Make Your Will Online In Alberta With Epilogue.
Alberta is pretty awesome. Home of Gretzky’s Oilers, Iginla’s Flames, the Calgary Stampede, and Lake Louise … could it get any better? Heck yes! (It just did.)
We are thrilled to announce that Albertans can now make estate planning documents online with Epilogue. Epilogue is on a mission to democratize estate planning for all Canadians—and we’re doing it one province at a time. Now, all Alberta (AB) residents can protect their families and enjoy peace-of-mind with simple, straightforward online wills.
Most Canadians only need basic a basic last will and testament (Will), yet the majority of the population doesn’t have a legal or up-to-date Will. And we don’t blame them! It’s a common misconception that you need a lawyer to draft your Will.
Making a will online is easier than you think
When people think about this process they often assume it will take a lot of time and cost a lot of money. But with Epilogue’s best-in-class service, you can have a legally-binding Will in your hands in about 20 minutes, and for a fraction of the cost of seeing a lawyer.
Here’s how it works:
- Visit https://epiloguewills.com and click “Get Started”
- Complete the questionnaire
- Generate your documents
- Print and sign them according to the detailed signing instructions included
So, now you have no excuse to create this important legal document and put a future plan in place to protect your family and loved ones 😉
Frequently Asked Questions
We know the term ‘estate planning’ can spark more questions than answers, but we’ve got you covered. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about online Wills.
What’s the legal age to make a Will in Alberta?
If you’re 18 years or older (and of sound mind,) you’re able to make a Will in AB. Keep in mind, exceptions can be made for anyone in the military and anyone who is legally married or emancipated. Now, we realize most 18-year-olds aren’t thinking about their own death. After all, you’re just starting to live life! But estate planning is a great practice to start at a young age. Plus, if you make your Will with Epilogue, you can always log in to your dashboard and update your documents anytime, for free.
The legal age to make a Will varies across Canada, depending on the province you live in.
What happens if I die without a Will?
If you die without a Will is called dying intestate. If you die intestate in AB, your property and assets get distributed according to what’s called the Wills and Succession Act, which may or may not reflect your actual wishes. Here’s what this looks like in different situations:
Spouse and kids (from the same spouse):
All your assets and property automatically go to your spouse. They get everything.
Kids but no living spouse:
Your property and assets are split equally among your kids. If any of your children are no longer alive when you die but THEY have kids, then their portion gets equally distributed among them.
Multiple marriages (or common-law partners):
If you’re current and/or former partners are alive, it gets a bit more complicated, especially if you have kids with more than one partner.
- Your surviving spouse/partner gets half of your estate (unless the act specifies another amount.)
- The remaining assets are split equally among your surviving kids.
If any of your kids have passed away but have children, their portion is split among those grandkids.
No spouse, children, or other dependents:
Your estate goes to your next-of-kin. That means either it gets split among your parents if they are still alive. If not, your estate gets divided among your siblings. If one of them is no longer alive, their portion is divided among any kids they may have. And if there are no parents, siblings, nieces or nephews, then your property and assets go to your other blood relatives like grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.
Your entire estate goes to the province and they decide how to use it.
If none of these scenarios look ideal to you, you must have a Will in place.
Who will look after my kids if I die?
When you have a Will, you get to choose who takes care of your minor children in the unfortunate event that you die. This person is called a guardian. In some provinces, guardians hold their role for 90 days while the provincial court decides who the long term guardian will be (more often than not, it’s the Will-appointed guardian.)
However, in AB, the person you name as guardian assumes that role permanently. In some cases, a parent may name a second guardian to take over in the event the primary guardian can’t take on the role or isn’t available.
How to choose a guardian
Choosing a guardian for your kids is possibly one of the most difficult choices you’ll have to make when completing your Will. Ask yourself who would be up to the job both financially and emotionally as well as who would be able to raise your children the way you would want.
Consider things like:
- What are their religious values and beliefs?
- Do they live far away from your kids’ school and friends?
- Do they have children already?
Click here for a comprehensive guide on how to choose a guardian.
What is a common-law spouse entitled to in Alberta?
The rules across Canada vary when it comes to a Common-law partner’s entitlement if there is no Will. In AB, if you pass away without a Will and leave a common-law partner behind, they are legally entitled to a share of your estate.
In other provinces, like Ontario, they aren’t legally entitled to anything. If you have a Will, you get to decide how much of your estate your common-law partner will get, rather than relying on the rules in the province to get it right. In short, having a Will gives you a lot more control.
Don’t I need a lawyer to make my Will?
A lawyer isn’t required to make legally binding Wills in Canada. Anyone who needs a basic Will can quickly and easily make one using an online platform like Epilogue. All you need to do to make your online Will valid is to sign it in the presence of two witnesses and have them sign it as well. Your witnesses can be almost anyone but should not be:
- Anyone who’s a beneficiary under your Will (generally family members)
- The spouse/partner of any beneficiary under your Will
- Anyone else who can potentially benefit under your Will (like the child of a beneficiary)
- Minor children
When should I seek legal advice?
Epilogue was founded by two tax and estate lawyers with over a decade of experience, so you get the comfort of knowing you have a lawyer-quality Will without the legal fees or lawyer’s office visits.
Having said that, if you have a more complex estate or situation, an online Will platform may not be right for you. We recommend talking to a professional for legal advice if any of these apply to you:
- You want to exclude a spouse or child from your Will
- You’ve had multiple marriages
- You have a child with a disability who is receiving government benefits
- You have significant assets outside of Canada
- You want to engage in sophisticated tax planning
What is an NC8 form and do I need one?
The NC8 form is called the “Affidavit of Witness to a Will”. This is a document signed by one of your witnesses and signed in the presence of a Commissioner for Oaths or Notary Public (i.e. a lawyer). If your Will ever goes into probate (a process where your Will is proved as valid in a court of law,) having an NC8 can save your family a lot of time and legal fees.
While an NC8 is not legally required in order for your Will to be valid, we highly recommend signing one. All Epilogue Wills include an NC8 form when you print out your documents.
What is a Personal Directive?
A Personal Directive is a legal document that appoints an individual to step into your shoes and make decisions about your personal and health care needs if you’re not capable of making those decisions for yourself. In some provinces, it’s called a Power of Attorney for Personal Care or a Health Care Directive.
This document addresses things like health care, medical needs, living arrangements, and end-of-life planning. In other provinces, this is sometimes referred to as a Power of Attorney for Personal Care.
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney (POA) is a document that appoints an individual to take care of making decisions about your property and finances if you become unable to manage them yourself. This includes things like general banking needs, paying bills, and managing investments.
Sign me up! How do I get started?
If you have 20 minutes you have time to make your Last Will and Testament online today and protect your family members. To get started just click here. And enjoy 20% off with the discount code ALBERTA20 (expires September 30th, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST.)
Still have questions?
If you still have questions or need any help, feel free to reach out to us anytime via the live chat in the bottom right corner or send us a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can! Please note we are not able to offer legal advice.
For more information about Epilogue, visit us online.
If you have any questions relating to estate planning in general, visit our Learn Centre: https://epiloguewills.com/learn
Stay tuned! More to come
Epilogue’s ultimate goal is to make Will writing more accessible and affordable for all Canadians. Our service is currently available in these other provinces in Canada: Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba and plans to be available in Atlantic Canada by the end of 2021, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI.