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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Great review of my book in the Toronto Sun.

Alan Shanoff of the Toronto Sun recently reviewed my book, "How Executors Avoid Personal Liability". Check it out here if you have been wondering if this book is for you. The article didn't appear in the online version of the paper, so a link is not available. Clicking on the review below will increase its size so you don't need a magnifying glass!



8 comments:

  1. To Lynne Butler:
    Thanks for the wealth of information in your books. Such a big help in so many ways. Appreciate your style of writing as it is very simple and very easy to understand.

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    1. Thanks! The writing style in my books is very much like the writing here on my blog, which in turn is very much like the way I speak. Glad you found the book useful.

      Lynne

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  2. Dear Lynne -
    I asked the executor for a copy of the appraisal of the house, but he will not give me one, or even show it to me. Do I have a legal right to see it? I am a residuary beneficiary of the estate.

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    1. Honestly, why are executors like that? Is it a power thing? There is no reason in the world for him to withhold the appraisal from you, since you have the legal right to oversee his accounts. Yes, you have a right to see all paperwork relating to his transactions on behalf of the estate.

      Lynne

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  3. Hi Lynn,

    I am definitely going to check out your new book. I first started reading your blog when I began investigating the responsibilities that may fall to me as the only child of an ailing father who has not made a will (and appears not likely to). I now understand that if he does die intestate, I may apply to be an administrator so this has eased my mind.

    My mother, on the other hand, is in the process of updating her will. (My parents are divorced and never re-married.) If I have understood the information on your blog, my mother's plans should ensure her wishes are carried out without too much risk of family confusion or misunderstanding: she is naming me, as her only child, as enduring POA, executor and sole beneficiary; if I predecease her, a trust company will be executor and the estate will be divided between my two adult children (the trust company is because my children have a civil but not close relationship and one of them is not good with money); if adult child no. 1 predeceases my mother, there is provision for his share to be held in trust until his daughter is an adult. Adult child no. 1 is divorced from his child's mother. Adult child no. 2 has no children.

    My mother seems to think, and I agree, that this will ensure that her wishes are fulfilled with a minimum of difficulty and stress. This plan is based on our understanding of the many points raised in your blog. No real question or request for advice here, unless something in her plans is jumping out as a mistake--just a thank you for providing clarity on a much-misunderstood area, and giving us peace of mind. We have seen a lot of ill-feeling and tattered relationships among extended family over estate issues.

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    1. Hi,
      No, nothing is jumping out at me, but please remember that I am not familiar with your mother's assets, beneficiary designations, etc.

      What I am seeing is a parent and child working together toward a common goal, with open communication. You seem to have given realistic consideration to family issues.

      Lynne

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  4. I'm running out to buy your book right away - I need it!
    Here's an issue that may not be covered though - what about an executor, also a lawyer, who prepared the will to state that he will be paid for services rendered "to date" although the deceased thought he was acting pro bono? The will is signed (the deceased was very old and sick at the time, on pain medication, but not declared incompetent). The estate has now been presented with a lengthy bill for two years of services up to the death, are we compelled to pay?

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    1. How do you know that the deceased thought the lawyer was acting pro bono? And is it reasonable for any client to expect his or her lawyer to work for free for two years? That scenario does not make sense to me at all.

      The services in question were provided to the deceased prior to death, and from what you've said, they appear to be an outstanding bill just like any other outstanding bill. Even if there was no mention of the bill in the will, it should be paid, as it was a debt of the deceased. It seems to me that the lawyer was trying to bring attention to the bill while the deceased was still alive so that it wasn't a surprise after his death.

      I don't who you mean when you ask whether "we" have to pay the bill. It should be paid by the executor out of estate funds.

      Lynne

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