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online wills in Alberta

Writing Online Wills in Alberta: What to Know

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online wills in Alberta

If you’re interested in learning how online wills in Alberta work, what their benefits are, and the power that these legal documents hold – you’ve come to the right place! Today, we’ll show you everything you need to know to make an online will and to do estate planning virtually. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

What Is a Last Will and Testament?

A “Last Will and Testament” is a legally binding document that details your final wishes for the distribution of your assets after you pass away. It provides specific instructions about what to do with your possessions, indicating whether you want to leave them to another person, or group, or donate them to charity.

A Last Will and Testament can also document how you want your accounts managed, your financial interests, and all matters involving dependents. There are two main types of wills in Canada: formal and holographic. Online wills in Alberta are a type of formal will, which we’ll explain better soon.

A testament also names an executor, responsible for administering the estate and executing the will. Usually, a probate court will supervise the executor to ensure the wishes specified have been carried out.

Types of Wills

When it comes to the ways they’ve been written or filled out, in Alberta, there are three types of wills:

  • Formal
  • Online
  • Holographic

However, all of these can be further divided into:

  • Simple will
  • Joint will
  • Testamentary trust will

Formal Wills in Alberta 

A formal will was made in writing, has your signature, and is signed in the presence of two witnesses, who must also sign it. The document reflects the testator’s will and ensures their property is divided fairly among their heirs.

Online Wills in Alberta

If you want the convenience of filling out your will at home at a time and environment that is best for you – online wills are the choice for you. A type of formal will, online wills in Alberta are personalized documents and are well-suited for most people.

An online will platform, like Lawyers Direct, allows you to create your will completely independently or with the help of experienced estate lawyers.

Holographic Will in Alberta

Holographic wills are handwritten and created without the use of a mechanical device. In Alberta, for a holographic will to be legal, it must be in the testator’s writing and signed by them. However, it doesn’t require any witnesses.

Even though holographic wills are a cost-effective solution, they’re often not recommended unless you have a legal background. It’s easy to contradict yourself or leave out important information, and changing or updating a holographic will is incredibly difficult.

When to Ask for Legal Advice

In Canada, you don’t need a lawyer to make a legally binding will. By meeting the right requirements and following the steps, most people can easily make a will from home. However, there are certain scenarios when it’s best to have your last testament crafted by a lawyer in Alberta.

For example, if you have a complex estate and significant assets both in and out of Canada. Also, if you’ve had multiple marriages or want to exclude a spouse or child from your will, you can benefit from talking to an attorney.

Another instance where it’s best to call someone is if you want to engage in sophisticated tax planning. Finally, if you have a child with a disability who is receiving government benefits, talk to an attorney so they can set up a special needs trust.

Requirements for a Last Will

Whether you decide to make a formal or holographic will, you will need to meet some requirements for it to be valid:

  • You must be over 18 years of age
  • You must be of sound mind
  • Two witnesses must sign the will
  • You must sign the will in the presence of two witnesses 

Your will also needs to identify assets and beneficiaries and should have a designated executor. With that in mind, there are also some recommendations as to who can’t be your witness. For example, it shouldn’t be anyone who’s a beneficiary in your will, including spouses, partners, or children of beneficiaries) or any minor children.

Dying Without a Will in Alberta

If you die without a will in Alberta, you die “intestate,” which means that your assets and property will get distributed according to the Wills and Successions Act. If you have a spouse and kids, all your assets will automatically go to your spouse. However, if you don’t have a spouse but do have children, your property and assets will be divided equally among them.

The situation becomes a bit more complicated if you’ve had multiple marriages, common-law partners, or no dependents at all. Without a will in place, your wishes might not be executed, which is why it’s best to make sure you have everything in order.

Making Online Wills in Alberta

Making online wills in Alberta is incredibly simple, and allows you to distribute your assets and property how you wish. You can also plan for your children and their inheritance, make your final wishes known and more.

With a platform like Lawyers Direct, you also have the option of having a lawyer review your online work. In addition to having your last testament drafted you can also make an emergency medical care plan.

If you get the lawyer-reviewed online wills in Alberta, you will also get a personal directive and enduring power of attorney documents. 

A personal directive is a legal document that appoints someone to make decisions related to your personal care. In the event you can’t communicate your wishes due to injury or illness, the personal directive will include medical treatment or end-of-life instructions.

Enduring power of attorney (EPA) is a legal device that allows another person to look after their financial or personal affairs in the event that you no longer have the capacity to do it yourself.

The Price of a Will in Alberta

The price of a formal will can range anywhere between CAD 400 to a few thousand dollars, depending on the complexity of the assets and property. Also, you will need to pay more for a revision to the will every time you go through a significant change in life, e.g. new property or family member.

On the other hand, online wills in Alberta typically come at a fixed price, starting from CAD 100 to CAD 1,000 for two adults. When you get your online will from Lawyers Direct, you will have access to three pricing plans, perfect for every circumstance.

Don’t wait to do your will before it’s too late and get started with Lawyers Direct today! For any questions or concerns, get in touch with us, and we’ll be more than happy to answer.

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