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​Understanding Wills and Succession Act & Estate Administration Act

February 6, 2023

By: Jerry Thompson 

At Shim Law, we are familiar with the Wills and Succession Act (WSA) and the Estate Administration Act (EAA) which are the primary pieces of legislation governing wills, estates, and successions in the province of Alberta.These acts set out the legal framework for making a valid will, the rights and duties of executors, the process for probating a will, and the rules for intestate succession (when a person dies without a will).

A will is a legal document that expresses the testamentary intentions of a person with respect to their property. In order for a will to be valid in Alberta, it must meet certain requirements, such as being in writing, signed by the testator or someone else in their presence and at their direction, and witnessed by at least two people.

Our lawyers are well-versed in the duties and responsibilities of an executor, which is the person named in a will to manage the distribution of a deceased person’s assets. The executor’s responsibilities include collecting and distributing the assets of the estate, paying debts and taxes, and ensuring that the terms of the will are carried out.

Probate is the legal process of proving the validity of a will, and is governed by the EAA . Our team can help guide you through the probate process, ensuring that the will is valid, and that the executor has the authority to carry out the instructions in the will.

In case of intestate succession, the WSA sets out the rules for how a deceased person’s assets will be distributed when they die without a will. Under this act, the assets will be distributed to the spouse and children, if any. If there is no spouse or children, the assets will be distributed to the deceased person’s parents, siblings, and other relatives in a specified order.

At Shim Law, we understand the importance of having a valid will in place, and our lawyers are here to help you navigate the complexities of the WSA and EAA in Alberta. Whether you need assistance drafting a will, probating an estate, or navigating the rules of intestate succession, our team is here to provide you with the legal guidance you need.

At Shim Law, we understand that thinking about and planning for the future can be difficult and overwhelming. That’s why our compassionate team of lawyers is here to guide you through the process of will and estate planning, and to provide you with the legal guidance you need to ensure that your wishes are carried out after you pass away.

We understand that having a valid will in place is crucial to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, and to avoid disputes among family members. Our experienced lawyers can work with you to draft a will that meets your specific needs and ensure that it is legally valid in the province of Alberta.

We also offer guidance and assistance in estate administration, which involves managing and distributing the assets of a deceased person. Our lawyers can assist with the administration of an estate, including paying debts and taxes, and ensuring that the terms of the will are carried out.

It is important to note that in Alberta, if a person dies without a will, their assets will be distributed according to the laws of Alberta which are known as intestacy laws. This may not align with the deceased person’s wishes and could lead to disputes among family members. At Shim Law, we understand that making these decisions can be hard, but we want to make this process as smooth and stress-free as possible for you and your loved ones. That’s why we strongly recommend that everyone have a will in place, and to review it periodically to ensure that it reflects your current wishes and circumstances.

We understand that this can be a difficult conversation to have, but we are here to support you every step of the way. Let us help you plan for the future with compassion and understanding.

About Jerry 

Jerry is a native of Southern Alberta with 30 years of experience in the practice of law.  After raising their family, he and his wife made 3 separate trips totaling 6 years doing volunteer work in Africa.

They are happy to be back in Calgary where Jerry can continue the practice of law and they can be close to family. He has a depth of experience in a wide variety of practice areas and enjoys helping people solve their legal problems or challenges.

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About Shim Law

Shim Law is a multicultural law firm that provides legal services to clients in Calgary and around the world. With lawyers fluent in up to 20 languages, we can provide accurate legal representation regardless of language barriers. Our practice areas include family law, real estate law, and more.

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