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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Some new ways to access legal info on our website

At my firm, we’re always aiming to improve our services. We have a couple of new offerings  that we think will be very helpful.

Ask a Question
Sometimes the questions people have are too complicated to be answered in the newsletter or on this blog, but they are not quite in-depth enough to require a full hour with a lawyer. I hear from a lot of people who don't want to spend $400 to get an answer. To solve this problem, we’ve added the Ask a Question section to the Resources page on our website. Now users can pay a small fee ($50) to submit their question and get an individualized written answer from me. Click here to access this resource. Questions can come from anywhere in the country. I'll still be answering questions here on the blog as I always have; the Ask a Question feature is intended for those who need more than a general answer.

Search for an Estate
If you’ve been looking for a completed estate but don’t know where to go, we can complete the search for you, as long as the estate is within Newfoundland and Labrador. This is an excellent option for people representing themselves in estate litigation who need copies of previous completed probates or administrations, or for those who are looking for more information about an estate situation within their family. All the user has to do is enter the information, and we’ll find the documents and forward them on by email. The fee is $40, which includes the $20 the Supreme Court charges for copies of documents. Click here then scroll down.

Our popular in-house seminar series is now online. Instead of hosting seminars in our office (we seem to have outgrown the available space), we’ll be hosting live webinars so people across the country can attend. There will be a session every few weeks, and we’ll post the upcoming events on our website and in the newsletter. Don’t worry if you can’t make it to a session – each webinar is recorded and we will happily send it to registered participants after the presentation is complete.

You can also subscribe to our monthly free e-newsletter by clicking here and scrolling down to the bottom left. Archives of all past issues are found here


  1. Hello. My elderly uncle, who has no spouse or children, recently asked me to be the executor of his will and estate. He wants me as complete executor to his whole estate. He will be leaving me everything.

    Assuming he has no outstanding bills- which he says he wont, I was hoping you could tell me the likelihood that I will have to go to probate. He doesn't think I will since "everything will be mine"

    Your thoughts and insight are greatly appreciated.

    1. There are two theories about probate that you mention in your question and neither of them is correct.

      Going through probate does not depend on whether there are debts. Sometimes it does happen that a will is probated specifically because of debts but that is very rare.

      The idea that probate will not be needed because everything is going to go to you is just odd. How would that make any difference? Perhaps your uncle thinks that if it's all going to one person rather than multiple people then probate isn't needed? If so, he is wrong.

      Whether or not you will need to go through probate will depend on a few things. The first is the type of asset. Real estate requires probate.

      The second is the value of assets. The higher the dollar value, the less likely any bank or other institution is going to release assets without the indemnity protection provided by probate.

      The third is how assets are held. Assets with a designated beneficiary and some jointly owned assets do not usually require probate.

      Fourth is the quality of the will. Home-made wills often do not properly dispose of the estate, don't give the executor enough direction/powers, or contain clauses that are unclear. Anything that requires interpretation will have to go through probate.

      So, since I don't know anything about the estate or the will, I couldn't go beyond these general rules.



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