Photo by Tim Gouw
At Verhaeghe Law Office – our full-service law firm has helped clients through every stage of their estate planning and will execution process. This includes but is not limited to consultations, estate planning, estate settlements, probate services, executor assistance, wills, powers of attorney, personal directives and more. We aim to help our clients reach a fair and equitable distribution of their estate.
Often times, we’ve been asked what the difference is between a Will, a Power of Attorney and a Personal Directive in Alberta. For your convenience we have outlined the differences between each. Please note that each legal situation is unique from one another – and this article is not intended to act as legal advice. We recommend you speak directly with an Edmonton wills and estates lawyer if you require specific legal advice regarding your Will, Power of Attorney or Personal Directive.
What is a Will?
In Alberta, a will is a legal document that allow you to instruct how your property will be distributed after your death. It outlines who your personal representative will be and this person will be legally liable for representing your estate after your death and carry out your last outlined wishes. A will also allows you to name a guardian for any minor children at the time of your death. The benefits of a will are that it may alleviate stress from your family and loved ones during their time of grief and also ensures your last wishes are fulfilled. We recommend you hire a lawyer to draft your will. If you die without a will, the Wills and Successions Act will set out how and to whom property will be distributed after your death. To avoid confusion or fall outs after your passing – we recommend you prepare your will at your earliest opportunity.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows an appointed individual to make major decisions on your behalf when it comes to your finances, estate matters and health (if you are still alive). There are various types of powers of attorneys and a wills and estates lawyer can help you select the right type of power of attorney depending on your needs and requests. Selecting a power of attorney should be well thought out and we recommend you select someone whom you trust implicitly. Additionally, you should speak with them beforehand to make sure they agree to be your power of attorney as well.
What is a Personal Directive?
A personal directive is a legal document that you write in case you can’t make your own personal decisions in the future. A personal directive will name a person you’ve selected to make decisions on your behalf and comes into effect when it’s been determined that you lack the capacity to make decisions on your own. It is completely optional and voluntary and written instructions are required in case something happens to you. We recommend hiring a lawyer to draft your personal directive if this is something you wish to pursue – that way your lawyer can ensure your instructions are written out in a manner that creates minimal confusion and also covers things that you may not have thought of on your own.
Contact our Edmonton Wills and Estates Lawyers Today
If you have more questions or require legal assistance regarding your will, power of attorney or personal directive in Alberta – contact our law firm now to book a consultation and speak with an Alberta wills and estates lawyer. Our wills and estates lawyers have assisted thousands of Albertans with their legal needs and our team is on standby now to book your consultation. With offices in Whitecourt, Edmonton and Athabasca – we’re ready to put our legal experience to work for you.
Call 587-410-2500 today to book your consultation now.
Disclaimer: Please note the advice contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and is only intended to act as a general overview on the topic at hand. Each legal situation is unique and we recommend you speak with a wills and estates lawyer from Alberta if you have a question pertaining wills, power of attorneys or personal directives in Alberta or require legal assistance.