Proudly Serving Alberta

Probate and Wills in Edmonton

Estate law is a challenging matter for you and your loved ones to navigate. Fortunately, we at the Verhaeghe Law Office are here to help.

We are Edmonton’s number one law firm for probates, wills, powers of attorney, and other matters of estate. In business now for over 50 years, we’ve established ourselves as a trusted name and a leader in our industry. Renowned for our personalized service approach and our commitment to our customers, we’re the go-to choice for many looking for a trustworthy estate lawyer.

We want to be yours too.

To schedule a free initial consultation, call us at (587) 410-2500 today.


Why is Probate Necessary?

Probate can be lengthy and challenging, so you may wonder why it’s necessary.

There are a few reasons for this:

  • It validates the deceased's will, ensuring their final wishes are followed.
  • It protects against fraud by requiring court supervision and documentation of all financial transactions related to the estate.
  • It allows creditors to make claims against the deceased's estate, ensuring that debts are properly paid off.

Without probate, there could be disputes between family members and others who feel entitled to a portion of the deceased's assets. Additionally, without court oversight, there is a higher risk of fraud or mismanagement of the estate's assets.

What are the Probate Steps?

Probates are unique to each case, and the process may depend on the size and complexity of the estate.

However, some common steps in the probate process include:

  • Filing a petition with the court to open probate and appoint an executor or personal representative.
  • Notifying heirs and beneficiaries of the deceased's passing and upcoming court hearings.
  • Inventorying and appraising all assets owned by the deceased at the time of their death.
  • Paying off debts, taxes, and other expenses from the estate.
  • Finally, distributing remaining assets to heirs and beneficiaries according to the will's instructions.

How Can an Estate Lawyer Help?

Navigating probate can be overwhelming and confusing, especially during a time of grief. A licensed estate lawyer can guide you through this difficult process and provide valuable advice and support along the way.

You can expect help with tasks such as:

  • Filing the necessary paperwork to open probate and appoint an executor.
  • Communicating with the court, creditors, and other parties involved in the probate process.
  • Reviewing and valuing assets to ensure they are accurately accounted for in the estate.
  • Negotiating and resolving any disputes that may arise between heirs or beneficiaries.
  • Ensuring that all legal requirements are met, including deadlines for filing taxes and distributing assets.

Overall, working with an estate lawyer is the best way to ensure the probate process runs smoothly and that the deceased's wishes are carried out according to their will.

Probate Services: Accurate Will Authentication

Navigating the legal intricacies of probate and wills is crucial for securing your family's future. In the most simplistic terms, probate is the legal process that validates and authenticates a will, ensuring the proper distribution of assets as per the deceased's wishes. Meanwhile, writing a will is a proactive step to safeguard your legacy, detailing how you want your property distributed after your passing.

At our firm, we understand the significance of these processes and offer expert guidance to make them efficient and stress-free. Our experienced attorneys specialize in aligning your wishes with Alberta's provincial legislation and Canadian federal law, providing a seamless transition for all parties involved.

Can You File a Probate Without a Will?

Yes, it’s possible to file a probate without a will. In this case, the court will appoint an administrator to manage the estate and distribute assets according to state laws. This process is known as intestate succession.

However, having a valid will can make the probate process smoother and less complicated. It allows the deceased to control how their assets are distributed rather than leaving it up to state laws.

If you don’t have a will, creating one as soon as possible is important to ensure your wishes are carried out and to make the probate process easier for your loved ones.

How Much Does a Probate Cost?

There are several fees associated with probate that should be taken into consideration:

  • Court filing fees
  • Executor's fees (usually a percentage of the estate's value)
  • Attorney's fees
  • Appraisal fees for valuing assets
  • Costs for publishing notices of probate in newspapers

Probate Lawyers Taking a Personalized Approach

Why choose our probate and will services? We offer a personalized approach, acknowledging that no two clients are the same. Our team takes the time to understand your unique situation, ensuring our services meet your specific needs. Whether you're writing a new will or navigating the probate process, our commitment is to provide you with calm and confident support throughout.

Blending legal expertise with a keen understanding of individual needs, our probate and will lawyers navigate inheritances with a tailored approach that ensures your legacy is crafted with precision.

Do you have a blended family? Our team customizes the probate and will process to foster fair distribution, considering both biological and stepfamily relationships. Clear instructions and strategic use of trusts become integral elements to preempt potential conflicts and secure a harmonious transition.

High-Value Inheritances and Asset Management

For those with a high-value asset portfolio, we seamlessly integrate sophisticated strategies to pass on the value of their estates. This ensures the preservation and efficient distribution of substantial wealth. This approach reflects our commitment to safeguarding your financial legacy.

In cases involving special needs dependents, our probate and will lawyers collaborate closely with you to establish trusts and guardianship arrangements, providing meticulous care and financial security. Business owners especially benefit from our strategic approach to succession planning, addressing nuances like leadership transition and asset protection to guarantee the seamless continuation of their entrepreneurial legacy.

Knowledgeable and Expert Attorneys

Verhaeghe Law Office is a trusted name in Edmonton's legal services. We offer expert probate services that authenticate and validate the wills of the deceased. Our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys understand the importance of this process and provide efficient and effective support to ensure a smooth transition for all parties involved. With our firm overseeing the authentication of your will, you won’t have anything to worry about. We’re thorough, operate with complete compliance, and work tirelessly to uphold your wishes.

By providing our clients a completely copacetic service with Alberta and Canadian Federal law and offering a commitment to providing helpful and informative service, our team is more than well-equipped to guide you through the complex process of wills and probate.

With a focus on delivering results that meet your needs and exceed your expectations, Verhaeghe Law Office should be the top choice whenever you want to speak with an expert who can help you with your probate service needs.

Reliable Will Asset Distribution

In their simplest form, wills are legal documents that outline how the deceased party would like their assets and property distributed after their death. They are flexible and amendable and can outline all kinds of requests in the event of a person's death that must be legally respected. Specific recommendations in terms of the distribution of property can be expected. Detailed childcare instructions could be outlined, distribution of property or wealth, or other special requests can also be made in wills.

We’re the team to speak with if you want to work with a trusted law firm to help you through the creation and management of wills. We are very familiar with dealing with wills and are here to help you with any questions you have for us. With us on your side, you’re sure to have peace of mind.

Work with Edmonton's Most Organized Probate and Will Lawyer

Verhaeghe Law Office is the most compassionate and diplomatic choice for anyone seeking assistance in will and probate services.

Our team takes great pride in providing personalized and organized legal support, ensuring our clients' smooth and stress-free experience. As stress-free as dealing with wills can be, of course. We understand the importance of clear communication and prompt service when providing these services, and we strive to make the process as easy as possible for all involved.

With a friendly and approachable manner, our team will go above and beyond to ensure your needs are met and that you feel heard and understood at every step. Working with an organized and caring lawyer is essential in navigating the complex world of wills and probate, and Verhaeghe Law Office is here to provide just that. Trust us to be your partner in ensuring your wishes are honored and your legacy protected.

Professional, Honest Legal Services

Honesty and professionalism stand as the bedrock of our commitment to clients. We believe you deserve clear answers to your questions and immediate responses to your top concerns-and that's why our attorneys operate with unwavering integrity. We're celebrated for providing transparent and truthful guidance throughout every legal endeavor.

Professionalism isn't just a virtue-it's a value ingrained in every aspect of our legal services. As one of our clients, you can expect:

  • Expert advice and guidance
  • Realistic expectations and achievable outcomes
  • Unwavering dedication to your interests

We continually seek to deliver legal services with a genuine commitment to our clients and their wishes, ensuring you receive legal support from professionals who are willing to guide you through the whole process.

Attorneys Putting Clients First

When it comes to legal services in Edmonton, Verhaeghe Law Office stands out as a compassionate and transparent firm that puts its clients first. Our team of lawyers and legal experts is dedicated to professionalism and honesty and has helped countless clients plan and execute their estates.

From creating wills that are legally binding and comprehensive to providing compassionate service in difficult times, our team is here to support you throughout your will creation process. When you work with us, you receive honest feedback about your estate planning and reliable services that keep you organized and prepared for the unexpected.

Choosing the best legal representation for wills and probates is essential to securing a future for your loved ones and your property. With our team’s expertise and unwavering commitment to professional service, we’re the best choice to help you navigate the complexities of wills and probates.

Extensive Wills and Probate Legal Expertise

If you’re looking to update your will or need legal counsel to manage probate, look no further than Verhaeghe Law Office. Our firm has expertise in various legal areas, including estate planning and execution support, and a long track record of smoothly resolving related issues. We can be hired as probate lawyers or help you strategically plan your will to set up a financial future for your loved ones.

Our expertise comes from our official legal certification in the province of Alberta and years of industry experience. Our team has the skills and resources to help you navigate complex legislation and ensure your estate is safely and reliably transferred to your beneficiaries.

During your consultation, our legal team can address your questions and concerns and provide precise explanations of the processes around wealth and asset transfers. Our team will work tirelessly to support your needs and provide exceptional legal counsel through your estate planning and transfer.

Comprehensive Will, Probate, and Estate Services

As experienced lawyers and legal aids, our team offers a comprehensive range of services related to wills and probates. We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional services grounded in integrity and professionalism. We’ve earned our reputation for excellence through hard work and dedication to client satisfaction.

When you work with us, you can trust that you’ll achieve positive outcomes that align with your financial goals. Some of our areas of expertise include the following:

  • Wills and estate planning
  • Probate and estate administration
  • Trusts and asset protection
  • Estate litigation
  • …and more

From navigating probate legislation and providing efficient administration of a loved one’s estate to providing strategic advice on designing your will, our team is equipped with the skill to address any number of issues and concerns.

Personalized Will Planning

We appreciate that every client’s financial and family situation is unique. That’s why we take the time to learn about your particular goals, needs, and assets. Our experienced attorneys work closely with you and tailor their advice and strategies to your circumstances.

During your preliminary consultation, our team will explain the nuances of wills and probates to help you understand the process clearly. We work tirelessly to make your experience stress-free and provide peace of mind during a challenging time. Our compassionate team will do everything possible to make you feel comfortable and supported and provide legal counsel you can depend on.

The Full-Service Law Firm for Probate, Wills, and Estates

Since opening our doors, we’ve expanded our operations to provide an impressive array of estate legal services. Few firms boast the expertise and wide range of services that we do.

As a full-service law firm, we’re available to help our clients through every stage of the estate planning and will execution process. Our services include:

  • Consultations
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Settlements
  • Probate Services
  • Executor Assistance
  • Wills
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Personal Directives (“Living Wills”)
  • …and more

We have helped draft thousands of wills, powers of attorney, and personal directives, and we’ve helped countless citizens reach a fair and equitable distribution of their estate. With our expertise at your disposal, you can trust that we’ll do the same for you.

A Caring and Compassionate Estate Law Firm

We’re Here to Help

At the Verhaeghe Law Office, we are committed to providing our services with a personalized approach. Ours is a warm and welcoming law office: confidential, judgment-free, and open to all in need of top-quality legal advice.

We handle every case with the care, sensitivity, and due diligence that it deserves. Unlike many firms, we don’t pigeonhole our clients into a box. Instead, we get to know you, your story, your circumstances, and your wishes for your legacy. That way, we can provide better legal advice and help every testator fulfill their last wishes.

We’re passionate about defending everyone’s right to safe, professional legal advice. When you choose us for estate planning, we’ll give you the guidance you need to make an informed decision about your legacy.

Executor Services—For an Easier Transition

We have helped countless executors carry out the final wishes of their testators. Our goal is to take the stress off your shoulders: make the whole process a little less burdensome, and a whole lot less arduous.

Executing a will can vary in difficulty and length of time, but it always poses its own unique challenges. At the Verhaeghe Law Office, we follow a stringent preparation process to tackle those challenges head-on. We make sure that the details of the will are clear and straightforward so that we can distribute the estate in a minimal amount of time. That way, you can focus on making a smoother transition to the next stage of your life.

We’re also available to provide counsel and representation in probate cases. If you need a probate lawyer, contact us today.

FAQ: Wills, Probates, and Estate Law

If you are looking for legal assistance regarding wills and probates, then look further no further. At Verhaeghe Law Office, we are here to offer our expert guidance. We understand that estate and other legal matters can be difficult to navigate and we will be by your side every step of the way to point you in the right direction. Embarking on the process of creating your last will and testament can be difficult and emotional. Our licensed and educated lawyers use their years in the field to make your experience as stress-free and straightforward as possible. Below we’ve provided answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

We are proud to help people make their will or assist families in dealing with the will after the person who has written it is deceased. Contact us if you have any questions about the process, or continue reading and consulting the questions below.

Why do I need a will?

A will is a legal document which states how you would like your assets distributed after you pass away. In most cases, an individual selects a close relative, known as an executor, to carry out your wishes, which may include who you would like the guardian for your children to be, how your property will be distributed, and who will inherit your assets and belongings, among other things.

By establishing a will, you can prevent fighting and distress amongst relatives, and ensure that those you care for are taken care of the way you wish them to be. This makes wills very important documents we at Verhaeghe Law Office believe everyone requires.

What if I don’t have a will?

If you don’t have a will, provincial law will determine who will get your assets, how they will be distributed, and who is best fit to become the legal guardian of your children.

Dying without a will is referred to as “intestate”. And, while for those without any living relatives this may seem like a valid option, there are a lot of factors to be considered when this occurs.

If you die and leave behind a spouse but no children, they will receive your entire estate. If you do have children but your net value does not exceed $40,000 the same thing will occur. If your value is over $40,000, that amount is granted to your spouse with the remainder being split between children. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Creating a last will and testament may seem morbid to some, but it’s an important legal document we must all create.

How do I write a valid will?

There are two types of wills: a holographic will and a formal will.

A holographic will is the classic, do-it-yourself method. It is handwritten by the testator. Alberta is one of the few provinces in Canada that still accepts holographic wills. Meanwhile, the formal variety is drafted by a lawyer, which any member of the Verhaeghe Law Office will be glad to assist you with, and signed by witnesses.

To make a will in Alberta, you must be over 18 years old and mentally competent. A will must be properly witnessed for it to be valid. This means it must be witnessed by at least two other people. Your signature as testator, which just means that you are the one making the will, must be made in the presence of the two witnesses. Once it’s complete, each witness must sign it in the presence of both you and the other witness. The witnesses are not required to review the contents of the will. It is not a good idea to let a beneficiary or someone close, like a spouse of a beneficiary, to act as your witness because a gift made to that beneficiary will be contested. People who have no interest in your property or assets are the ideal candidates to serve as your witnesses.

At Verhaeghe Law Office, we understand that this can seem like a daunting process for the average Albertan. That is why if you or someone you know needs assistance writing their will and arranging witnesses that don’t have a personal stake in the content of the document, we can apply our legal expertise to help you through this process to make sure your loved ones can still benefit in spite of their bereavement.

It’s important to note that while video and audio wills are popular devices in movies and TV, these will not be accepted as valid.

How should I distribute my property?

You are free to distribute your property any way you please, however, your spouse may have rights to your property. Should you have any outstanding debts, they will be paid off by your estate before any property is passed on to friends or relatives.

It is important to note that if properties named are no longer considered yours to distribute after death, such as a rental property, these lands or holdings cannot be passed on to a beneficiary.

Wills always operate strictly within the law, making it important to work with qualified professionals with the experience that can help you navigate more complicated situations. Appraisals and a great deal of paperwork are required to transfer property from one owner to another. Rely on Verhaeghe Law Office to work within Edmonton bylaws to ensure a smooth process all around.

Can I change my will?

Yes, you can change your will if you are sound of mind. Typical changes include changing the name of the executor, amount of a cash gift, and how your property will be distributed.

Always make a new will if there are major changes in your life. Your will can be revoked when you marry someone after creating the document and not when you separate or divorce. Incidents that should make you consider updating your will include:

  • Marriage
  • Separation
  • Divorce
  • Children
  • Financial changes
  • Death of a family member

Making sure it’s up to date can seem tedious, but the fact of the matter is that accidents happen. So, if you do not take the time to make sure everything is up to date, it could cause serious problems down the line for your family. Thankfully, our lawyers are always a phone call away to assist you with any changes you need made. Just give us a call whenever it’s convenient to make sure that the content of your will is accurate.

What is probate?

Probate refers to the court’s process of settling a person’s estate after they have passed away. During this legal process, the court makes sure that any debts are paid by the estate before property and assets are distributed to the recipients. This can be a long and tedious process, especially when there is outstanding debt. While the estate goes through probate automatically, there are ways to minimize this process. Teaming up with an experienced lawyer who specializes in wills and probates can streamline the distribution of assets among family members and close relatives.

In Alberta, a Grant of Probate is the Surrogate Court’s certification that the will submitted by the executor meets the formal requirements of a will as outlined in the Wills and Succession Act. Once this has been acquired, the executor is then given the authority to deal and distribute the deceased’s estate. It is not always necessary to obtain, but we have all the necessary experience to make sure we cut through all the red tape keeping beneficiaries from what is rightfully theirs in this difficult time.

Experienced Probate Lawyer

Here at Verhaeghe Law Office, we are licensed probate lawyers in Edmonton. We have many years of experience working with executers to advise and assist them on the appropriate actions to take to minimize probate. With our depth of knowledge regarding real estate law, we can help you with the following:

  • Locating and securing probate assets
  • Obtaining property appraisals
  • Collecting life insurance proceeds
  • Settling disputes among beneficiaries
  • Assisting with the selling of the estate
  • Retitling property
  • …and more

Wills and Probate Simplified

At Verhaeghe Law Office, we understand how difficult it is to dedicate time to making a will, and consider everything that must go in to it. Equally difficult is the probate process. There is a lot of emotion involved in both of these processes, but they are equally necessary. Whether you’re creating your living will or are a member of family left behind after the death of a loved one, you’re going to need compassionate lawyers who can help every step of the way.

Contact Verhaeghe Law Office’s Legal Services for Probate and Wills Today

At Verhaeghe Law Office, we understand that setting time aside to create your will can be daunting, but it is one of the best ways to preserve your memory.

So, if you are looking for a will and probate lawyer to handle estate distribution in Edmonton, then get in touch with us to schedule an appointment. The last thing you want is for your family to be distressed over property distribution after you’re gone. When you partner with us, you will benefit from a team of lawyers who have your best interest at heart.