Wills & Estates
Why a will?
Life is often unpredictable, but peace of mind
comes from being prepared for any eventuality. If a person
dies without a will, the government’s Intestate Succession
Act decides how the deceased’s
property will be distributed, and the court will decide who will
take care of your children. Despite his or her stated or
shared intentions, a deceased person who did not create a legally
valid will when alive will not be able to dictate what is done with
their belongings or who takes care of their children after death.
Regardless of financial situation, a will is the best way to ensure
your intentions are followed and those who you care about are provided
for in the manner you feel is best. At Peterson Mullen & Co.,
we have drawn up hundreds of wills over the past 28 years, and
have the experience and knowledge necessary to ensure your will
manages the future of your assets, not government legislation.
Please download and fill out the information form below so that
we can help protect your legacy.
To complement our legal services involving wills
and estates, Peterson Mullen & Co. also advises clients concerning
the creation of Enduring Power of Attorney and Personal Directive
documents. Most of the time, when clients come in to prepare a
will, they also choose to complete an Enduring Power of Attorney
and Personal Directive. These
two legal instruments allow an individual to grant a trusted representative
the legal powers to make personal, medical, and financial decisions
on their behalf if they become incapacitated due to illness, age,
accident, or for any other reason. When a person becomes able
to make rational decisions again, the legal powers are taken away
from the trusted representative, and returned to you.
What is a Personal Directive?
A Personal Directive takes effect upon incapacitation
and allows your representative to make personal and medical decisions.
For example, your agent can give authorization for surgery, to terminate
life support, or make arrangements for where you will live. This
way, you can be certain that someone with your values and best interests
at heart is making decisions for you when you aren’t able.
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney is similar to a
Personal Directive in that it usually takes effect upon incapacity,
except that the trusted representative is given the authority to
make decisions concerning your property. These could include
the power to pay bills, cancel accounts no longer needed, or to
sell or mortgage property.
What happens if a person is incapacitated, but has not designated
a trusted representative?
Without these documents, family members or friends
of the incapacitated individual will need to make a court application
to have these powers granted to them, costing a great deal of time
that may not be available. Additionally,
the financial costs can be high as lawyers may need to be consulted
and used to make the application.
These documents ensure that your trusted family
members or friends will be able to more effectively and efficiently
care for you and/or your dependents in times of crisis, rather
than a public trustee appointed by the court system or legislation.
It is your property, and your decisions. If you are unable
to make them, you should be able to choose who can.
For most of us, the real estate we own is our
most valuable asset. Therefore,
any transactions involving our homes or mortgages deserve extra special
attention to ensure that title properly transfers, or that new mortgage
effectively comes into place. At Peterson Mullen & Co.,
we represent parties in dozens of real estate transactions every
month. Over the past 30 years, we have forged solid relationships
with mortgage brokers, bankers, and realtors so that we can ensure
your transaction goes smoothly. If you are paying out your mortgage,
we ensure that your payout penalty is kept to a minimum.
Corporate Commercial Law
No one is ever happy to call a family lawyer,
but divorces, separations, and property disputes can appear to
be a confusing and never-ending maze of complicated documents and
formal applications. Lawyers
at Peterson Mullen & Co. have been working with families in South
Calgary for almost 30 years, and we focus on minimizing the
emotional and fiscal toll exacted by family breakdown through negotiating
agreements between parties whenever possible, and avoiding costly
trials and court appearances. As another method of prevention,
we can also provide legal advice concerning pre-nuptial and cohabitation
agreements. Please feel free to contact us for a consultation
so that we can advise you regarding your legal rights and interests.