Do you need a will?

Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney & Personal Directives

April 30, 2020

Hello. My name is Randy Simpson.

As a lawyer, people ask me “who needs a Will?” My answer: “almost everyone!” The Government of Alberta recommends that every person over the age of 18 years have a Will, an Enduring Power of Attorney and a Personal Directive.

You need a Will If you have people or property in your life. A Will can help relieve stress from your family and loved ones during a time of grief, and can ensure your wishes are followed.

Without a Will, a friend or family member must apply to the Court to manage your estate. If no one volunteers, a government official may be appointed to distribute what you own. The people you love may not receive the benefit of your estate.

Once you have a Will, review it regularly and after life changing events, like marriage, divorce or having children, to make sure it still reflects your wishes.

A Will provides for the management of your estate when you die. What if you are alive but unable to manage your affairs? An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a trusted friend or family member to make financial decisions for you if you are no longer capable.

If you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney, a friend or family member may have to apply to court to be appointed your trustee. This takes time and money.

A Personal Directive allows someone you trust to make non-financial decisions for you if your physical or mental health prevents you from acting. In Alberta, a Personal Directive takes the place of what is called a “Living Will” in other places.

A Personal Directive allows you to provide written instructions for your care. If you don’t have a Personal Directive and you are unable to care for yourself, someone may be appointed to make decisions for you. That person may not know how you would like to be cared for.

We encourage you to take the time to think about your future and to protect your family and yourself. If you have questions about a Will, Enduring Power of Attorney or a Personal Directive, contact us to set up an appointment.

Alex Kubish

Alex joined Simpson & Associates LLP as an associate lawyer in 2020. Prior to that, he completed his articling term at a pro bono clinic, where he worked primarily in family law. Alex believes that it is usually preferable to avoid court when possible, but he has also represented clients in both the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Provincial Court of Alberta.

Alex focuses his practice on family law and civil litigation, and has experience in areas such as:

  • Divorce and common-law separation
  • Parenting and guardianship (including trials and emergency applications relating to children)
  • Financial support for children, spouses, and partners
  • Annulment
  • Enforcement and variation of court orders
  • Breach of contract claims
  • Commercial landlord-tenant disputes
  • Registration and enforcement of builders’ liens

Alex obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Alberta. He has regularly volunteered for the Edmonton Community Legal Centre since 2016, where he provides summary legal advice for low-income individuals and gives public legal education presentations on family law. He has also volunteered for Catholic Social Services, helping young immigrants and refugees adapt to the Canadian school system.

Alex is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and of the St. Thomas More Lawyers’ Guild of Northern Alberta. Alex is a lifelong resident of the Edmonton region, and enjoys spending time with his fiancée and their two cats.

Paul McWilliams

Paul’s practice focuses on civil litigation and he regularly appears in the Provincial Court of Alberta and the Court of Queen’s Bench.

His career began in 2012 in Perth, Western Australia where he practiced civil litigation, mining litigation, and property law for five years. Paul joined Simpson & Associates LLP in August 2018. His clients are from the following industries:

  • Construction and trades
  • Non-profit
  • Transportation
  • Commercial property owners
  • Various professions
  • Mining
  • Oilfield services

Paul enjoys writing, mountain biking, and traveling.

Randy Simpson

Randy is a partner and co-founder of Simpson & Associates LLP. He was granted a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance and Accounting) and a Juris Doctor by the University of Saskatchewan. Randy conducts a general practice and particularly enjoys working with families and small and medium-sized businesses to find solutions.

Randy’s experience with business includes:

  • Advising and developing effective business structures (including corporations, partnerships, limited partnerships, joint ventures and trusts)
  • Trademark registration
  • Restructuring business organizations
  • Franchise review
    Commercial financing
  • Contract drafting and review

As a member of our real estate practice group, Randy is involved in residential and commercial real estate matters including:

  • Purchase and sale of real property
  • Financing
  • Commercial leasing
  • Agricultural and rural residential real estate

Randy also has an active wills and estates practice and can assist families with:

  • Succession planning
  • Wills, enduring powers of attorney and personal directives
  • Estate administration
  • Trusts

Randy has been a resident of Sherwood Park for more than 30 years and enjoys spending time with his family and volunteering in his community.