Who do you know who says they should have a Will but don’t know where to start? People share “horror” stories people they know who had to deal with a family member or a friend who died without a Will and the problems that arose.
The best starting point is to get advice from a lawyer who works with you to ensure the necessities for a valid and enforceable Will are met. The information below is not intended to replace the advice you get from a lawyer and provides areas you need to be aware of when seeking advice.
The following are some major categories to be considered in making your Will:
Specific Requirements in making the Will document itself. The Alberta Wills and Succession Act provides specifics on witnesses, signing and format of the document. For example, there must two witnesses in the same room who sign at the same time and there are restrictions on who can be a witness. Alterations or marks on a Will can invalidate it. There are exceptions to the specific requirements, one being a holographic Will.
Executor (or executrix in the feminine form) is the person who administers your estate to ensure your wishes set out in your will are carried out. The Executor has the responsibility to:
This is only a short list of duties and responsibilities. You will want to select an Executor who will be able to manage these tasks. It is also advisable to pick an alternate in case your Executor is unable to act.
Gifts, bequests, beneficiaries etc. In a nutshell, who, what and when.
Other considerations to name a few:
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.