As a young, healthy parent, you may believe that having a Will is the last thing on a long priority list. However, while a Will is important for everyone, those with children should be particularly mindful of the primary importance of having a Will. The following provides just some of the many reasons why having a Will is so important for parents:
Wills and Succession Act -
In Alberta, if you do not have a Will, your estate property will be distributed pursuant to the intestacy provisions of the Wills and Succession Act. Other property, such as property held jointly with another person or property that has a designated beneficiary (such as life insurance or RRSPs) will pass directly to the surviving joint owner or the designated beneficiary, and generally not form part of your estate. The Wills and Succession Act prescribes that, after payment of debts, your spouse or “adult interdependent partner” will only receive the whole of your estate if all of your surviving ‘descendants’ are also the ‘descendants’ of your spouse or adult interdependent partner. ‘Descendants’ is given a broad definition under the Wills and Succession Act, and means more than just children. ‘Descendants’ means all lineal descendants of an individual through all generations, and therefore includes grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. Therefore, if even one of your children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren are not also the children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren of your surviving spouse or adult interdependent partner - he or she will not receive the entirety of your estate.
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