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Wills & Probate Law


If you've been tasked as the executor of an estate or have questions regarding the estate of a deceased family member, seeking guidance is crucial. Understanding the necessary steps, validating a will, and understanding your obligations is important, especially while you are dealing with your grief. It's advisable to consult with a reputable probate and wills lawyer to navigate these uncertainties.


At First West Law LLP, our legal professionals are committed to providing expert advice, representation, and tailored solutions to address your specific concerns. Whether you need assistance with estate administration, drafting your will, enduring power of attorney or personal directive, or just understanding your legal rights, we are here to guide you through the process with compassion and expertise. Don't navigate the complexities of probate and wills law alone – trust our experienced team to support you at every step. Reach out to us.


Find Help for Will & Probate Issues

Our wills and estate lawyers provide the following services:

  • Drafting a will
  • Probate
  • Enduring powers of attorney
  • Personal directives
  • Trust agreements
  • Guardianship & trusteeship
  • Challenges to wills

Don’t let the courts decide your family’s future — call the wills and probate lawyers in Calgary at First West Law LLP to request a consultation regarding your will or probate matter.

What Is a Will?

A will is an essential legal document that enables you to express your desires regarding the allocation of your property following your passing. By engaging the services of a skilled wills lawyer in Calgary, you can exercise complete control over the division of your assets. This empowers you to determine the appropriate distribution of your possessions, including valuable items like automobiles or family heirlooms. Moreover, if you possess a business or investments, your will can guide the seamless transfer or succession of those assets.

Why Do You Need a Will?

Legal expertise: Crafting a will involves navigating complex legal requirements and terminology. A skilled wills lawyer in Calgary can ensure your document goes well with all relevant laws and regulations, reducing the risk of disputes or challenges down the road.


Customized solutions: Every individual's situation is unique, and a reputable wills lawyer understands this. They can tailor your will to address specific needs, such as providing for minor children, protecting assets, or supporting charitable causes.


Peace of mind: Entrusting your estate planning to a professional offers peace of mind. You can be rest assured that your wishes are clearly articulated and legally binding, minimizing uncertainty for your loved ones during difficult times.


Avoiding pitfalls: DIY wills or template documents may overlook crucial details or fail to address specific scenarios, potentially leading to unintended consequences. A wills lawyer calgary can identify and address potential pitfalls, ensuring your wishes are accurately reflected.


Guidance through the process: Creating a will can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with sensitive topics or complex family dynamics. A compassionate and experienced wills lawyer can guide you through each step, offering support and clarity.

What Happens When You Don’t Have a Will?

If you die without a will, also known as “intestate,” your property and assets get divided as per Alberta’s Wills and Succession Act. This comprises the money in your bank accounts, any other securities you own, your movable and immovable and other assets. As a result, the process becomes time-consuming and expensive for your family. In such cases, the following scenarios shall occur:

Estate Administration Act- Under the Estate Administration Act, a probate lawyer can help family members apply for a Grant of Administration. This allows the court to appoint up to three administrators to distribute the deceased’s estate.


Wills and Succession Act - After this, Alberta’s Wills and Succession Act determines who can inherit your estate. From a legal perspective, it is assumed that you would have wanted your family to get your estate. The administrator must first clear your debts and due taxes using the assets in the estate. The remaining part of the estate is given to the beneficiaries.


Monetary loss to beneficiaries - Generally, the cost of administering an estate without a will must be borne out of your estate. Your family and other beneficiaries get less money from the estate.


Security of minor children at risk - If a person dies with their spouse without a will, it will be left up to the courts to decide who will look after their minor children. In the meantime, your children might be kept in the province’s foster care system.


A properly written will is crucial to safeguard the interests of your loved ones, accelerate the release of your estate, and keep unnecessary expenses in check. It can also allow you direct your assets to a charity, institution, or organization.

Enduring Power of Attorney & Personal Directive

Usually, when we draft a will, we will also provide an enduring power of attorney (a document selecting your representative in the event of incapacity) and a personal directive (a set of instructions provided to your agent regarding your medical and other personal matters in the event of incapacity).

Estate Administration & Probate

Probate is the legal process of validating the will of a deceased person. The probate process protects the executor from claimants of the estate by obtaining court approval for the disposition. The executor determines the estate’s debts, assets, distributable gifts, and beneficiaries, and, with assistance, completes the probate process and files all the deceased's tax returns. When there is a will, a named executor must usually apply to the Surrogate Court of Alberta to receive a formal Grant of Probate to proceed. The experienced wills and probate lawyers at First West Law LLP in Calgary can help you plan your affairs so that the expense of probate may not be necessary in some cases.


Your family must apply for a Grant of Administration for instances without a valid will. Our experienced wills and probate lawyers in Calgary will help you through the process.

Why Choose Us?

Partnering with First West Law LLP, you experience:


Personalized guidance: We prioritize your needs and situation, providing informed advice to help you make the right decisions. We take the time to understand your unique circumstances, ensuring our solutions align with your goals.


Wealth preservation and family harmony: Our expertise extends to preserving and protecting your wealth, addressing family dynamics, and facilitating discussions on inheritance. We strive to maintain family harmony while safeguarding your assets for future generations.


Comprehensive services: We offer a broad range of services, including creating a roadmap for your wealth and loved ones, succession planning, wealth management for farm and ranch families, and delivering presentations to organizations. Our goal is to provide holistic support for your wealth management needs.


Alternative dispute resolution: While we aim to achieve a peaceful resolution, we understand that disputes may arise. We offer options for amicable resolution through mediation, leveraging our extensive experience in private and judicial mediation. If litigation becomes necessary, we have a successful track record in Alberta courts.


Efficiency and cost-effectiveness: With our streamlined intake process developed over years of experience, we ensure efficiency and cost-effectiveness. We focus where it matters most, providing value-driven services without compromising quality.


Continuous improvement: Our dedicated team meets regularly to strategize on cases, incorporate updated legislation, and review the impact of new precedents. These meetings enable us to refine and improve our processes, ensuring optimal efficiency and effectiveness.


Transparent fee structure: We begin our engagement by meeting with you to thoroughly understand your needs and provide you with a fee range. This transparency ensures that you know the costs involved from the outset.


We are dedicated to assisting you every step of the way, preserving your wealth, and promoting family harmony.


For expert guidance on wills and probate matters, contact First West Law LLP. Our experienced wills lawyers in Calgary are here to assist you with estate planning, probate administration, and more. Whether you need help drafting a will or navigating the complexities of estate distribution, we're here to provide personalized solutions to your needs. Contact us today by phone, email, or through our website contact form to schedule your consultation. Let us help you secure your legacy and secure your future.


Speak with competent will and probate lawyers in Calgary today.

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