Lintott Law
Advising On Real Estate And Foreclosure Law In Calgary
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Estate planning: A joint account vs. an enduring POA

Parents always want what is best for the children even when their kids become adults. Most Alberta parents have their children in mind when they begin estate planning. One of the issues they may ponder is how to leave the most to their kids in their wills and they might consider avoiding probate as a way of doing that.

As parents age, they may choose to make their bank accounts joint with their children. It's a way their children can help administer the account. But people should know the same can be accomplished with an enduring power of attorney in Alberta. This document allows someone to make financial decisions for someone, typically when the individual can't make them on his or her own.

Other assets like RRIFs and TFSAs can't be held jointly since they have designated beneficiaries. If children are beneficiaries, these assets will pass to them after a parent dies and as such would not be subject to probate. Naming someone as a joint holder of a bank account ensures the account goes to the surviving account holder, but it doesn't guarantee the account will avoid probate. 

An Alberta lawyer is in the best position to clarify how assets figure into estate planning. The attorney can explain probate and any estate, tax and family law implications that may apply in a client's personal situation. He or she could also explain how bank accounts fit into the estate planning scenario. Writing an estate plan is a personal and individual task with which a lawyer may be able to offer invaluable advice and guidance.

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Lintott Law
2913 Centre St N.W.
Calgary, AB T2E 2V9

Phone: 403-879-1613
Phone: 403-520-2288
Fax: 403-230-3477
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