Your Trusted Grande Prairie lawyers focused on Wills & Estates

COVID-19 UPDATE >> NOW OFFERING PRIORITY WILLS SIGN-UPS
In an effort to accommodate clients during the COVID-19 crisis, we are now offering priority Wills sign-up services for clients who are hospitalized and/or bedridden.

Below are the requirements we need in order to do our job efficiently and safely.

  • If a client is not bedridden and is able to move around, documents can be signed outside or in a common area so that extra distance can be given.
  • If the client is bedridden and cannot leave the room, all family members are asked to leave for privacy and to allow proper distancing where possible.
  • Two (2) witnesses plus a Commissioner of Oaths are required, however, in rushed circumstances, only two (2) witnesses need to be in attendance. Documents can be commissioned at our office and we make another house call to drop off finalized documents.
  • The two (2) witnesses from our office each take their own separate vehicle.
  • Both witnesses are required to wear medical-grade masks.
  • Sanitization is mandatory. All parties involved in the process must wash and sanitize hands prior to arriving at the site and again prior to handing documents to the client and after leaving the site.
  • A MINIMUM of 6′ (feet) between the witness and the client is required. However, preferably more distance where possible.

Please note, we always offer bedside and hospital signings as a part of our regular services. However, during this time and due to the necessary safety precautions during COVID, we are making these a priority on a case-by-case basis. For full details on how to schedule a Wills sign-up appointment, please contact our office directly at 780.831.7370.

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At Hayes-Fry Law, we service all types of clientele, including single individuals, couples, farmers, or business owners. When it comes to wills and estates, we have you covered — from drafting wills to helping an executor probate an estate. We understand that preparing a Will can be a daunting and scary experience. That’s why our wills and estates lawyers work directly with each client to provide the best service possible. 

There are many reasons to start estate planning sooner than later. If you’re in a common-law relationship or married, going through a divorce, have children or thinking of starting a family, have started a business, or are planning for retirement, it’s important to plan by preparing a will, power of attorney, and personal directive. It sounds like a lot of complicated wording, so let us break it down for you.

When it comes to drafting a will, personal directive, and a power of attorney, our firm makes sure the process is seamless, simple and easy to understand. During the initial consult, we’ll discuss your family, assets, debts, financial plans, needs, and wants to ensure that we can help draft an estate package that is right for you. If you have children or are planning on having children, we can plan for that too. Once we have prepared your documents and you have reviewed them, we will schedule an appointment for you to come in and sign each document. It’s that easy.

Estate Administration 

Losing a loved one is hard enough, but having to worry about administering an estate can put a lot of pressure on an individual. If you are an executor/personal representative for a loved one’s estate, we can provide you with legal guidance and support to you and your family. Whether you require some general legal advice or need to apply for a grant of probate with the court house, we can help you quickly and efficiently. 

Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship 

If you have a loved one that you need to make decisions for because your loved one is unable to make those decisions themselves, give us a call. We can draft an Adult Guardianship Application, which allows you to have decision making authority over your loved one’s non-financial decisions, and/or an Adult Trusteeship Application for any financial decisions you have to make on your loved one’s behalf. 

If you are acting as a Power of Attorney, and are finding the task challenging or want to protect yourself, contact our law office and we can provide you with some basic advice. 

Learn more about common wills and estate planning terms

Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) – Financial and health benefits for Albertans with a permanent medical condition that prevents them from working. Families that are gifting part of their Estate to an individual on AISH should ensure their Will is properly drafted to ensure AISH benefits continue after an AISH recipient receives their inheritance. 

Adult Guardianship Decision-making authority over an adult that lacks the ability to make personal decisions. 

Adult TrusteeshipFinancial decision-making authority over an adult that lacks the capacity to make their own financial decisions. 

Beneficiary – A person who receives money, property, or other benefits within the Will of a Testator.

Capacity – A person’s legal and mental ability to make or alter a valid will. Each Testator must have Capacity in order to create a Will.

Capacity Assessment – A form filled out by an authorized healthcare professional that states a particular individual lacks capacity. These forms must be completed when you are seeking Adult Guardianship and/or Trusteeship. 

Discretionary Trust or “Henson Trust”– A trust created, typically in a Will, that provides the Trustee with absolute discretion on how the individual who is to benefit from the trust (beneficiary) will receive funds. Discretionary Trusts can ensure an AISH recipient continues to enjoy their AISH benefits. 

Estate – The net worth of a person at any point in time alive or dead. It is the sum of a person’s assets, interests and entitlements to property of any kind, less all debts and liabilities at that time.

Executor – Now known as a “Personal Representative”, an Executor is a person nominated by a Testator to carry out the instructions of a Testator’s Will.

Gift – A particular item or a specific sum of money left to a beneficiary.

Holographic Will –A will and testament that has been entirely handwritten and signed by the Testator.  Sometimes called a Handwritten Will.

Intestate – A person who has died without a Will, or refers to not having a Will before dying.

Minor Beneficiary Trust – these trusts provide a Trustee with the power to handle a minor’s gift, typically from an estate, until they reach a certain age at which point the minor will receive the gift/inheritance. These trusts can be set up to allow a Trustee to pay for the minor’s education, residence, anything else allowed within the trust. 

Personal Directive – A legal document that allows a Testator to name the person(s) they trust to make decisions on the Testator’s behalf, such as health care, residential issues, etc., should a Testator lose mental capacity. Sometimes you will hear people refer to this as a Living Will.

Power of Attorney – An agreement between a Testator and a person a Testator trusts that allows them to make financial decisions on the Testator’s behalf if they are no longer capable of making these decisions typically due to loss of mental capacity.

Probate – The process that transfers the legal title of property from the estate of a deceased person to their proper beneficiary. During this process, a Will is reviewed to determine it’s validity and authenticity.

Public Guardian or Trustee – If nobody is available to assume Guardianship or Trusteeship over a particular person or their Estate, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee can be appointed to manage an Adult’s affairs. 

Testator – A person who has made a will.

Will – a legal document by which a person, the Testator, expresses their wishes as to how their property is to be distributed on their death.