Our Wills Services
Stemp & Company is a Calgary law firm that offers a full complement of legal services in the area of wills & estates, personal directives, and enduring powers of attorney.
With over 40 years of experience with wills and estate planning, our team of Calgary lawyers specializing in Wills is able to handle any of our client’s needs in these areas.
We are here to provide you with peace of mind by ensuring that your estate is distributed according to your wishes, that your family and loved ones are protected, and you and your family members are legally prepared in case of any physical or mental incapacity.
Our Calgary Wills lawyers can:
- Help you prepare a Will
- Provide advice on estate planning and estate administration
- Help you apply for administration of estates
- Provide advice related to enduring powers of attorney and personal directives
- Prepare documentation related to powers of attorney and personal directives
We assist people who wish to order their affairs with the preparation of their wills. Wills are required to select a person who will be entitled to administer the estate, and to provide for the transfer of assets on death to the individuals that are cared about. Wills can also be used for other purposes, such as to appoint Guardians for dependent children, and to establish trusts to allow for administration of assets going to these dependent children, and going to others who are not capable of managing their own legal affairs.
Wills and Estate Planning
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that selects a person who will administer the estate and provides for the transfer of assets to family and loved ones.
Wills can also be used for other purposes. Other purposes include appointing Guardians for dependent children, administration of assets going to these dependent children, and administration of assets going to others who are not capable of managing their own legal affairs.
Our team of Wills lawyers assist people who wish to order their affairs with the preparation of their wills.
Why Do I Need a Will?
Without a will, your estate will be distributed according to Alberta law, which often does not reflect your wishes. A Will is required to make sure that your beneficiaries are provided for in accordance with your wishes. In your Will, you can outline who has a share in your estate, the amount of their share, and the timing of when they will get control over their share.
The absence of a properly-drafted Will can result in additional legal fees for your loved ones and can potentially cause additional stress and conflict among family members after your passing.
Estate Administration & Planning
Our legal team provides encompassing services for estate administration.
- Probate estates – where someone dies with a will
- Estate administration – when someone dies without a will
In addition to estates for Calgary and Alberta residents, we also administer estates for persons who resided outside of Alberta but had property located in Alberta.
Enduring Power of Attorney
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
While a Will addresses what will happen to your estate after your death, Enduring Powers of Attorney is used to give another person the legal ability to manage that person’s assets if you become unable to do so.
Why Do I Need an Enduring Power of Attorney?
Enduring power of attorney is required whenever someone is unable to take care of themselves or to provide for themselves due to mental or physical disability.
An enduring Power of Attorney is particularly important between spouses, as a spouse has no legal ability to manage the other spouses’ assets without this document. If you become incapable without an Enduring Power of Attorney in place, your spouse or loved one will have to spend time and additional legal fees for a Court Application for the Court appointment of a Trustee.
What is a Personal Directive?
A personal directive is also known as a “living Will” or an “advanced medical directive”. A personal directive gives another person the legal ability to make all of the non-financial decisions that need to be made if that individual becomes mentally incapable.
Why Do I Need a Personal Directive?
A Personal Directive is a legal document that ensures someone you trust can properly instruct medical professionals regarding your preference for medical care if you are not able to. This could be in the event of a serious injury or illness.
The person appointed has a legal responsibility to ensure the decisions and actions that are carried out according to your wishes. These decisions involve issues like residence, medical care, and life support. Without this document, an Application to the Court for the appointment of a Guardian would be necessary if a person becomes incapable.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I make a Will?
Life is unpredictable, so it is best to make a Will early while you are in good health and have time to carefully consider your estate planning. Anyone over the age of 18 should make a Will, a Personal Directive, and an Enduring Power of Attorney. If your life circumstances change, you can always change your Will to reflect those life changes.
What Happens if I get married or divorced after creating a Will?
You should consider making a new will if there is a major change in the circumstances of your life. If you get married, your will is not automatically revoked but if you get divorced or terminate a common-law relationship a gift or bequest to a spouse or common-law partner will be deemed to have been revoked. However, if you separate or divorce, your Will is not revoked. You can make changes to your Will via a Codicil, which is an addition to your Will that modifies, explains, or revokes a Will or parts of your Will.
Do I need to provide reasons in my Will that explain the allocation of assets?
No, you do not have to give an explanation for how assets in your estate are distributed.
Does a Will address real estate?
If you own land or your home in title as a joint owner with another person, this property is automatically transferred to the joint owner if you die. If your beneficiary is not a joint tenant, your Will should address who will inherit the property.
Is the Enduring Power of Attorney effective as soon as it is signed?
While a Continuing Enduring Power of Attorney is effective immediately, a Springing Enduring Power of Attorney becomes effective at a certain time in the future or is triggered under specific circumstances such as mental incapacity.
Who can I appoint to become my Agent?
You should pick a person you trust to be an agent in your Personal Directive. Have a conversation with the person to ensure they agree to be your agent and that he or she understands your wishes.