What happens if you die without planning for your estate?

Horror stories abound of what can happen to both small and larger estate holdings when their owners fail to take the time to make a will, plan for the succession of their business holdings, or take advantage of the protection offered by insurance and other financial products.

  • People who fail to take these steps may have their assets distributed in ways they do not want, to people they would not have wanted to have receive them.
  • Larger portions of the estate than necessary may be paid in taxes.
  • Wills that have not been updated in recent years may include beneficiaries who are no longer living, executors who no longer reside in Alberta, or are otherwise unavailable to administer your estate. They may not take recent changes to the law into consideration.
  • If you die without any surviving relatives however remotely related, your assets will go to the government.
  • Outdated insurance policies can be less effective in taking care of families after death than newer products.