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Monday, September 24, 2018

Have you considered executor's insurance?

Have you heard about executor's insurance? It covers not just the loss to an estate caused by mistakes made by executors, but also the legal costs of defending the lawsuit that might otherwise be paid by the estate. If you've been named the executor of an estate, particularly one in which you anticipate a tough time dealing with beneficiaries, you might want to think about this kind of insurance.

Click here to read a really good article that explains  how executor's insurance works, and sets out what is covered and what is not covered.

If any readers have used executor's insurance, let us know how it worked for you.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Best Legal Blog annual contest is now on. Please nominate us!

It's back! The Expert Institute's annual Best Legal Blog contest is running right now. Last year this blog came in about 10th in the "Niche and Specialty" category, but I'm sure we can do better than that this year. Right now they are taking nominations and the blogs that get the most nominations get on the list for the final voting. I don't think I win anything other than bragging rights, but that works for me. I'd love it if you readers would nominate this blog. For those of you who want to participate, please click here and follow the instructions to nominate us. Come on, let's get some Canadian blogs in the mix!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Upcoming webinar: Drafting and Using Enduring Powers of Attorney

On September 27, 2018 I'm teaching a webinar entitled "Drafting and Using Enduring Powers of Attorney" that is available right across the country. It's designed for lawyers who are new to or inexperienced with drafting Enduring Powers of Attorney, or for any general practitioners who come across Enduring Powers of Attorney in their practice.

Here is a link to the brochure with more details about what we'll be covering and instructions for registration.

The webinar is 90 minutes long, starting at noon EST on Thursday the 27th. It has an interactive element that allows me to answer questions in real time. We  held a similar seminar about wills several months ago and  more than 150 lawyers from across the country participated. Many asked questions so it seems to be a great way of communicating.The company presenting the session is called Seminar Partners.

I'll be giving all my best tips and ideas to help lawyers become as knowledgeable and skilled as possible when advising clients and drafting Enduring Powers of Attorney. And yes, it counts as 1.5 hours against your CPD requirements! I hope to see some of you there.

Monday, September 17, 2018

For executors: Older toys with high values

I often remind executors that they must be careful when cleaning out the contents of a house during the administration of an estate. In particular, there is a risk that an executor will let items go for less than they are worth. If the item was expensive, the beneficiaries can hold the executor responsible for the loss to the estate and - by extension - to them.

Executors, like most of us, might look at an old pile of toys and household objects that haven't been used in years and think that there is no value to outdated items. Unlike the rest of us, the executor has an obligation to get as much money as  he or she can for those items. To assist with that, I'm attaching a link to an article about older toys that now can be sold for many times their original value. Click here to read it. Most of the toys mentioned are from the 1980s but some date back much further.

An executor's job isn't easy, especially when you can get into trouble for something like selling an old Hot Wheels car. Whether you're holding a garage sale or listing things on e-Bay, take your time and find out all you can about anything that seems "vintage".

Photo credit: Pinterest

In BC, can a notary prepare your will for you?

Those of you living in British Columbia might know that recently your courts dealt with the question of whether notaries can draft wills for members of the public, and if so, what limits exist on what they can do. The question was heard in Supreme Court and then appealed through the Court of Appeal so I assume that we now have a definitive answer.

The result is confirmation that notaries can, in fact, draw wills for the public, as long as they are wills that have immediate distribution. That is, the assets in the will are going to be given to the beneficiaries immediately on the death of the testator. If there is going to be a trust or a life estate in the will, it cannot be drawn up by a notary; it must be done by a lawyer.

This decision was based on the fact that notaries aren't lawyers. Only lawyers are allowed to: draw, revise or settle “a will, deed of settlement, trust deed, power of attorney or a document relating to a probate or a grant of administration of the estate of a deceased person”.

I hope this helps you decide where to go to have your will prepared, and please note that the above restrictions apply to Enduring Powers of Attorney.

Click here to read a more in-depth article about this court decision, known as Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia v. Law Society of British Columbia, 2017 BCCA 448, posted on the blog of Vancouver lawyers Alexander Holburn.

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