Estate planning fiction and facts

Separating fact from fiction when it comes to estate planning in Alberta, a legal service handled by the estate lawyers in Coley Hennessy Cassis.

1. Fiction: Estate planning is only for rich people. Fact: Regardless of your age, consider what would happen to your assets in the event of your death. Having a Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Personal Directive will make things much easier for your family in difficult times.

2. Fiction: Young people can put off estate planning until they have accumulated a lot of wealth. See point #1.

3. Fiction: Estate planning is mostly about what happens after you die. Fact: You also need to consider what happens if you are incapacitated by injury or sickness and are unable to make decisions for yourself.

4. Fiction: Your estate plan is all about you. Fact: The distribution of your estate, a fundamental element of any estate plan, is all about your loved ones.

5. Fiction: If you die, your spouse automatically gets everything. Fact: Nothing is automatic.

6. Fiction: If you die without a Will, your wishes will still be followed. Fact: Decision making is subject to legislation that dictates who will oversee the estate and who will benefit.

7. Fiction: A Will is something you “write and forget”. Fact: You should update your Will whenever your life circumstances change.

8. Fiction: A will is beyond challenge. Fact: Wills can be successfully challenged.

9. Fiction: Children are entitled to a portion of your estate. Fact: You do not need to provide for non-dependent children.

10. Fiction: A Will is beyond challenge. Fact: Poorly written Wills, usually drafted without the help of an Estate lawyer, or out of date Wills, are often challenged and the dispute can end up in Court.

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