You leave those you are leaving behind with a difficult situation. If you have a spouse and all of your children are also children of your spouse, then your entire estate will go to your spouse. If you are a blended family then your spouse gets 50% of the value of your estate or $150,000.00, which ever is greater and the balance goes to your children. If you have assets that are in your name alone your spouse will have to apply for a Grant of Administration and until your spouse obtains that Grant your spouse will have no authority to deal with those assets and it is unlikely that anyone will give your spouse any information. If you have a Will then while your spouse may still have to apply for a Grant of Probate, your spouse will get their authority to deal with your assets from the Will and you will be able to say where you want your assets to go.
This will depend on how you hold your assets. If all of your assets are joint with your spouse or someone else, then those assets fall outside of your estate and go by right of survivorship to the surviving joint tenant. Any assets with a named beneficiary will similarly go directly to the named beneficiary. Any assets in your name alone will be subject to obtaining a Probate of your Will before they can be distributed.
If you own a single family dwelling or a bareland Condo the Real Estate Purchase Contract that you sign will obligate you to provide an up to date Real Property Report with municipal compliance as part of the terms of the sale. You may be able to negotiate before you sign the Contract that you will not be providing a Real Property Report or that the Buyer accepts the one that you have (which may not be up to date). If you are going to list your home for sale it is best to obtain a new Real Property Report before you list as there could be issues that you are not aware of, such as encroachments onto City of Calgary property which will require some time to obtain and may hold up the closing of your sale.
Since January 1, 2020 the Family Property Act in Alberta provides that if you have lived with another person for a continuous period of 3 years or have a child together and are in an economically dependent relationship (not necessarily conjugal), that person (your Adult Interdependent Partner) has the same rights to a share of your property as a married spouse. The Family Property Act provides that the value of what you each came into the relationship with is yours, and provided you still have that asset or if you have sold it and purchased another asset with the proceeds of the sale or can otherwise trace where the money is today then you will still be entitled to retain that asset or money. However if there has been an increase in value of your exempt assets then 50% of that increase in value will belong to your Adult Interdependent Partner.
The initial steps for your legal matter will vary depending on the area of law. You can start by scheduling a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. During the consultation, we will discuss your legal matter and provide you with a roadmap of the necessary steps to move forward.
Depending on your legal matter, there may be actions you need to take to begin the process. Our lawyers will guide you through each step and provide a clear list of activities you must take to get started.
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