One of the biggest planning mistakes is not planning at all. All Alberta residents should give thought to estate planning and sooner is better. Life has a way of throwing curve balls and not having necessary documents in place should something unforeseen happen could make life even more grievous for family members. Another big mistake is believing a will is the only document that is needed in an estate plan.
There is more to an estate plan than a simple will. Other documents like a power of attorney and a health care directive should also be included. It's also a faux pas to believe that all estate plans follow a cookie-cutter recipe. The reality is an estate plan is as unique as the person writing it and so getting legal counsel to do so may be a wise idea.
Most people are inclined to leave all their assets to their spouses, but depending upon the situation, that also might not be the most prudent move. Some testators might wish to give thought to setting up trust funds for their children. That way, if a spouse should remarry, the children's inheritances would be safeguarded and trust funds could also be set up for grandchildren. Choosing the wrong executor can also be a mistake since the person chosen should have some financial acumen, should be trustworthy and should have the time to devote to administering the estate.
An Alberta lawyer may be able to help residents in their estate planning endeavours. A lawyer can help a client in prioritizing which documents he or she might need as well as helping a client to review plans as life unfolds. Laws and policies which govern estate planning can be confusing and a lawyer may be able to answer questions about issues that seem confusing.