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November 2017 Archives


In Alberta, freedom of "Testator Intention" with respect to inclusion or exclusion of potential beneficiaries from one's will, has been overlaid with the right of a family member for whom provision has not been made to apply for Family Maintenance and Support. If successful, the claim will be paid out of the Deceased's estate. This leads to a couple of questions. First, who qualifies as a "family member"? Second, what exactly is Family Maintenance and Support?

Canada divorce mediation making separating more amicable

Splitting in splendour. It seems these days divorce mediation is helping couples who are breaking up to do it with less anxiety, anger and stress. Indeed, some divorce situations in Canada appear not only to be amicable, but joyful, with the former couple remaining friends. These scenarios are becoming increasingly more prevalent and are especially healthy for any children involved.

Family law in Canada: Child custody changes as kids get older

Life is busier than it has ever been. People have full schedules, but flexibility in those schedules when it comes to spending time with children goes a long way to help divorced parents maintain positive relationships with their kids. However, child custody parameters may change as kids get older, and some compromise may be needed when co-parenting. Parenting plans in Canada would be better as living documents -- changing and evolving as needs change and evolve.

Estate Planning: Is It Mandatory To Leave a Bequest For All Family Members (including those who really don't deserve it)?

This is a question that frequently arises in client consultations, particularly with respect to clients who have children with addiction issues or from whom they have become estranged. The simple answer is "maybe and maybe not". The complicated answer is that the Alberta courts have long promoted the principle of giving effect to "testator intent", i.e., a Testator should be free to dispose of their estate in whatever manner they choose, provided they:

Alberta family law: Shifting emotions for positive co-parenting

Children seem to have an innate ability to sense tension. So, when their parents have divorced yet continue to co-parent them while still feeling animosity toward each other, children may bear the brunt of that stress. Family law in Alberta makes tools available for former spouses to be able to clear the air of angst and co-parent by helping individuals to let go of the negative emotions associated with splitting up.

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