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Is your will valid in Alberta?

Yang (Beth) Bai, Senior Counsel at Jade Sunrise Law

In Alberta, Canada, as in many jurisdictions, a will can be challenged on several grounds. Here are some of the most common reasons:

· Lack of Testamentary Capacity: This is where the testator (person who wrote the will) did not have the mental capacity at the time the will was written. This could be due to dementia, Alzheimer's, or other mental disorders.

· Undue Influence: This is when someone pressures or coerces the testator into making a will or changing an existing one in a way that doesn't reflect their true wishes.

· Lack of Proper Execution: In Alberta, there are specific requirements for executing a will, such as the need for a certain number of witnesses. If these requirements are not met, the will might be declared invalid.

· Ambiguities in the Will: If the language in the will is unclear or can be interpreted in multiple ways, parties may challenge it for clarity.

· Fraud or Forgery: This is when someone fraudulently produces a will or alters an existing one without the testator's knowledge or consent.

· Revocation: A will can be revoked by the testator. If a later will is found, or evidence that the testator intentionally destroyed their will with the intent to revoke it, the will might be considered invalid.

· Dependent Relief Claims: In Alberta, certain family members or dependents of the deceased might be able to make a claim against the estate if they believe they haven't been adequately provided for.

· Violations of the Wills and Succession Act: The Wills and Succession Act in Alberta outlines the formal requirements for a valid will and how estates should be handled. If any part of the will or the actions of the executor violate this act, it can be grounds for a challenge.

If someone is considering challenging a will in Alberta, they should consult experienced wills and estate lawyers at Jade Sunrise Law.


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