Hello, Alberta! Now, You Can Make Your Will Online 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 residents can protect their family and enjoy peace-of-mind with simple, straightforward online wills.
Most Canadians only need basic estate planning, 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. So when people think about this process they assume it will take a lot of time and cost a lot of money. But with Epilogue, 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. So, now you have no excuse to create this important legal document and put a future plan in place 😉
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.
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 Alberta. 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.
What happens if I die without a Will in Alberta?
If you die without a Will is called dying intestate. If you die intestate in Alberta, 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.
- No next-of-kin: Your entire estate goes to the province of Alberta 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 kids 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 Alberta, 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.
What is a common-law spouse entitled to in Alberta?
The rules across Canada vary when it comes to a Common-law partners entitlement if there is no Will. In Alberta, 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?
Not necessarily. If you only need a basic Will you can use an online platform like Epilogue to create your estate planning documents. Epilogue was founded by two estate planning lawyers with over a decade of experience, so you get the comfort of a lawyer-quality Will without the lawyer sized fees or office visits. Having said that, if you have a more complicated 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 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?
In Alberta, 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. 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?
Ready to make your estate planning documents? To get started just click here. And enjoy 20% off with the discount code ALBERTA20 (expires September 30th, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST.)And 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! For more information about Epilogue, feel free to visit our website: https://epiloguewills.com