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The LEGAL/JUSTICE POST

Post by Dude » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:53 am

it seems that police should be able to capture someone without killing them.
maybe they need to talk to spiderman about how to catch bad guys?
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those that understand binary and those that don't. 

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Lawsuit alleges $100,000 trust fund for dog was mismanaged by executor

Post by Webscout » Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:38 am

Lawsuit alleges $100,000 trust fund for dog was mismanaged by executor
Posted by Lynne Butler-Lawyer

When Patricia Bowers of New York passed away, her will set up a trust for her dachshund, Winnie Pooh, with $100,000. According to the terms of the trust, the dog's caretaker, Virginia Hanlon, is supposed to receive the income from the trust on a quarterly basis to pay for Winnie Pooh's food, care, and medical bills.

Hanlon has now commenced a lawsuit against the executor of the estate, Harriet Harkavy, saying that she has been receiving only $10 cheques. One cheque she received from the estate bounced. The executor insists that the dog's caretaker has received everything she is supposed to have received under the terms of the will.

You would think this would be a relatively easy matter to figure out. With a decent will and a bit of help from an accountant, this spat should never need the assistance of the courts. However, as is typical of estates, people are at each other's throats. Hanlon and Harkavy both appear to be adamant in their respective positions, and are exchanging snide remarks and insults even in their legal documents. To read about their childish behaviour in more detail, http://nypost.com/2016/07/28/dachsunds- ... iend-suit/ The New York Post.

I doubt Patricia Bowers ever anticipated that her executor and her dog-caretaker would be fighting. It sounds as if she took care to determine a suitable amount of money, to choose her representatives, and to have a solid will made. It doesn't make sense that she would knowingly have made two people who dislike each other work together.

Or does it?

Would she have chosen differently had she suspected they'd behave this way? Or did she simply shrug and say "they'll have to learn to get along". Unfortunately, many people do take the easy road and ignore potential conflicts between the various parties to their wills. This leads to exactly what this story shows - people fighting over the estate and wasting time, energy, and estate money.

While estate planning is a matter of applying the law to your specific situation, it's a mistake to think that it's only about that. It involves money, but it also involves people. You must take the inter-personal relationships into account when asking individuals to fill certain roles.
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My late father has left us with an RRIF dilemma. How should I fix it?

Post by Webscout » Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:35 pm

Good Question

ASK AN ADVISER
My late father has left us with an RRIF dilemma. How should I fix it?

Dear Nancy Woods,

I was wondering if you could be of assistance to me since I'm having a very difficult time finding any advice from the bank institutions and accountants.

The situation is that my father passed away a couple of months ago, naming my mother as the beneficiary of his RRIF account, which has about $50,000. My mother never worked and has never had RRSPs, so she does not have a RRIF account to roll over the funds to. If she takes the money as a lump sum, she will have to pay the taxes, which will eat up quite a bit of the savings.

Do you know of any solutions to this problem to minimize the taxes she has to pay as she is going to need as much of the savings as possible?

Thank you in advance

Chris

=====

Dear Chris,

Your mother does not have to have worked nor has to have an existing RRIF. Your father's RIF can be transferred without tax implications to a RIF in your mother's name. This transfer can only happen when a RIF or RSP is specifically left to a spouse. The investments within the RIF are transferred as they are. They do not need to be sold or redeemed. When your mother passes away, unless she leaves it to a new spouse, it will be considered income to her. Then there will be taxes to be paid.

Nancy

---

Nancy Woods is an associate portfolio manager and investment adviser with RBC Dominion Securities Inc. Visit her website http://www.nancywoods.com or send an email request to asknancy@rbc.com. You can also send your questions to asknancy@rbc.com.
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The LEGAL/JUSTICE POST

Post by Dude » Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:34 am

those dog gone executors, you just can't trust them.
There are only 10 kinds of people in this world,
those that understand binary and those that don't. 

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The LEGAL/JUSTICE POST

Post by Webscout » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:08 am

[QUOTE=Dude;907373]those dog gone executors, you just can't trust them.[/QUOTE]

...and that applies to some of the people kind as well.
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Last-minute wills more costly for clients

Post by Webscout » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:57 am

Monday, August 8, 2016
Last-minute wills more costly for clients
Lynne Butler-Lawyer-East coast-Canada

Are you one of the many people who procrastinate when it comes to getting a will done, then end up realizing that you just can't go on vacation with peace of mind if you haven't got your will in place? If so, you are certainly not alone. In an article from www.advocatedaily.com, Ottawa lawyer Tanya Carlton talks about how this happens with her clients. Click here to read it.http://www.advocatedaily.com/tanya-l--c ... ients.html

I have always, as Ms.Carlton mentions, had a spike in requests for wills in the weeks before major holidays. Mid to late November is always extremely busy due to Christmas travelers realizing they don't have much time left before taking to the skies.

In the article, Ms. Carlton mentions that clients sometimes wish to sign a basic will when time is short, just so that they have something in place, even if it's not as thorough as it should be. They intend to re-visit and upgrade the wills after their vacation and to take the time to address all of their issues and goals more thoroughly. I've done those "something in place for now" wills myself, but I don't really like to do them. That's because when people come back from vacation, the pressure to get the will done is off, they get back to work and get busy again, and the will doesn't get changed.

When time is really limited before vacation, occasionally a client will look to abbreviate the will preparation process even further. After a meeting with me in which I've written down copious notes about their wishes, a client will ask whether in the absence of a signed will, my notes would have the same effect as a will. I point out to them that they will not. Some offer to sign my notes. That won't do, either. If notes were enough, why would anyone go through the rest of the process?

I find that most people are quite aware that they should have wills in place, but it usually takes some kind of triggering event to cause them to get on with it. Sometimes they are motivated to do their wills because they've had a bad experience with a family estate where there was no will. Sometimes it's because a friend or relative passed away unexpectedly. And often, it's because they have a vacation coming up and they know that these days, anything can happen.
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Search Legal Terms and Definitions

Post by Webscout » Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:55 am

Search Legal Terms and Definitions
ie.officer of the court
n. any person who has an obligation to promote justice and effective operation of the judicial system, including judges, the attorneys who appear in court, bailiffs, clerks and other personnel. As officers of the court lawyers have an absolute ethical duty to tell judges the truth, including avoiding dishonesty or evasion about reasons the attorney or his/her client is not appearing, the location of documents and other matters related to conduct of the courts.
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How to Prevent People From Making GoFundMe Pages for You When You’re Dead

Post by Webscout » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:31 am

How to Prevent People From Making GoFundMe Pages for You When You’re Dead
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How can I make sure the beneficiary has to prove she deserves the money?

Post by Webscout » Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:49 am

Intersting Q and excellent A-IMHO

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
How can I make sure the beneficiary has to prove she deserves the money?
Lynne Butler-Lawyer

Have you ever seen someone inherit a substantial sum of money and thought that they didn't deserve it? It's an interesting concept - that the law should only allow deserving beneficiaries to receive an inheritance. A reader recently wrote to me to ask about a situation which clearly causes him or her a great deal of anger and sadness because someone apparently undeserving is about to inherit from an estate. Read on to see the question and my comments. And please add your own comment below if you'd like to share your thoughts.

The spouse is getting everything from this poor guy's estate. She only stayed with him for the money. She has had multiple affairs. She really neglected his sickness 5 full days prior to his last hospitalization, and once taken to hospital, she did not go with him, instead went to the lawyer dealing with fathers estate to ask about him dying without a will. Questioned if she should push for a will to be signed that day. How can I make sure she has to prove she deserves all this money? He died because of her.

I can see that this matter is really painful for you and that it has stirred up a lot of emotions. I don't think my answer is going to comfort you at all.

The simple answer to your question is: you can't make her prove she deserves the money.

Beneficiaries do not have to prove that they deserve their inheritance. I can't even imagine the mess that idea would make if we tried to implement it. Who would you prove it to? What evidence would you have to call? How could you prove something like "she only stayed with him for the money" when there is probably no evidence except for her thoughts? And how on earth would anyone ever set the standards for who deserved what? Whose moral code would we follow?

Our criminal law system is set up to judge and punish behaviour that elected legislators have made illegal for the protection of society. Even that has its limitations, since not visiting your husband in the hospital or staying with him for the money are not illegal.

I realize that you believe it is unfair for her to inherit from her husband, but inheritance law can't help you there. A legal right to inherit is not based on moral fitness. It is based either on the fact that you are a dependent (such as a spouse or minor child) or that the testator wanted you to have a share of the estate as evidenced by a will. Even though she might have been a really terrible wife, the fact that this fellow married her and stayed married to her is the evidence the court would consider relevant. If he had felt that her behaviour was beyond what his moral code could accept, he could have divorced her, separated from her, or made a will leaving at least some of his estate to other beneficiaries.

We have a legal system, not a moral justice system. You'll have to hope she gets run over by the karma bus because it isn't the job of the probate courts to decide her worthiness.

***************
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AnonymousAugust 17, 2016 at 10:20 AM
Sounds like a "wicked step-mother" story. So does the "w s-m" inherit ALL of her late husband's wealth if he has no will? According to the article, it sounds as if he does not.
Or would the court need to appoint someone (who?) to sort out and distribute the assets -- half to the wsm and half to his kids?

Further, if the "w s-m" inherits all, . . . what when she dies, - do the father's natural children get anything ever or can an entire family estate be lost this way?

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Lynne ButlerAugust 18, 2016 at 9:05 AM
An entire estate CAN be lost this way, depending on the value of it. Intestacy laws vary from province to province, but in general they divide an estate of someone with no will between the spouse and the deceased's children. However, sometimes there is a minimum dollar amount for the spouse's share. For example, in Alberta, the spouse's preferential share is $150,000 which means that the first $150,000 goes to the spouse even if the children get nothing. Also, remember that most couples hold at least some property as joint owners - usually their home and bank accounts - and so that property goes to the spouse (joint owner) whether there is a will or not. Also most spouses name each other as beneficiaries on their RRSPs and life insurance policies so those assets would pass to the spouse with or without a will.

Lynne

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AnonymousAugust 17, 2016 at 8:51 PM
It's a good thing beneficiaries do not have to PROVE they deserve all the money they get, or very few adult children would be able to inherit a dime!

(Did I say it was good?)

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Lynne ButlerAugust 18, 2016 at 5:50 AM
I have to agree with you there.

Lynne

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webeyeAugust 18, 2016 at 7:59 AM
In cases like this where there is no 'will' , doesn't the government step in?
It beg's the question, why didn't the father have a 'will', especially if he was aware of this 'loose' woman etc etc . Why would he not protect his children? He knows he has a health situation. IMO there is something missing from this story, as there often is.
The lesson here is, have a 'will' drawn up and save your loved ones from an 'Estate Horror'.
Even with a 'will' you might still go to hell and back. I am living proof of that. I am an executor.

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Lynne ButlerAugust 18, 2016 at 9:09 AM
The government, i.e. the Office of the Public Trustee, only steps in when there is no family member willing and able to deal with the estate. In this case, it sounds as if the widow is dealing with it.

As for something missing, yes, I expect there is. When people write me notes here, they are telling their side, and often they are upset or outraged or grieving. Also, the closer people are to a situation, the harder it is for them to stand back and coolly assess what information is relevant.

I agree that a will should have been drawn up, since the man in question seems to have a blended family and significant assets.

Lynne
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The LEGAL/JUSTICE POST

Post by Dude » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:02 am

life is unfair, that's just the way it works.
even the law can't fix that.
There are only 10 kinds of people in this world,
those that understand binary and those that don't. 

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The LEGAL/JUSTICE POST

Post by Webscout » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:26 am

I have edited the post and I have included replies from the Blog.
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On Lies and Lawyering

Post by Webscout » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:04 am

On Lies and Lawyering
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15 basic (but important) points about executors

Post by Webscout » Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:54 am

15 basic (but important) points about executors
Lynne Butler-Lawyer-East Coast-Canada

A lot of this probably applies to the US as well.

Sometimes when I read questions and comments on this blog or speak with people in my office, I realize that there are basic terms used in wills and estates law that are not necessarily clear to everyone. Sometimes I forget that although a word has been in my daily vocabulary for the last 30 years, it may well be brand new to someone else. So with that in mind, I decided to summarize 15 important points about executors.

1. First of all: co-executors. When two or more people are named to act together on an estate, they are co-executors. There is no "main" executor; both of them have equal say and equal responsibility for what goes on in the estate. Both of them must sign all the paperwork. If one of them goes his or her own way without involving the other co-executor, he or she can face sanctions from the courts. The will that appoints them should very clearly state that they are to work together. Any executor fee must be split between the co-executors, though the split does not have to be equal.

2. An alternate executor is one who is named to take over only if the person who was named first cannot or will not act as executor, or doesn't finish the estate. The will should clearly say that if A can't or won't do it, then B becomes the executor. If the will says "A and B are my executors" that means they are co-executors, not a primary and an alternate executor.

3. If an executor is also a beneficiary, that is not a conflict of interest.

4. An executor named in a will does not have to take on the job. He or she can refuse. This is called renouncing. There are rules for how it is to be done, the most important of which is that you can only renounce at the very beginning; once you start acting as executor you cannot quit without court permission.

5. The executor named in a will is automatically the trustee of any trusts that are set up in the will. such as a trust that looks after money for a minor until the minor comes of age. However, anyone making a will who wants to name one person to be the executor and a different person to be the trustee can certainly do so in the will itself.

6. The only lawful executors are individuals and trust companies. You cannot appoint a law firm or an accounting firm or a business of any kind (other than a trust company) to be your executor. If you appoint a lawyer as your executor, you are not appointing his or her firm; you are only appointing that individual person.

7. Executors are entitled to compensation for their time, energy, efforts, and risk. If the will sets out how much the executor is to receive, that's how much he or she gets. If the will does not mention the pay, an executor can charge between 1% and 5% of the estate. The higher end of the scale is intended for estates that are very complex, such as those which involve winding down a business, selling property overseas, etc.

8. Executors are obligated to share estate information with residuary beneficiaries. Summaries are generally enough unless the beneficiaries request more detail.

9. An executor may not change or ignore parts of the will to make the estate "more fair". He or she has to do what's in the will or face liability. If the executor strongly objects to the contents of the will, he or she should renounce right off the bat and not get involved.

10. An executor has zero power or rights while the testator (the person whose will it is) is still alive. There is no such thing as acting as executor while that person is alive.

11. The executor named in a will does not have the right to be informed if the person who named him or her changes the will to name someone else instead. While a person is alive and is mentally competent, he or she can make as many changes as desired to his or her will and need not tell anyone if they don't want to.

12. An executor who behaves fraudulently or negligently and ends up costing the estate money or property losses can be held personally liable for those losses.

13. An executor is required to be impartial among the estate beneficiaries.

14. An executor may not decide to give mementos from the deceased's home to family members who are not named in the will. As soon as the deceased passes away, those items belong to the people under the will. An executor who gives items (even small ones) to other people is breaching his or her duty to the estate and may be held personally liable.

15. An executor is not entitled to move into the deceased's home rent-free, to drive the deceased's car or use the deceased's cell phone. The estate does not belong to the executor. An executor is only holding onto assets for a brief time for the benefit of the beneficiaries while he or she pays bills and sorts out paperwork, and has a duty to sell or convert the assets as efficiently as possible.
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What issues are raised when an inheritance passes outside the family?

Post by Webscout » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:04 am

Wednesday, September 7, 2016
What issues are raised when an inheritance passes outside the family?
Lynne Butler Lawyer-East Coast

Unfortunately, estate litigation is not rare. Beneficiaries can be protective of their potential inheritance, and sometimes do not look kindly upon individuals they may see as interlopers. Many of us know of situations in which a gift to a caregiver or friend was looked upon with great suspicion by the deceased's family.

Do you know why this is such a big area of contention? It's not necessarily greed on the part of the beneficiaries. A large number of them are concerned that their elderly relative might have been subject to financial abuse.

Lawyer Kyle Krull recently wrote an article talking about what can happen when a will leaves a gift to someone who is not a family member, and why that seems to be such a problem. Mr Krull is American, but the issues are relevant in our country as well. Click here
http://blog.kylekrull.com/kansas-missou ... amily.html
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How do you find your deceased parents assets when they've been gone for 14 years?

Post by Webscout » Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:56 am

Friday, September 16, 2016
How do you find your deceased parents assets when they've been gone for 14 years?
Lynne Butler-Lawyer-Canada

Now here's a tough one. A reader left me this brief note:

"How do you find your deceased parents assets when they been gone longer than 14 years?"

There's an awful lot I don't know about your situation, including why 14 years have gone by with nobody looking after any potential assets. I don't know your parents' age when they died, where they lived, what they did for a living, or anything else useful. I don't know whether you're an executor who wants to go forward or one of the kids who is curious, or whether you have any living relatives who might be helpful. As a result, the answer I'm about to give is going to be pretty general.

The passing of time doesn't make things any easier, that's for sure. Properties that are not paid for end up being foreclosed or reclaimed for back property tax. Unclaimed bank accounts may be closed. Records are destroyed after a few years. However, here are a few ideas to try, though admittedly many of them are long shots after 14 years:

1. If your parents left wills and you have a copy, read them to see whether there is any mention of accounts or life insurance policies, etc.

2. If you don't know whether they left wills or whether anything has happened with their estates (assuming you are not the executor) search their names at the probate court nearest where they lived. If an executor sent their wills to probate, there will be an inventory of assets that existed at the date of death. If there was an executor named, that is the best source of information you are likely to find. If you're in BC, there is a wills registry you can search.

3. Assuming that you know where they lived, do a title search on the property to see if they still own it. Do the same for a cabin or cottage.

4. If your parents owned a business, search the corporate registry to see who owns it now.

5. Visit banks near where your parents lived to see whether they have any records of accounts.

6. Call the office of the public trustee to see whether they ever represented your parents either as a power of attorney or as an executor. They are usually only involved with individuals who have no family members willing to help them, or whose families can't get along. It's worth a shot, though. If they did once represent your parents, they should have information about assets that existed at that time. Also, sometimes when a beneficiary of an estate can't be found, his or her share is left at the public trustee's office, so they might have information about your parents' estates.

7. Talk to any family members you have. Ask if anyone acted under a power of attorney for your parents. See if anyone has recollections of insurance companies, banks, investment advisors or lawyers you could talk to.

8. Check with your parents' former employers to see if there are any unclaimed pension benefits.

9. Search newspaper archives for your parents' names. There are plenty of useful things you might find, including a notice for an estate sale or auction, a property listing by a realtor, or an advertisement for estate creditors that includes the name of their lawyer.

There are some other sources of information about assets but unless you are the executor or administrator of your parents's estates, you're not going to get access. For example, Canada Revenue Agency could provide copies of past tax returns that contain information about investments, property, etc, but you are not entitled to get that information if you are not the executor. Places such as banks, law firms and insurance companies are also going to be reluctant to give out private information about their customers.

If anyone reading this post has additional ideas based on their experience, I'd be interested to hear them, as I'm sure other readers would as well.

MY COMMENT

This is an excellent search list for Executors, Beneficiaries, Lawyers and others.
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