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What Happens if You Die Without a Will in Alberta?

photo of a will being signed, a wise move to protect your assets and children, a service offered by Safi Law Group in Edmonton Alberta

Hiring an experienced wills and estates lawyer who can make a will for you can safeguard against having an intestate estate. It provides solid estate management, which helps ensure that your assets, children and pets are taken care of the way that you want after you've passed away.

Taking control of the future when you’re not around to provide your wishes can be done when you make a will.

However, dying without a will places your estate into intestacy, which is dictated by the Wills and Succession Act.

These rules are relatively straightforward. They try to emulate the wishes that most individuals would have in this type of situation, but the critical point is that they don’t follow your specific desires, which may lead to results you wouldn’t want.

Hiring an experienced wills and estates lawyer who can make a will for you can safeguard against having an intestate estate. It provides solid estate management, which helps ensure that your assets, children and pets are taken care of the way that you want after you’ve passed away.

What Happens to My Assets?

The Wills and Succession Act is used to determine who will receive your assets if you pass away without a will. Depending on your family situation, the assets of your estate can go to your spouse, children, parents, brothers, sisters or cousins.  Things can get particularly complicated when you have a blended family.

Dying and leaving an intestate estate can cause several problems. Without proper estate management, you can end up with family members fighting over your estate.

Consider how difficult it might be to split up the following assets fairly if they contain a considerable amount of net worth:

  • Life insurance proceeds
  • Bank accounts
  • Real estate
  • Retirement funds
  • Stocks or bonds

When you take care of asset management, make a will and have a solid plan in place, you’ll avoid any problems from erupting in the future with your loved ones. Be sure to send us a message through our Contact Us page or give us a call at (780) 760-7234 when you’re ready to talk to a first-class lawyer who is highly experienced in this type of legal work.

Who Takes Care of My Assets and Children?

Dying without a will can create a complicated issue, as in who will be the executor of your estate when you pass away. The Estate Administration Act governs this situation. It lays out the rules associated with the individual who is allowed to administer your estate, which might be one of your relatives or a public trustee.

When you die without a next-of-kin, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT) manages your estate.

If you have children under the age of 18, they might make all the decisions regarding them.

You can see why dying without a will can cause challenges. Avoid this type of problem by reaching out to us through our Contact Us page or by calling (780) 760-7234 to set up a consultation and start the process of creating a will.

Do You Have to Go Through Probate if There Is a Will?

Probate is not always required for a will. If you have a surviving spouse who already has your joint assets listed under their name, the execution of your estate would be reasonably straightforward. If any third parties like financial institutions are involved, they would have to be contacted to see if they would forgo probate. However, probate is typically required so that third parties know that they are dealing with a valid will and not going to get surprised in the future.

You usually have to probate a will in Alberta in the following circumstances:

  • A substantial amount of funds are left in bank and investment accounts
  • No surviving spouse is left as a joint tenant
  • Assets are only listed in the name of the deceased
  • Insurance policies do not have a designated beneficiary

To make sure you have your estate management under control, call us today at (780) 760-7234 or via our Contact Us page. We’d be happy to help.