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What to Consider When Writing a Will in Alberta

Writing a Will is an essential step in ensuring that your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are provided for after your passing. In Alberta, Canada, there are specific considerations and legal requirements to keep in mind when creating your Will. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive guide on what you need to consider when writing a Will in Alberta, including important elements to include, potential challenges, and the role of a legal professional in the process.

Understand the Legal Requirements

Before embarking on the process of writing your Will, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the legal requirements in Alberta. The Wills and Succession Act outlines the guidelines for creating a valid Will in the province. Some key considerations include:

  1. Testamentary Capacity: You must be of sound mind and over the age of 18 to create a valid Will in Alberta. This means that you must have the mental capacity to understand the nature and consequences of creating a Will.
  2. Executor: Choose a trustworthy and capable executor who will administer your estate according to your wishes. The executor is responsible for managing and distributing your assets after your passing. It is advisable to appoint an alternate executor in case the primary executor is unable or unwilling to fulfill their duties.
  3. Beneficiaries: Clearly identify the beneficiaries of your estate, specifying their full names and their relationship to you. It is essential to be specific to avoid any ambiguity or potential disputes. Consider any potential changes in your beneficiaries’ circumstances and plan accordingly.
  4. Assets and Liabilities: Take inventory of your assets, including property, investments, bank accounts, and personal belongings. Consider any outstanding debts or liabilities that may affect the distribution of your estate. This ensures that your assets are appropriately accounted for and allocated to your beneficiaries.

Clearly Articulate Your Wishes

When writing a Will, it is essential to clearly articulate your wishes to avoid any confusion or disputes after your passing. Some considerations include:

  1. Distribution of Assets: Clearly state how you want your assets to be distributed among your beneficiaries. Be specific and include alternate plans in case a beneficiary predeceases you. Consider any specific bequests you may have, such as sentimental items or heirlooms.
  2. Guardianship: If you have minor children, appoint a guardian to ensure their care and well-being in the event of your passing. Carefully consider the suitability and willingness of the individual you choose as a guardian, as they will be responsible for raising your children.
  3. Digital Assets: In the digital age, it is important to consider your digital presence, including social media accounts, online subscriptions, and digital files. State how you want these assets to be managed or handled, whether you wish for them to be deleted, transferred, or memorialized.
  4. Charitable Donations: If you have philanthropic intentions, include provisions for charitable donations in your Will. Specify the organizations or causes you wish to support and outline the extent of your contribution.
  5. Funeral and Burial Wishes: While not legally binding, you can use your Will to express your funeral and burial wishes. Consider whether you have any preferences regarding your final arrangements, such as cremation, burial, or specific ceremonies.

Seek Professional Legal Assistance

While it is possible to write a Will on your own, seeking professional legal assistance is highly recommended to ensure your Will is valid and covers all necessary aspects. Lawyers at Vogel LLP specialize in estate planning and Wills and can provide valuable guidance, address complex legal issues, and help you navigate potential challenges such as:

  1. Tax Implications: A legal professional can help you minimize tax liabilities for your beneficiaries. They can advise you on strategies to mitigate potential estate taxes, ensuring that more of your assets go to your intended beneficiaries.
  2. Complex Family Situations: If you have a blended family, dependents with special needs, or estranged family members, a lawyer can provide advice on addressing these complexities. They can help you create provisions that consider the unique dynamics and circumstances of your family.
  3. Business Succession Planning: If you own a business, a lawyer can help you plan for its succession, ensuring a smooth transition and protecting its value. They can assist in structuring the transfer of your business interests and help you navigate legal considerations related to business assets.
  4. Updating Your Will: A lawyer can guide you on when and how to update your Will to reflect any changes in your circumstances, such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of children. They can also ensure that your Will remains up to date with any changes in provincial laws or regulations that may impact its validity.


Writing a Will in Alberta is a responsible and essential step towards securing your legacy and providing for your loved ones. By understanding the legal requirements, clearly articulating your wishes, and seeking professional legal assistance, you can ensure that your estate is distributed according to your desires. Remember, a well-crafted Will brings peace of mind and helps protect your loved ones during what can be a challenging time. Take the necessary steps to write your Will and enjoy the comfort of knowing that your affairs are in order. Contact Vogel LLP today as the first step in creating your Will and protecting those you love.

2023-08-25T16:46:10+00:00June 13, 2023|Estate Litigation|
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