The What, When, Who, and Why of Estate Planning In Canada

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The What, When, Who, and Why of Estate Planning In Canada

It's only natural to have the best plans in place for your loved ones. You'll want to ensure that your assets are transferred to the people you intend them for and that your personal wishes are respected. Luckily, Canadians can do just that through estate planning.

To undergo estate planning, it's best to have a basic understanding of what estate planning entails and get a legal professional to assist you throughout the process. Continue reading to learn more.

What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is defined as the process of planning and organizing one's estate for the purpose of distributing one's property and other assets to the intended beneficiaries in a way that’s consistent with the deceased's wishes. Here are different forms of an estate plan:

  • Will. A will is a document that contains a person's testament. The person's property and assets, including real property and personal property, are distributed to whom they want them to go if they were to pass away.

  • Living Will. A living will is a document that describes the kind of life-sustaining medical treatments a person is willing to get if they are in a coma or unconscious. Essentially, it serves as a legal document in the event that incapacity or incompetency occurs.

  • Power of Attorney. A power of attorney is a type of document that names certain people or organizations as one's representative. The representative has legal rights to make important decisions on behalf of the person.

  • Trusts. A trust is an arrangement that allows a person to maintain control over their property, to have the ability to transfer the property from one person to another and to have the beneficiary use the property as they see fit.

When Is Estate Planning Needed?

A person's estate planning needs vary depending on their personal situation, but it's recommended to have one prepared early on in life in case of any unforeseen circumstances. It is important to seek legal counsel when entering into an estate plan.

When preparing for the future, a person needs to review their current assets, note their future assets, as well as determine who will be responsible for them and what will happen to them. Take care with making arrangements for the distribution of property and assets.

Who Needs to Do Estate Planning?

Any Canadian who owns assets and wishes to have their assets and property distributed the way they want. To be more specific, people who have been married or in a common-law relationship should consider estate planning. It's also best to think about estate planning if you have children or are the primary or sole financial supporters of the household. 

Why Is Estate Planning Needed?

Estate planning ensures that the people you intend to inherit your assets and property will receive them. It also ensures that your beneficiaries are protected from financial burdens. There are many more reasons why estate planning is needed. It's best to consult with a member of the legal community if you want to learn about the personal benefits of estate planning.


Estate planning is a process that should be undertaken by everyone to ensure that their assets and property are divided in accordance with their wishes. A person may already have a will and other estate planning documents, but it’s best to go over your documents with a legal expert.

Trying to find estate planning lawyers in Medicine Hat, Alberta? Hamilton Cahoon Law can assist you in all your legal matters, from real estate, family law, civil litigation, and more. Get in touch with us today!