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Estate Planning in Alberta: A Comprehensive Guide

Estate Planning in Alberta: A Comprehensive Guide

Estate planning is a crucial process that involves preparing tasks that serve to manage an individual’s asset base in the event of their incapacitation or death. The planning includes the distribution of assets to heirs and the settlement of estate taxes. Most people disregard estate planning, not realizing its significance, but it’s essential for ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

This guide, brought to you by Property DNA Group, delves into the intricacies of estate planning in Alberta, offering advice from land appraisers and commercial real estate experts to ensure your estate is in order.

What are the Structures for Estate Planning?

Estate planning can involve various structures, including wills, trusts, joint ownership, and beneficiary designations. Each has its advantages and can be used in combination to achieve specific goals, such as tax efficiency or asset protection.


What are the 7 Steps in the Estate Planning Process?

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1. Document Your Assets and Liabilities: This includes everything from land appraisals to commercial real estate, and even personal items of value.

2. Consult with an Estate Planning Attorney: Professionals in estate planning in Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine hat and wider Alberta can offer invaluable advice tailored to Alberta’s laws.

3. Create a Will: This document outlines your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets.

4. Establish Powers of Attorney: Designate someone to make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable.

5. Health Care Directives: Specify your wishes for medical care if you cannot communicate them yourself.

6. Consider Trusts: Trusts can offer more control over asset distribution and tax advantages.

7. Review and Update Regularly: Life changes, such as births, deaths, and divorce, can affect your estate plan.


What is the Average Cost of a Will?

In Alberta, the cost of drafting a will with a lawyer can range significantly based on complexity. This emphasizes the importance of consulting with local estate planning lawyers in Alberta for accurate estimates.


What are the Three Main Issues to Consider in Estate Planning?

1. Asset Distribution: How and to whom your assets will be distributed.

2. Tax Implications: Understanding how estates are taxed in Canada to minimize tax burdens.

3. Legal Requirements: Ensuring your estate plan complies with Alberta’s laws, including considerations for commercial, land, and property appraisal.

How are Estates Taxed in Canada?

In Canada, there is no inheritance tax. However, the estate may be subject to probate fees and the deemed disposition tax, where the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) treats the deceased’s assets as sold at fair market value at the time of death, potentially resulting in capital gains tax.


What is the Difference Between a Trust and an Estate in Canada?

An estate is everything a person owns at the time of their death, while a trust is a legal arrangement where assets are held by one party for the benefit of another. Trusts can be used within estate planning to manage how assets are distributed and can offer tax advantages and greater control over asset distribution.


Can I Put My House in a Trust in Canada?

Yes, in Canada, you can place your house in a trust. This can be a strategic move for estate planning, offering benefits such as avoiding probate fees and providing clear instructions for the management and distribution of the property.


Is a Trust Better than a Will in Canada?

Whether a trust is better than a will in Canada depends on your individual circumstances and goals. Trusts offer more control and can provide tax benefits, but they are also more complex and costly to set up. A will is simpler and less expensive but may not offer the same level of control or efficiency in certain situations.

Estate planning is a critical process that requires careful consideration and professional advice. Whether you’re in need of a land appraisal in Alberta, seeking commercial real estate advice in Lethbridge, or require a comprehensive estate planning checklist in Canada, Property DNA Group is here to assist.

Our team of Calgary appraisers, along with our team in Grand Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Swift Current, and Whitehorse, are dedicated to providing you with the expertise needed for thorough and effective estate planning. Contact us for more information on how we can help you secure your estate for the future.

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