Wills Week

Wills Week is a series of free presentations that help Edmonton and area residents learn the value of creating and maintaining an up-to-date will.

Every October, we partner with a dedicated team of volunteer estate lawyers to answer your questions about will and estate planning. Wills Week sessions are free of charge to the public and offer information about:

  • Creating and/or updating a will,
  • What a will can and cannot do,
  • How a will can help save taxes for both you and your estate, and
  • Why it is so important to have a will prepared with the help and expertise of a lawyer, accountant, and financial and estate planner.

Having a valid, up-to-date will ensures you determine who:

  • Gets what from your hard-earned assets,
  • Will administer your estate, and
  • Will be guardians of your dependent children.

After family and loved ones are taken care of, many people choose to create a lasting legacy in their community. A will intention is a great way to do this.

Research shows that 98% of Canadians make donations in their life. Planning for a legacy gift in your will ensures that your dreams and aspirations for the community continue beyond your lifetime. Working with ECF can help individuals and families build funds that reflect their interests.

Wills Week 2023

ECF presented this year’s Wills Week from October 2 – 6. Access the recorded sessions in the dropdown menu below.

Read the Late Edition for more information on Wills Week and a helpful glossary of terms. Thanks to our volunteer lawyers for making Wills Week possible!

These “Wills & Estates 101” sessions provide a general overview of things to keep in mind when preparing your estate plan and address common questions for wills and other documents that affect your estate. Even if you plan to tune into one of our theme-specific webinars, this overview provides a great context and groundwork to better understand the specific issues addressed in those other sessions. 

Special thanks to Anna-May Choles, Rackel Belzil LLP for presenting this session.

Cette session donne un aperçu général des éléments à prendre en compte lors de la préparation de votre plan de succession et permet de répondre aux questions les plus courantes concernant les testaments et les autres documents qui ont un effet sur votre succession.  Même si vous prévoyez assister à l’un des autres webinaires thématiques (en anglais seulement), cet aperçu fournit un contexte et un travail de base qui vous permettront de mieux comprendre les questions spécifiques abordées dans les autres sessions.

Un merci spécial à Justin Kingston, McQuaig Desrochers LLP pour la présentation de cette session.

Do you have dependents? In Alberta, certain dependents may make a claim against an estate for support. Join in this discussion about Family Maintenance and Support claims to find out who those dependents are and the impact on your Wills and Estate planning. 

Special thanks to Patty Ko, Bishop & McKenzie LLP for presenting this session.

When writing/updating your will, you will want to be sure to plan for the impact taxes will have. Planning to reduce or defer taxes is an essential part of estate planning and administration. You will want to contemplate the potential tax liability, how it will be paid, and also provide your executor(s) with the tools and flexibility they need to prepare the tax returns and administer the estate in a tax-effective and efficient manner. This presentation will address many commonly asked questions and will present tax planning options for you to discuss with your family and advisors. 

Special thanks to Michelle Coleman, MNP Tax Services for presenting this session.

Learn about the potential problems lawyers often see in estate disputes and how to avoid them before they happen. This session will include information about the formal requirements for a valid will, the use of will kits, family support claims, property owned jointly and how things like capacity and undue influence may affect the intention of a person making a will. 

Special thanks to Jacklynn Pivovar, Miller Thomson LLP for presenting this session.

Two seasoned wills and estates lawyers will discuss the top 5 answers to the question “What can I do in my Estate Plan to cause a Family Feud?”. What will the answers be? Disinheriting an annoying sibling? Giving $50,000 to your favourite pet? Mistaking a Google search for a Law Degree? Tune in to hear real-life stories from their own practices and maybe some pearls of wisdom on what can be done to potentially prevent this from happening in other estates.

Special thanks to Allison Barkwell, Barr LLP and Michael Simons, McQuaig Desrochers LLP for presenting this session.

To learn more about Wills Week and how to leave a lasting legacy, contact our Donor Services Team by phone at 780-426-0015 or via email at tgleason@ecfoundation.org.


Sessions are subject to change.

The information contained in these sessions is based on Alberta law and is for general information only and to encourage you to ACT — to get professional assistance to get a good and valid will, personal directive and enduring power of attorney in place to protect your family, your assets and your business.

The information in these sessions is NOT legal or tax advice and does not replace legal or tax advice. Every person has a unique situation. For legal advice about your situation and/or to prepare these important documents make sure to visit a wills & estates lawyer.