Why is it important to have a Will if you have Young Children?

Having a Will gives you some control over your children’s future.

If you do not have a will and the circumstances of your estate are such that your minor children become entitled to a share of your estate (for example, where both parents pass or where the deceased as children from other relationships), then:

The property must be delivered to the Public Trustee (Government of Alberta) (if over the prescribed amount which is currently $10,000).  If the surviving parent wishes to manage the child’s property on the child’s behalf, the surviving parent will have to seek a Court Order appointing the surviving parent as trustee of the child’s property. Even if the surviving parent is appointed Trustee, the surviving parent will likely have to provide a bond or other security and have to formally account to the Court at regular intervals for the administration of the child’s or grandchild’s property.

The Public Trustee will release all of the child’s or grandchild’s property to the child when the child attains 18 years of age – irrespective of the value of the property or the child’s or grandchild’s ability to handle money. Therefore, the child or grandchild could receive a significant sum of money at 18 years old with no oversight or limitations.

This situation can be avoided with a Will.

  • Generally payment does not have to be made to the Public Trustee if the minor child’s or grandchild’s share is left to them through a Will and a Trustee is specifically appointed to manage the property on the minor’s behalf – irrespective of the value of the property granted to the minor child in the Will.
  • Creating a Will allows you to direct who you want to manage the children’s or grandchildren’s trust accounts, including specifying who you wish to act as trustee if you die while the child is a minor.
  • You can include provisions which specify the timing and value of payments to the child or grandchild from the trust account held for the child’s or grandchild’s benefit.
  • You can express your wish as to who will act as guardian for your children. The Family Law Act says that a parent can by a Will appoint a person to be the Guardian of a child.

We would be happy to help you in the preparation of your Will.  Contact our office today for an information package to get started.

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