Estate Planning Essentials: How to Begin the Process in Edmonton

Estate Planning Essentials: How to Begin the Process in Edmonton

Whatever your age or health status, it is always a good time to consider establishing an estate plan. While it may be uncomfortable, making clear decisions on what happens to your assets after the end of your life can offer your loved ones peace of mind. From writing your will to drafting a personal directive, the process of estate planning in Edmonton may include a variety of different elements, depending on the circumstances of your particular estate.

At Verhaeghe Law, our Edmonton estate administration lawyers understand that no two estate plans are the same. We approach each client with tailored care, listening to your unique needs and striving to ensure you have the support to proceed with informed decision-making.

To schedule your initial consultation, contact us today and learn how our Edmonton estate administration lawyers might be of service to you.

Understanding the Status of Your Estate

As with any plan, the first step in an estate planning process might be to understand the status of your estate. What are the assets and liabilities you currently possess? It may be beneficial to organize a list of your properties, investments, debts, as well as any smaller items you may wish to give to specific individuals or organizations after your death.

Determining Your Estate Planning Goals

Most people approach estate planning with the central goal of providing for their loved ones. After a person dies, their property is typically distributed among beneficiaries according to what they have outlined in their will. If there is no will, the property may be distributed in accordance with intestacy guidelines in the Alberta Wills and Successions Act.

Depending on your particular circumstances, you may have additional considerations in mind as you plan your estate. It can be important to determine your estate planning goals as a starting point. Consider the following questions:

  • Do you have dependents who may need financial support should you become incapacitated?
  • Are you concerned about a tax-efficient transfer of assets to your beneficiaries?
  • Do you have concerns about aged care for yourself or a loved one?
  • Do you own a business that requires special consideration?
  • Are you living with a health condition that might one day require a loved one to make decisions on your behalf, while you are still alive?
  • Are there other factors, or a combination of the above, that might require particular planning?

Alongside a last will and testament, a number of other legal documents may help provide your loved ones with the clarity and support they need to execute your estate plans should you become incapacitated or pass away.

Seeking the Advice and Support of a Professional

Because no two estate planning processes are identical, there may be strategies or solutions available of which you may not yet be aware. Moreover, because the process of estate planning may involve a set of legal documents, it may be in your best interests to collaborate with a professional who may be able to ensure they are drafted correctly, with rigorous attention to detail.

Our Edmonton estate administration lawyers have helped many clients navigate the process of estate planning, and would be happy to discuss your particular questions, concerns, and wishes.

Whether you own a business and have questions about how this will affect your estate plan, are interested in opening a trust for a loved one, or require support establishing a personal directive for a loved one to be able to make decisions on your behalf, our team at Verhaeghe Law is here to offer our insights. Contact us today to learn more.

Communicating Your Wishes to Your Family

In addition to drafting legal documents with the support of an Edmonton estate administration lawyer, it may be helpful to articulate your plans and wishes with your family. While they will have your last will and testament as guidance, speaking with them in advance can help reduce the stress of uncertainty in the time immediately after you become incapacitated or pass away.

Depending on your circumstances, you may wish to:

  • Tell your family where your will is located
  • Let your family know your wishes regarding the distribution of your properties, including any homes or businesses they may inherit
  • Articulate how you wish to distribute any of your sentimental assets, with consideration to how important these may be to particular family members
  • Check in with any persons to whom you intend to give enduring power of attorney and/or personal directives. Articulate, where possible, any wishes you may have regarding decisions they might make regarding your health and finances on your behalf
  • Consider other questions that may arise regarding your loved ones, and consult with our Edmonton estate administration lawyers to see what may benefit your case.

Making Arrangements for Your Business

If you own a business, there may be particular considerations required in arranging your estate plan. Upon consulting with your Edmonton estate administration lawyer, you may wish to implement several additional steps to clarifying your wishes for the future.

Depending on the context of your business, you may wish to establish a clear succession plan, in which your ownership will pass on to a business partner, a family member, or someone else. Life insurance may likewise be of particular interest to business owners, as the financial status of their business may be severely affected by an untimely loss.

Regularly Reviewing Your Estate Plan

As time passes, your life circumstances will likely change. The shape of your family, business, and estate may alter significantly. You may acquire or dispose of properties previously named in your will. Beneficiaries named in your will may pass away, or your wishes may change regarding how your property will be distributed.

For these reasons, it is important to regularly review your estate plan. Contact our Edmonton estate administration lawyers today to discuss how to strategize your review, and what amendments may be required.

Contact Our Edmonton Estate Administration Lawyers Today For a Consultation

Setting down clear plans for the future of your estate can be a tremendous gift to your family. By leaving a map of how you wish for your assets to be distributed, you may be able to provide your loved ones with financial protection and peace of mind.

Each estate has its own sets of unique possibilities and requirements. At Verhaeghe Law, our Edmonton estate administration lawyers understand that no two estate planning processes are the same. Contact us today to discuss the particulars of your case, and learn how we might make the process easier for you.

** Please note, this article is intended as a general overview on the subject of estate administration, and is not intended to be legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice, please consult with an Alberta estate administration lawyer.

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