Planning ahead for your will

Wills and Estate Plans
Personal Directives and Enduring Powers of Attorney

Wills and Estate Plans

A properly prepared estate plan, including a will, allows you to direct where your property will go after your death.

A will is a legal document that details how your property will be distributed after your death. It also allows you to name your personal representative who will represent your estate after your death and carry out the wishes you have stated in your will. A will also allows you to name a guardian for any children who are minors at the time of your death.

An estate plan, including a will, can save a great deal of time, expense and stress for your family and loved ones during a time of grief.

Keeping your will up to date

A will that is out of date could create more problems than it solves. Laws change, personal and financial circumstances change, and new developments arise with respect to financial resources and estate planning. For instance, the wishes written down by a single person could change dramatically if they were to marry and have children. Acquiring or selling property could also change what you want to happen after your death.

It is a good idea to review your will with your lawyer on a regular basis to make sure it does what you want it to do.

Personal Directives and Enduring Powers of Attorney

In addition to a will, it is important to think about what you would want to happen if you were no longer able to make personal or financial decisions before you die. Whereas a will comes into effect on your death, a Personal Directive or Enduring Power of Attorney can ensure your wishes are followed while you are still alive but unable to make decisions (e.g. due to an illness or injury).

Personal Directive

A Personal Directive allows you to name a decision maker and/or provide written instructions to be followed when, due to illness or injury, you no longer have the capacity to make personal decisions such as where you will live or the medical treatment you will receive.

More information about Personal Directives is available at www.seniors.alberta.ca/opg.

Enduring Power of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf. It is a good idea to consult with a lawyer to discuss your estate plan to ensure you have the appropriate documents in place to protect you and your property.

More information about Enduring Powers of Attorney.