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Last Will and Testament



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Your Last Will and Testament

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LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF __________________________

I, __________________________, presently of ________________________, Alberta, declare that this is my Last Will and Testament.

  2. Prior Wills and Codicils
  3. I revoke all prior Wills and Codicils.
  4. Marital Status
  5. I am not married or in an adult interdependent relationship.
  6. Current Children
  7. I do not have any living children.
  8. The term 'child' or 'children' as used in this Will includes the above listed children and any children of mine that are subsequently born or legally adopted.
  10. Definition
  11. The expression 'my Executor' used throughout this Will includes either the singular or plural number, or the masculine or feminine gender as appropriate wherever the fact or context so requires. The term 'executor' in this Will is synonymous with and includes the terms 'personal representative' and 'executrix'.
  12. Appointment
  13. I appoint __________________________ of __________________________, Alberta as the sole Executor of this Will.
  14. No bond or other security of any kind will be required of any Executor appointed in this Will.
  15. Powers of My Executor
  16. I give and appoint to my Executor the following duties and powers with respect to my estate:
    1. To pay my legally enforceable debts, funeral expenses and all expenses in connection with the administration of my estate and the trusts created by my Will as soon as convenient after my death. If any of the real property devised in my Will remains subject to a mortgage at the time of my death, then I direct that the devisee taking that mortgaged property will take the property subject to that mortgage and that the devisee will not be entitled to have the mortgage paid out or resolved from the remaining assets of the residue of my estate;
    2. To take all legal actions to have the probate of my Will completed as quickly and simply as possible, and as free as possible from any court supervision, under the laws of the Province of Alberta; and
    3. To retain, exchange, insure, repair, improve, sell or dispose of any and all personal property belonging to my estate as my Executor deems advisable without liability for loss or depreciation.
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Last Updated December 28, 2023

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What is a Last Will and Testament?

You can use a Last Will and Testament to control the distribution of your estate and to appoint a legal guardian for any dependents after you pass away.

Probate courts (the segment of the court system that handles wills and estates) use your Last Will as a guide when settling your estate.

This document includes custom instructions for allocating money and property to certain people or organizations. It also appoints someone to act as your executor and oversee this distribution (often a trusted family member or a hired professional).

Who are the parties in a Last Will and Testament?

  1. Testator: The owner of the Last Will and Testament. Once the testator dies, their estate gets distributed according to the terms of their Will.
  2. Executor: Also known as a personal representative, the executor administers the Last Will and Testament.
  3. Beneficiary: A beneficiary is someone who will receive something from the estate. You may name multiple beneficiaries and divide your assets as you see fit.

Looking for a Last Will and Testament in French?

Use our Testament.

What are the requirements for a Will to be valid in Canada?

Each Canadian jurisdiction has laws that outline the legal requirements for a valid Will. Generally, a valid Will needs to be:

  • Signed by the testator, who is an adult with legal capacity, in the presence of witnesses
  • Signed by witnesses, who are also adults with legal capacity

That being said, a handwritten (i.e., a Holographic Will) or electronic Will may be legal in some Canadian jurisdictions. However, these types of Wills may undergo closer scrutiny during the probate process. It’s also likely that a handwritten Will won’t be as comprehensive as a written one. 

LawDepot’s Last Will and Testament template helps ensure you include all the details needed for a comprehensive document that meets legal requirements in your jurisdiction.

When do you need a Last Will and Testament?

Although many people put off creating a Will until they reach a certain age, the reality is this: any adult who wishes to control the distribution of their estate will benefit from a Last Will and Testament.

After all, life is unpredictable, and you don’t want to miss the chance to make your final wishes known.

That being said, it’s important to write your Last Will and Testament when you have time to carefully consider your wishes

Of course, certain life events or circumstances may spur your decision to create a Will sooner than later. For instance, you should create or update your Last Will and Testament if you:

How do I write a Last Will and Testament?

Use LawDepot’s Last Will and Testament template to create a simple yet comprehensive estate plan. Then, save it as a PDF, or print and sign it according to the laws of your province or territory. 

Canadian laws don’t require you to hire a lawyer to write a Will, but you can have one review your document if you think it’s necessary. For instance, complex estates with high-valued assets or investments might require more thought when it comes to naming beneficiaries and creating instructions. 

To complete your Last Will and Testament, you’ll need to provide:

1. Testator information

You must include the testator’s full name, place of residence, and marital status, as these details affect the laws that apply to the distribution of their estate. 

2. Family details

Children typically have inheritance rights to their parents’ estates. As such, be sure to list all of the testator’s biological and legally adopted children

You should also make note if the child (whether a minor or an adult) is a dependent. For example, this might include adult children who are mentally or physically disabled, or who are attending post-secondary and are under 25. 

If you have dependent children, you can appoint a guardian to care for them in the same way a parent would. 

3. Estate assets and instructions

First, name the beneficiaries that you want to inherit your estate assets. If you’ll have more than one beneficiary, consider how much of the estate each one will inherit. 

You may list individuals or organizations as beneficiaries in your Will. If you’re listing a charity, be sure to include the charity registration number. This is the official reference number issued by the government to every charity. You can typically find this number on donation receipts or the charity’s website.

If your listed beneficiaries cannot, for whatever reason, accept the inheritance, you can also add a wipeout beneficiary to inherit instead. Otherwise, people typically leave their inheritance to be divided equally among their parents and siblings.

If you have minor beneficiaries, LawDepot’s Last Will and Testament template allows you to add a term for delaying their inheritance until they reach a certain age.

Next, state who will receive specific gifts (e.g., a family heirloom), if any. Keep in mind that there are some things that a testator cannot give away in their Will:

  • Proceeds from programs that already have beneficiaries (e.g., life insurance)
  • Jointly held property with rights of survivorship (i.e., the other owner automatically inherits the deceased’s share)
  • Their spouse’s separately owned property

4. Executor information

Name someone to act as your executor and list their contact information. The executor of your estate is the person you appoint in your Last Will and Testament to carry out your final instructions. This person is legally bound to administer your Will.

Generally, your executor cannot be a minor or someone that has been convicted of a criminal offence. Some provinces may also put restrictions on executors who live out of the province.

Note that you may have more than one executor. In this case, they must cooperate to administer the estate. 

It’s also best practice to name an alternate executor should anything prevent your first choice from carrying out your estate plans.

Choosing the right executor may be challenging, but it’s a crucial decision because your executor bears a large responsibility on your behalf. This person should be someone you trust, who understands their duties, and who is willing to act as your personal representative. You can appoint your spouse, a friend, a relative, or a professional (like your lawyer or accountant) to be your executor.

An executor’s duties may include:

  • Distributing your property and assets to your beneficiaries
  • Repaying your debts with money from your estate
  • Recovering money other parties may owe you
  • Filing necessary forms (including your final tax return)
  • Managing your business as directed

5. Final details

If you’d like to add specific instructions that aren’t already addressed in the questionnaire, you can write the clause yourself. For example, you may wish to forgive someone for an unpaid debt.

However, you should avoid adding instructions for funeral plans, as it’s likely your Last Will won’t be read until after your funeral. What’s more, these instructions will not be legally binding.

Does a Last Will and Testament need to be notarized?

You don’t need to notarize your Will for it to be valid. 

However, LawDepot’s Last Will and Testament template includes an Affidavit of Execution, which is a document that does require a Notary Public or Commissioner for Oaths to witness and sign

The Affidavit of Execution acts as further evidence of the testator’s intent to create the Will. It helps verify the identities and signatures of the testator and witnesses. Probate courts may request this document when reviewing the Will. If produced, witnesses likely won’t need to testify in probate court about having witnessed the execution of the Will.

Where should I keep my Will?

Not only is it important to store your Last Will and Testament in a safe location, but it’s also crucial to ensure that your executor can access it when needed

For example, you can keep your Will in a safety deposit box at your bank. However, banks often have strict policies about who can access this box and when. 

In any case, be sure to leave clear instructions to your executor about where you keep the original copy of your Will. Although you can give copies of your Will to your executor (or even beneficiaries), the original document must be presented in probate court.

Related Documents:

  • Power of Attorney: Grant someone the authority to make financial and other decisions for you when you can't.
  • Health Care Directive: State your medical preferences when you're incapacitated and name someone to represent your wishes.
  • Codicil: Make changes or additions to your Last Will and Testament.
  • Gift Deed: Give money or property to a person or organization.
  • End-of-Life Plan: Outline your wishes for memorial services and what to do with your remains.
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