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CDN:The Law Show

Post by Webscout » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:52 am

A CDN slant but prob applies to US as well.

Second episode of The Law Show is available for listening online
Posted by Lynne Butler
The second episode of The Law Show has aired, and is now available for listening at any time ..see link below. This week, we talked about the three basic building block documents of estate planning.
As Chelsea says in the broadcast, if you send a question to TheLawShowNL@gmail.com and we answer it on the air, we'll send you a free copy of one of my books.
Next week we have a couple of guests who are going to talk about using trust companies as executors, so if you have questions or comments that you'd like us to ask the guests, please send them in!
http://vocm.com/shows/weekly-on-vocm/th ... d-estates/
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CDN-Estate planning mistakes can so easily be prevented just by talking

Post by Webscout » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:52 am

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Estate planning mistakes can so easily be prevented just by talking
Lynne Butler-Lawyer East coast Canada
A recent article from [HIDE]

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www.advocatedaily.com
[/HIDE] lists the top ten estate-planning mistakes according to Allison Oxtoby, a lawyer from British Columbia. Click link below to see the list.

Some of the language used in the article is specific to BC, but the concepts apply right across the country. For example, the article mentions applying to be committee for an incapacitated adult, whereas other parts of the country call that adult guardianship.

Ms. Oxtoby and I apparently think alike, because I agree with each and every one of the ten items on her list.

Many of the mistakes people make during their estate planning (or lack of it) could be fixed or prevented simply by sitting down and having a frank discussion with an estate planning lawyer. I had a conversation with a client this morning to review her existing will, which she made about 15
years ago. As it turns out, what is in her will is not at all what she thought was in it. For example, the will leaves her home and all of its contents to two of her three children. When I asked why the third child was not to receive anything from the house, she was surprised. She thought she was leaving the house itself, and didn't realize the effect of adding the words "and contents".

Talk out your plans and ideas with someone who has experience in estates. This will prevent so many errors that tear families apart.
[HIDE]

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http://www.advocatedaily.com/alison-oxtoby-top-10-estate-planning-mistakes-oxtoby.html
[/HIDE]
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CDN-The executor has used estate funds for personal use. What can a beneficiary do?

Post by Webscout » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:18 am

Thursday, April 20, 2017
The executor has used estate funds for personal use. What can a beneficiary do?
Lynne Butler-Lawyer-East Coast Canada
:) NOTE--Below 'could' apply to most States in the USA and some other countries as well. Due your own research, your own due diligence.

If you were a beneficiary of an estate and you found out that the executor was skimming from the estate, would you know what to do? Would you know what legal solutions were available? A reader recently asked me what to do in that situation. His question and my response are below:

"My brother recently became executor for our mother's estate. He has asked all beneficiaries to sign a full release for an interim disbursements. He was very upset when I refused to sign a full release and that got me wondering what was going on. After much debate, I finally got him to send us documentation on the estate which showed a very different amount in the estate bank than what he had sent us originally. He then confessed to "borrowing" from the estate for personal use. Do I have any recourse to have him removed as executor? The will has been probated and all was going OK until I found out about the borrowing. Is there anything I can do about reducing his executor fee? Is he in breach of fiduciary duty? Is he in contempt of probate court? Did he break the law?"

There are some options open to you, all of which are based on the fact that as executor, he is not allowed to "borrow" from the estate. Yes, he is in breach of his fiduciary duty.

One solution is for his executor fee to be reduced by the amount that he borrowed. He might agree to this voluntarily if it avoids a lawsuit, and if the dollar amounts are suitable. If he does not agree, you can ask the court to order it.

Reducing his fee would mean that he would remain as the executor. If you believe that is not the best thing for the estate, or if the amount he took is more than his fee would cover, you could ask the court to remove him as executor. As a general rule, courts do not like to remove executors because it means going against a choice made by the testator, who had her reasons for appointing him. It's your mother's will and she had the right to choose who she wanted. However, it certainly can be done with the right evidence of misuse of estate funds.

You would have to provide the court with the consent of another person who is willing to take on the job (and there are some rules about who that can be), because the court is not going to remove an executor without a replacement. The process of removing him would also involve him passing his full accounts in front of the judge.

Your brother is not in contempt of probate court. However, as mentioned, he has breached his duty to the estate and to the beneficiaries and that is the basis of any lawsuit that would ensue. Because you are a beneficiary, you are directly affected by his actions and therefore you are a person who has legal standing to bring an application to the court. In reality. most of these matters don't make it all the way to court because things get settled along the way, but each case is unique.

When you ask whether he has broken the law, you are really asking whether criminal charges can be laid against him. In theory, this is possible. However, in real life the legal waters are very muddied and involve civil law more than criminal law, so the police stay out of it. This is because the grant of probate allows your brother to legally access the money. It allows him quite a bit of leeway in how he uses it. If you want to bring charges because he has misused the funds, this puts the police in the position of having to interpret a civil document and its usage in the context of probate law, which really can only be done by a judge. Criminal charges are rarely laid against executors except in very extreme cases and usually it's after the matter has been through civil court so that the issues have been dealt with. In other words, it could happen but at this point it's premature.

I suggest that if there is any way the matter can be settled without a lawsuit, you should try to take that route. Perhaps your brother could find a way to replace the funds. Lawsuits are expensive and time-consuming, and will likely destroy your brother's relationship with you and the other beneficiaries.
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CDN:Using a Trust Company in our Estate Planning.

Post by Webscout » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:54 am

Latest episode of the Law Show available for listening online
Lynne Butler-Lawyer East Coast
The latest episode of The Law Show is available for listening now by going here
http://vocm.com/shows/weekly-on-vocm/th ... d-estates/
This is the third episode, in which we chatted with our special guest, Greg Youden from CIBC. We talked about how we non-millionaire, ordinary folks might want to use a trust company in our estate planning.

Next week we'll be spending the entire program talking about joint property and how it is used and misused in estate planning, so don't miss it!
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April 27 - the perils of joint property

Post by Webscout » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:16 am

Did you catch today's episode of The Law Show? We talked about the perils of joint property (both real estate and bank accounts). It must have struck a chord with a lot of people because my phone has been ringing steadily with calls from people who want to discuss their own joint property arrangements.

For those of who didn't catch it or who live too far away to hear it, c/p here[HIDE]

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 http://vocm.com/shows/weekly-on-vocm/the-law-show-with-butler-wills-and-estates/
[/HIDE] to listen online. The episodes are listed by date. The topics covered so far are:

April 6 - probate
April 13 - the main building blocks of an estate plan
April 20 - using a trust company in your estate planning
April 27 - the perils of joint property
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The Law Show: common myths & misconceptions about wills

Post by Webscout » Fri May 05, 2017 8:00 am

The Law Show: common myths & misconceptions about wills - now available online
Lynne Butler-Lawyer-East Coast

The latest episode of The Law Show is now available online for listening at www.vocm.com. This week, Chelsea and I did some myth-busting. We talked about several common myths and misconceptions about estates and wills, and had a pretty lively discussion about them. Click here http://vocm.com/shows/weekly-on-vocm/th ... d-estates/ to listen to it, and to any previous episodes you might have missed.
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Executor's duties is now available online

Post by Webscout » Fri May 12, 2017 7:53 am

Friday, May 12, 2017
The Law Show episode: Executor's duties is now available online
Lynne Butler-Lawyer East Coast Canada

Yesterday's (May 11, 2017) episode of The Law Show was all about executor's duties. We had fun talking about some of the places executors have found wills hidden "in a safe place" by testators, among many other things. Click here http://vocm.com/shows/weekly-on-vocm/th ... d-estates/ to listen to the show.

Remember that if you have a question about anything to do with wills and estates, and we answer the question on the air, we'll send you a free copy of one of my books. And yes, we'll let you choose which one! Send questions to TheLawShowNL@gmail.com.

We're always open to suggestions for guests and topics, so feel free to use that email address for those suggestions as well. Your feedback is always welcome.
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Enduring Powers of Attorney (CDN )

Post by Webscout » Fri May 19, 2017 8:13 am

Enduring Powers of Attorney (CDN )
Thursday, May 18, 2017
The Law Show's latest episode talks about enduring powers of attorney
Lynne Butler-Lawyer East Coast Canada

The latest episode of our radio show, The Law Show, is available for listening online. Click here http://vocm.com/shows/weekly-on-vocm/th ... estates/to listen to this and all episodes at www.vocm.com. You'll see all of the shows listed by date. If you want to know which topics were covered on which dates, take a look at the list on the right hand side of this blog.

The latest one is about Enduring Powers of Attorney. We were able to cover a lot of information in this show, which I think is one of our most informative so far. If you're interested in hearing about ways to protect yourself or your parents from abuse by POA, take a listen.

Thanks to all who are listening to the show. We are so grateful for all of the positive comments we've received.
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CDN:Court challenge over elderly man's will may be a sign of things to come

Post by Webscout » Wed May 24, 2017 11:53 am

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Court challenge over elderly man's will may be a sign of things to come
Lynne Butler-Lawyer-East Coast Canada

There is a very sad, upsetting case being heard in the Ontario court. It is about the will of Christos Vloyiannitis, who died in 2013 at the age of 78. Before Mr. Vloyiannitis died, he changed his will to make his caregivers, a married couple named Terry and Pam Cross, his major beneficiaries. He also made them his powers of attorney for both personal care and financial matters.

The day before Mr. Vloyiannitis died, he was admitted to hospital in very bad shape, with issues including malnutrition and untreated sores.

Mr. Vloyiannitis's sister is contesting the will. She alleges that the caregivers took advantage of an old, sick man who was grieving the death of his wife and was dependent on pain meds including morphine. She says they isolated him from family and were spending about $13,000 a month of his money.

Click here http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comme ... gs-to-come to read a story from the National Post that gives more details about the case.

The angle taken in the story is that this type of will challenge is going to become more common in the near future as our population ages. I agree. Not everyone has family members who are willing and able to provide the care that is needed. More and more of us will be dependent on paid caregivers. This means that more of us will be vulnerable to the dishonest ones among them.

Will challenges are based on the idea that the testator was unduly influenced by a greedy or unscrupulous person or did not have the mental capacity to understand what was happening. These cases are already pretty common. In fact, I have one in front of the Newfoundland courts right now. Here's how it works: when most wills are admitted to the probate court, they go through on a simplified, informal process. If there is a reason to suspect that there is something wrong with the will (known as "suspicious circumstances), a family member or other person can request that the court take a closer look. If the court agrees that there are suspicious circumstances, it would then go through a process whereby the circumstances of the will would be examined in detail.

This type of litigation is lengthy (think years, not months), expensive and really unpleasant. There are accusations flying around and every possible bit of dirt is brought up. This is because the court digs deep to see what happened leading up to the signing of the will.

All of us who have seniors in our lives should do our best to keep an eye on them. Sometimes older people feel very lonely and are easily convinced by opportunistic people that nobody in their family cares about them. Isolation is dangerous.
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New episode of The Law Show now online - and we've answered a ton of your questions!

Post by Webscout » Fri May 26, 2017 8:50 am

New episode of The Law Show now online - and we've answered a ton of your questions!
Lynne Butler-Lawyer-East Coast Canada

The latest episode of The Law Show is now online and available for listening on www.vocm.com (and yes, it's free). This week we answered a long list of questions sent in to us at our email at thelawshowNL@gmail.com, or here on this blog. We covered many interesting topics from family dynamics to getting a copy of the will to calling the police about out-of-control family members. Click here http://vocm.com/shows/weekly-on-vocm/th ... d-estates/ to listen in and scroll down to the episode you want to hear. If you don't know which episode to click on, look to the right hand side of this blog for the topic listing.
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Alan Thicke's Sons Claim His Wife Threatened Them With Bad Press to Get More of His E

Post by Webscout » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:02 am

Alan Thicke's Sons Claim His Wife Threatened Them With Bad Press to Get More of His Estate
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-es ... te-1004114

Blurred Lines....for sure...Robin Thicke.
[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyDUC1LUXSU[/YOUTUBE]

Below by Lynne Butler-Lawyer East Coast Canada
Ah, the celebrity life. So glamorous with all those divorces and pre-nups and angry threats to send bad press. Despite the fact that the lives of most celebrities are vastly different than the lives of the rest of us, the issues are the same when it comes to estates.

The widow of Canadian actor, Alan Thicke, is butting heads with his sons, Brennan and Robin, who are the trustees of Thicke's living trust. The widow, Tanya Callau, was Thicke's third wife, and the estate was split between her and Thicke's children. Apparently Callau is stating that the pre-nuptial agreement she signed will not stand up and that she should have more of the estate. In an interesting twist, the sons say that Callau threatened them with bad press if they did not meet her demands.

See above to read a story from The Hollywood Reporter which has more details.

There is an important take-away from this story. People often underestimate how bad the relationship is going to be between a step-parent and the step-children once the person they have in common has passed away. I've seen it many times with my own clients. It happens to celebrities and non-celebrities alike.

Obviously I don't know what advice Alan Thicke received from his lawyers. I think I would have suggested he use a trust company for his trustee. Perhaps the lawyer did advise this but Mr. Thicke didn't want to do it. Perhaps he did not perceive a need for it. If he is like most people, he over-estimated his loved ones in the sense that he anticipated that they would get along better than they are. He thought they'd behave better. When we (falsely, as it usually happens) believe that estate fights only happen in other people's families, we leave ourselves open. Cooler heads might have prevailed if a neutral third party was in charge of the estate and the family trust.
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CDN:Latest episode of The Law Show now online: Beneficiaries Contesting Wills-May 31/

Post by Webscout » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:44 am

CDN:Latest episode of The Law Show now online: Beneficiaries Contesting Wills-May 31/17
The latest episode of The Law Show is now available for listening online. This time we talked about beneficiaries contesting wills. We covered who can contest, what grounds are available, whether a promise holds up, what it costs, and much more. Click below-where to go to vocm.com then scroll down to the episode you want. Contesting the will is the May 31, 2017 episode.
http://vocm.com/shows/weekly-on-vocm/th ... d-estates/
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Manitoba and legal stuff

Post by Webscout » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:34 pm

This is some info from Manitoba that might be of interest. Someone had a question re executor fees among other questions.
This might be of help..
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/busine ... 46881.html
Comments from above article
ve4mm
9:39 AM on 6/13/2015
I was an executor in 2000 when my aunt and uncle passed away within 6 months of each other.
It was over $1M and I had all the assets sold and everything was in order within 6 months. Tons a hours and stress.
Then my greedy aunt and her 3 kids in Ontario tried to steal the entire estate. The aunt stole the condo at 55 Nassau but that was it. I made sure of that. They dragged it on for 5 years and they hired council.
It was a horrible experience.
1 reply
Gord Richardson
6:17 PM on 7/1/2015
How do you 'steal' a condo? It's real estate, has a title and there's a legal process to have title transferred from the deceased owner to the successors named in the will. If the condo was not expressly bequeathed in the will, then it's an asset of the estate and the only one able to dispose of it by sale is the executor with Grant of Probate and a notarized copy of the will in hand when a real estate agent is engaged to list it.
________________________________

Lynne Butler

An executor is entitled to claim between 1% and 5% of the gross value of the estate. Where he or she falls on that scale depends on a number of things including the complexity of the estate, the value of the estate, whether there were any particularly tangly things to straighten out, etc. Though most executors automatically try to get 5%, that is usually not appropriate. The high end of the scale should only be used when there are very complex assets (e.g. businesses to wind down or sell, homes in different countries, etc).

Most of the time, the beneficiaries don't ask for "proof". In the majority of cases, the executor produces a summary of income and expenses. If the beneficiaries are okay with that, the executor doesn't have to produce anything else. So don't assume that not providing "proof" means anything negative.

If you as a beneficiary want to see more paperwork, you are certainly entitled to do so. You can ask to see receipts, work orders, cancelled cheques, bank statements, credit card statements, deeds, etc. If you are a residuary beneficiary, you are entitled to see all of that. Don't ask for an original to keep because you won't get it.

Like I said, the "proof" is not usually produced automatically but you are within your rights to ask for it.

Lynne
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CDN--Estate and reality...

Post by Webscout » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:21 am

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Ontario court rules man born out of wedlock can't inherit from grandmother
Posted by Lynne Butler

If there was ever a case that illustrates the need to keep your will up to date, this is it. Recently the Ontario courts dealt with the will of Jadwiga Koziarski, which was made in 1977. Mrs. Koziarski's will left her estate to her two sons. If one of the sons had predeceased her, that son's share was to be divided among his descendants.

One of those descendants is Jesse Sullivan. He is a grandson of Mrs. Koziarski. He had a good relationship with his grandmother. She had even set up an RESP for him during her lifetime. But his parents were not married when he was born. Because of this, the court ruled that Jesse could not have a share of the estate.

This doesn't sound like the expected result, does it? That's because at the time the will was made, the words "children" and "descendants" did not legally include anyone born out of wedlock. Since then, the Ontario legislature changed the rules so that "children" and "descendants" DO include children born out of wedlock, and that's what we are used to across the country. However, the court said that it had to respect what the law said at the time the will was made.

To read an article by BC lawyer Allison Oxtoby with more details about the case, see below.

It's possible that Mrs. Koziarski wanted Jesse to share in her estate. Unfortunately her will was 40 years old and the laws had changed. Jesse was only 28 when his grandmother died so he was not even born when the will was made. It is really unfortunate for him that his grandmother did not update her will.


http://www.advocatedaily.com/alison-oxt ... other.html

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Wave of wealth transfer has lawyers bracing for litigation
Posted by Lynne Butler

$900 billion is a lot of money. That is the amount of money estimated to be handed down from the post-war generation to their children and grandchildren over the next decade. And due to additional factors such as people living longer and consequently encountering a greater chance of dementia, experts are predicting a tsunami of estate litigation.

To read more about this, see below here to see an article by Barrie, ON lawyer Steve Rastin.

You don't want to be part of this tsunami. Nor should you want your spouse and/or children left behind to be part of it. Not only will thousands of dollars be used up on legal fees, but your family relationships will not survive it.

What can you do to increase your family's chances of avoiding estate litigation? First of all, get a will made. I mean a proper, thorough will that has been talked out in detail with your planning lawyer. Sure, you can save a few bucks by doing it yourself, but you will probably lose tens of thousands later when the mistakes you make come to light after your death.

Second, get an Enduring Power of Attorney in place. Pick your representative carefully (this goes for your will, too). Include clauses that give transparency. Require your representative to report on a regular basis to others so that he or she is not operating in the shadows. Don't be afraid of hurting feelings by protecting yourself!

Third, if you re-marry, get a pre-nuptial agreement that specifically addresses how your estates will be treated so that there is no question later.

Fourth, talk to your adult children about your plans. Tell them where to find your will after you pass. If you are treating one of your kids differently from the others, tell them why, so you can deal with any questions or complaints now. Being open about your plans will help your children spot undue influence if someone coerces you later into making a will you don't really want.

Fifth, resist taking "home-made" steps such as adding children as joint owners of assets. If that worked as well as people think it does, it wouldn't be litigated every day in this country. As I said about the home-made will, doing things like adding children to assets without legal advice may save you a few dollars today but could end up draining your entire estate later as the children resort to the courts to figure it out.

Sixth. Admit to yourself that estate litigation can happen in your family. Don't kid yourself that it can't.

http://www.advocatedaily.com/steve-rast ... ation.html
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The LEGAL/JUSTICE POST

Post by Dude » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:39 pm

interesting about children from unmarried parents. but life is not fair.
There are only 10 kinds of people in this world,
those that understand binary and those that don't. 

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