual’s estate planning.

We assist personal representatives (executors and administrators) in managing and administering estates, to ensure matters are resolved in an efficient and satisfactory manner, and in line with any will or codicil.

We also advise and assist with the administration of intestate estates (for those who pass away without any will) in accordance with the applicable legislation.

We understand that administering estates can involve complicated issues and sensitive family dynamics. We help our clients who are tasked with this important work navigate the process.

Our approach is respectful, considerate, and professional.

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Estate Planning Services in Alberta

Our experience and practice areas include:

  • Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Personal Directives
  • Trusts
  • Estate planning for business owners and farms
  • Estate planning in consideration of matrimonial property claims
  • Estate Administration and Distribution, including obtaining a grant of probate or grant of administration
  • Compensation for Personal Representatives
  • Passing of Accounts
  • Advising on the distribution and administration of an intestate estate

We also advise and represent Edmonton clients in contested estate matters, including acting on behalf of the personal representative or acting on behalf of a beneficiary, descendant, spouse/adult interdependent partner, or other claimants. For more information on these matters, please refer to our estate litigation practice area.

If you are considering a divorce, or have concerns about how a divorce or separation might affect your will, you may also consult with our family law services.

If you need a wills and estates lawyer to draft a new will or wish to revise or update an existing will, please contact us today to request a copy of our estate planning fees schedule.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a personal directive?

A personal directive is a legal document that allows you to name the person you trust to make decisions on your behalf should you lose the mental capacity to do so. It also lists the areas that they have decision-making authority over.

What happens to my personal property and estate if I don't have a will?

If you have no will, the Alberta Wills and Succession Act will determine who will get your property after you are gone. You will have no say about which relatives get what, or about how much each gets and the Act has a system of distributing the property amongst your family.

Additionally, if you leave something out of your Will, the Wills and Succession Act will apply to the property not included that was not included in your will.

If you have a Will but do not appoint an Executor in it, the court appoints an Administrator with Will Annexed. In this situation, the Administrator acts like an Executor and carries out the instructions in your Will.

Who is an executor of a will?

An executor is a personal representative who is appointed to look after your personal affairs as stated in the will. Generally, an executor can be a relative or one of the beneficiaries. In many cases, spouses usually appoint each other as executors of each other’s estate. Your executor should be someone trustworthy and who is capable of managing your business affairs.

If you have any more questions related to wills, estates, or appointing an executor for your estate, contact Stillman LLP and we will help.

Can Stillman LLP help my family and I find an executor for my will?

In addition to our other legal services, the wills and estates professionals at Stillman LLP can absolutely help you manage your will and find an executor for your estate. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in organizing your will and estate.

When should I begin planning my will with a lawyer or attorney?

A testator, or any individual who is planning to write or has written a will, should begin considering their estate plan following these major life events:

  • After the purchasing of a home or additional property
  • After a marriage or divorce
  • Before long-term travel plans
  • After the birth of a child into your family
  • After the inheritance of assets from another testator
  • After any change in your financial situation
  • After a move out of the province
  • After a change in your choice of who should execute your will

If you are unsure of where or when to begin, please contact a lawyer from our firm to help guide you through this delicate process. We’ve helped hundreds of Edmonton testators and personal representatives with estate matters and would be delighted to help with yours.

Is it required by Alberta law to obtain a grant of probate?

Depending on a number of circumstances, such as whether the deceased owned property in Alberta or left a will before they passed, a grant of probate or administration may be necessary.

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