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How to ask a question

Here are some ways to get an answer to your question:

1. Ask one question. This would work for you if you only need to ask one question and you don't need a whole hour to talk about it. You ask a question via email or via the "Ask a Question" feature on my webpage. This will cost $50. Call Matthew or Chelsea at 709-221-5511 to book a time, or email me at lynne@butlerwillsandestates.com.

2. Book a full consult: Have a one-time discussion on the phone or in person with me of up to an hour. You can send me material (such as a will, release, etc) in advance for me to review before our chat. You can ask as many questions as you want to about the topic. I will provide you with a letter summarizing our discussion if you like. Our conversation creates a working relationship so that your information will always be kept confidential. After the conversation, you are not obligated to hire me or my office to do any other work for you. It's just a way of having a thorough discussion. For this consultation, I charge $400, which you would pay by way of credit card during the call. To book a consult, call Matthew or Chelsea at 709-221-5511.

Those of you who have emailed me asking for free legal advice have probably noticed that I rarely reply. Like most people, I can't afford to give away the very thing that earns me my living. I also can't risk sending a few lines that gives you a false sense of security that you've been fully advised if you really haven't. If you're just curious about the general rules, by all means leave a question here on the blog and I'll do my best to answer you. But if you're planning to make decisions based on what I tell you, I strongly recommend that you choose one of the two options above so that I can give your question the attention it deserves.



15 comments:

  1. I am a residual beneficiary of two estates. the executor of one is very good at keeping us informed, but I don't understand C3 requirements. The second executor is not as good at keeping us informed. One has to ask. And when one asks, one is told a vague "I sent paperwork off last week". This will was lump sums to everybody, charities included. Three years later it is not settled. The sale of property was finaized last February and here we are waiting and it's December! Completely fed up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, trying to get information about estates can be unbelievably frustrating. Sometimes executors have good reasons for delays. There could be tax issues, court delays, low markets, all kinds of things. But why don't they just say so? That's the part that makes me wonder. Surely everyone knows that without facts and information, the people waiting are going to become impatient and start speculating as to what is happening. Communication is so important but many executors are terrible at it.

      Lynne

      Delete
  2. My husband and his sister live in BC and are the children from a first marriage. They moved at a young age to BC from Ontario with their mother when their parents broke up. Their father remarried and has a son from that relationship and remained in Ontario. My husband was recently in Ontario when his father became ill, and his step brother mentioned there is a copy of his father's will sitting on the table, which my husband took home to BC with him. The copy has a stamp that says Copy on it and there are no signatures on the two page document. The will, called a last will and testament, leaves all assets/money for the son from the second marriage, and a niece, to be divided equally between them. There is no mention of my husband and his sister receiving anything in the will. Their father is still living, but is very sick and is terminal. When my husband's sister asked her dad on the phone about the will not leaving them anything he said he didn't leave anything to anyone. His niece who is also a beneficiary is the executor and power of attorney. How do we find out if the copy we have is the copy of a true existing legal will, and is there any grounds for contesting the will ? Their father is now in a long term care facility in BC. The last will and testament was written when he was still in Ontario. I have read that in BC the chance of contesting a will made in BC where children have been left out is easier, but other provinces, no. The will was made out in Ontario ( presuming this copy really is a copy of a legal will) Also I read that you can not contest the will till after the person is deceased. Is this correct? thanks

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Lynne,

    My aunt died in Ontario during 2017. There is a will and I was appointed the estate trustee in 2018. My four siblings and I are the only beneficiaries of her will.

    I retained the services of a lawyer to handle the probate application and was very satisfied with that process. However now I am having doubts about the advice the lawyer is giving me as I begin the process of distributing the estate assets.

    Am I under any legal obligation to continue to retain this or any other lawyer to guide me in distributing the estate's assets?

    Two of my sibling owe me money and want to use their portion of the estate to settle these debts prior to the distribution of benefits because they live outside of Canada. Can they use notarized 'Letters of Set Off' to instruct the trustee to pay the creditor (me) before money is distributed to them?

    Thanks for any advice you're able to provide with either issue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're not obligated to use this lawyer or any lawyer. However, the fact that you want to use estate funds to force repayment of a debt to you personally (which is not allowed) makes it clear why you and your lawyer are not seeing eye to eye.

      Lynne

      Delete
    2. Hi Lynne,

      Thanks for your great feedback.

      I want to clarify that both beneficiaries want to repay their loan before their benefit is distributed and are not being forced to do so.

      The loans were meant to be an interim distribution of their benefit and were made because there wasn't enough money in the estate account at the time.

      Delete
  4. My 90 year old father has a live in caregiver in his home. The caregiver's daughter and grand daughter have moved in as well. There are no issues right now with this arrangement. I'm unclear if there is a valid written contract and she receives cash payment for her support. If my father dies, is there real risk of claims on his estate or challenges with eviction of the caregiver and her family?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Lynne,

    I am about to come into an inheritance and I would like for it to go to my daughter.
    She is not named in the will with my other siblings but I would like to decline my inheritance and have them give her the money instead. Am I allowed to do this? If so, how do I go about it? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  6. Could you provide a link to this? -- "in my Alberta Probate book I provided a form for this that you can either print or download, as well as forms for all of the executor's record-keeping and accounting" I need something simple that just shows the date, purpose and amount of expenses I have paid into processing an estate as the executor. Thanks for any help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, no. That is provided in the book for people who have bought the book.

      Lynne

      Delete
  7. I am a residual benificery of a Trust in BC. The trust was created with a life intrest by my father for his wife. The trustee has never informed the me about the trust or the estate.
    I have learned The trustee moved estate funds to my mothers bank account. This trustee was General Power of attorney for my mother.
    I have been to court to contested the Estate accounting.(passing of accounts)
    The court suggested I sign an order for both estates be heard at the same time.(due to comingling)
    Is there a up side to this or work against me?
    It appears The trustee/ POA can not account for life insurance policy from the Estate. He has been involved in Estate Reassesments from years back . The first 10 years of Estate accounting is missing The reasoning my mother (also a estate trustee) look care of her own affairs . He is avoiding any accountability.
    Once he becomes POA (General) he put his mothers financial funds in a joint account with himself. A couple of years later moved the estate funds into the joint account. My mother passed. All finances court ordered into trust until issues are resolved.
    The issues are old but an estimate of $400,000 is unaccounted for.
    Should I sign off to have this all heard at the same time? Or have the estates heard seperatley or
    Presue a breach of trust , undue influence
    Your thoughts are appreciated

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi,

    My mother passed away a couple of years ago. The house was in her maiden name but was married before passing. She didn't have a will. I am the only child. My step father is currently living in the estate and hasn't distributed any inheritance which I know he gets the first $200 and anything remaining after that gets distributed evenly between us. My question to you is how do I Uptain my inheritance if the estate was all that she had? Does he have to sell the house for me to get my inheritance?
    We are both estate trustees.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a complex matter that can't really be addressed in a few lines. I wouldn't be doing either of us a favour if I tried. I suggest you either call my office for a full consult ($400) or that you use the "Ask a Question" feature on my website where you can email in a question and I'll take the time to answer it properly.

      Lynne

      Delete
  9. Hi Lynne
    I have a question. I am in a relationship with a man who is legally married but living a part for 6 years he and she own a house together. She has spent the last 5 years with someone else with an attempt at a reconciliation at the 4 year mark for 6 months. It didn’t work out and I have since been living with him for 10 months and she is back with her boyfriend. Her and her boyfriend legally own a house together as well as her and my boyfriend own this house together. She has reciently decided that I live here with a free ride, though she doesn’t know that I pay bills here and by food and help look after her kids. I also own my own house that I rent out and I rent another property where my belongs reside. Now she is getting upset about mine and my boyfriends relationship and sent him a text saying the house is half hers.
    I’m not arguing that.
    They have not done a legal separation as of yet.
    I am wondering if because they are still technically married and not legally separated on paper if this 50 50 split of assets would also included that part of the house that she owns with her boyfriend?
    I also wonder if I by a house with my boyfriend and they are not legally separated is she intitled to half the house we would own together.
    I realize this is complicated and really appreciate your thoughts on this. We live in Saskatchewan

    Aimee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Aimee,
      I appreciate your question but since I don't practice family law, I don't have any answers for you. You should talk to someone who specifically deals with family law.

      Lynne

      Delete

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