Home>Will Planning

Will Planning Lawyers in Edmonton

Last Will and Testament concept image complete with spectacles and pen.

Will lawyers help you write a legally enforceable document that ensures your last wishes are executed, your assets are passed on to the intended beneficiaries, and the needs of dependents are looked after.

There are different ways of doing this and many things to consider beforehand. It is a serious responsibility as your last will and testament is at the heart of your estate plan. Challenges and disputes amongst family members regarding wills are relatively common.

The will experts at Vest Estate Lawyers in Edmonton are experienced at working closely with families to prepare wills that protect loved ones and accurately reflect your goals.

Book A Consultation

What is a will in Alberta?

A will is often where people start with their estate plan. This is a legal document that can be used to convey key wishes about what happens to your property and dependent children after your death.

Essentially, your will can achieve three major goals:

  1. Designate a personal representative (executor/administrator) who will administer your estate and carry out the wishes you express in your will
  2. Direct how your assets are distributed after your death
  3. Name a guardian if you have minor children at the time of your death

Your personal representative is responsible for locating assets, paying any outstanding debts, and distributing assets to beneficiaries.

Without a will, your property will be transferred according to Alberta’s Wills and Succession Act after your death. The courts may be required to intervene and this can create unnecessary confusion and stress for loved ones.

Book A Consultation

What are the different types of wills recognized in Alberta?

There are two main types of wills to consider in Alberta, each with its own legal requirements to make them valid:

  1. A formal will – typewritten and signed and witnessed by at least two people who must also sign the will in your presence (cannot be beneficiaries or their spouses)
  2. A holographic will – a completely handwritten will, signed and dated by you but with no witnesses’ present

You may also have heard of “notarial wills” but please note that these are not valid in Alberta.

Most people prefer to create a formal will in the presence of will lawyers so that the wording of the document is clear and unambiguous and the correct procedure is followed.

Generally speaking, formal wills are less open to legal challenge than holographic wills.

How to draft or make changes to a will in Edmonton

It is never too early to start working on your will. However, many people do leave it too late – when they have either lost the mental capacity to write a will or they pass away intestate.

Whether you want to draft a new will or make changes (“codicils”) to an existing one, our will lawyers can help you follow the correct procedure to avoid problems in the future.

Providing you have the mental capacity to do so, you can amend a will as many times as you like. This is why it is often best to write an initial will and revisit it over the years if your circumstances and relationships change.

Without doing this, the will may no longer reflect your wishes.

In the process of writing a will, we first request details of all the specific information you want to include. A checklist of what to consider beforehand often helps.

Our will lawyers then create a completely personalized document that reflects your decisions and wishes.

If necessary, we can also help you insert changes and relevant clauses to an existing will.

Book A Consultation

What should you include in your will?

Most wills include similar general information. However, the specific information naturally varies greatly from person to person and needs to be reviewed carefully before preparing a will.

We can provide general guidance on the following matters to make sure that your decisions accurately reflect your wishes:

1. Estate administration/personal representative

The first decision you need to make is who will act as your personal representative after your death?

This is a responsible role for a person you trust. The representative will have to locate your assets and ensure that they are transferred to the beneficiaries according to your wishes, as well as managing all other affairs to wind up your estate according to your will.

For complex estates, this may involve investing assets or administering the transfer of assets to trusts.

2. Beneficiaries of your assets

You will need to name the people you intend to inherit your assets, detailing who inherits which specific assets or allocating shares, according to your wishes.

Usually, beneficiaries are family members, but may also include close friends or even charities. Everyone in Alberta has the right to distribute their property how they see fit after their death, and we will help you protect that right.

3. Guardian of your children

If you leave a surviving spouse, the care of minor children will usually pass automatically to this person.

However, you are entitled to appoint a guardian for dependent children in your will if something should happen to you.

4. Trustees for minors or a spouse

Testamentary trusts are effective estate planning tools for looking after the needs of a minor beneficiary, a spouse, a disabled beneficiary, a relative without financial know-how, or certain other parties.

Trusts help you pass on your assets responsibly after your death, ensuring a steady income or funds for particular purposes (such as educational needs) for loved ones and those dependent upon you financially.

Book A Consultation

Other elements to consider in your Alberta estate plan

A will is just one of the documents that constitutes a comprehensive estate plan. It looks after your wishes after your death but an estate plan should also include provisions for what happens later in your life.

People in Alberta are living longer. Your aged care and financial needs may change as you age and you should make provisions for these needs.

So, the other main elements of an estate plan to consider are:

A personal directive

What would happen if you were no longer able to make personal decisions regarding healthcare or where you live?

A personal directive (sometimes called a “living will”) is a legal document that allows you to select a trusted individual to manage your personal affairs if you no longer have the mental capacity to make decisions.

Enduring Power of Attorney

This document allows you to nominate a trusted individual to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf.

Write your will in Edmonton

The will experts at Vest Estate Lawyers can help you with the first important steps in creating a comprehensive estate plan that protects you and your loved ones.

Start with a one-on-one consultation, during which we will listen to your goals and advise you of your options.

Book A Consultation

In This Section

    Client Testimonials


    I Was Very Pleased.

    “I was very pleased with how Launa and her assistant Carmen took care of me through the whole process. They were professional as well as very understanding and compassionate. I always felt understood as well as understood all communicated to me. I would very much recommend Launa And her team.”

    — B. R.


    She Helped Me Win!

    “Lorraine was very easy going , super nice and caring. Knowledgeable and professional. She helped me win !!! Thank you very much, now we can move on to a better part of our live’s !!! Definitely recommend.”

    — J. D.


    Why Should I
    Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer?

    The estate planning process doesn’t have to be painful. Our lawyers can help you focus on relevant considerations for your family’s future.