Feedback and testimonials

Your feedback to me about my blog, my books, my columns and my seminars is so important to me. Even though I don't always have enough hours in the day to respond to each and every one of you, please know that I appreciate the time you take to write. Below is a selection of the comments I've received from you on this blog and by way of email. Thanks so very much for the feedback.


Hi – sure enjoy your blog – its so informative & Canadian! - L.G.

Many, many thanks for your prompt and helpful reply.- B.H. via email

Hi Lynne. Great blog. Thanks for doing this! - G.B. via Google+

This is a wonderfully informative blog and you are doing a tremendous public service, thank you Lynne. - J.C.

I found you doing a general Google search.... have now book marked your blog! Great information. - T.F.

I would like to thank you for creating the Alberta Probate Kit. Your book has been invaluable in sorting out probate for my dad's estate. (Actually, I suppose 'invaluable' is the wrong word - your book is worth the thousands of dollars in probate fees we would have otherwise paid to a lawyer.) - a reader

Thank you that you found time for answering my questions..You helped me much. I am surprised that there are some people in this world that can provide help for no special reason. - a reader from Ukraine

Love your articles and they sure have been a great help in the estate case that I am involved in. One of them helped get a ruling. Thank you for the terrific information.  - a reader

Hi Lynne and thanks for your great blog....You are helping many people by providing these articles and opinions for all to see. - a reader

Thank you very much for answering my question, you explain very well. - a reader

Love following you and you are so respected and loved! - L.M.

Again you have made things so very clear for me. Wonderful! Thanks again. - G. via email

Thank you so so much for taking the time to follow up with me. You’ve provided me with information that I can now get my mind wrapped around. Just knowing you’re out there makes me feel better. I so appreciate your kindness and anyone who is lucky enough to have you as a lawyer must have great karma.- C.R. via email

Thank you!! I have been reading and clicking every link!! Well done, Lynne Butler! You are a good egg. - a reader, via google+

Thanks again Lynne. What a wonderful service you provide!! - a reader

This was MY question and it was by accident that I found a response on your blog.  I wasn't sure you received it and didn't know how to work the website.  This is a THANK YOU...AND HUGE THANK YOU...for your generous spirit, your sharing of information, your time invested in your site.....all to help people.  Honestly, I am teary-eyed because I have been stressing for 25 years over the question of , ''What happens to me later on?"   Thanks to your generous sharing -- I have a starting point on what to ask etc.  From you I learned of Henson funds etc. and for the first time in a very long while....I can catch my breath. I'm only 48 --- this has been weighing on me forever.  I've been taking care of my Dad for 18 years.  I feel somewhat safer today.  THANK YOU AGAIN and please know your time and effort IS my xmas present!! - a reader

Thanks for your quick response. Boy, you know your stuff! - a reader

Thanks! Your blog has answered a lot of my questions. It is a great resource.- Chris

This is one of the best web sites I have seen to answer some of the toughest questions Canadians have. Thanks. - a reader

Thank you so much. In a world where information on the laws so difficult to access that most people stumble along on their own, to have such an informed response so quickly is greatly appreciated. - J.M.

Thanks Lynne! What a quick response! You are amazing! - G.S.

Thank you very much Lynn you answered my question completely, great information! - M.M.

I’ve heard you speak on CBC Radio and have since been reading your blog. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about my own estate situation and have begun having discussions at home about ensuring my common law spouse and I are taking care of our matters the way we would like. Thanks for that! - C.W.

You can read a brief section [of Estate Planning Through Family Meetings] each day if you like. I however couldn't put it down: it is thoroughly enjoyable, readable, and immensely valuable. Thank you Lynne for sharing so much and so effectively! - Brian Weatherton, 5-star review on 

You don't even know it but your blog has helped me so many times since my parents declined and I so appreciate the guidance. - a reader

Appreciate your helpful blog posts, Lynne - excellent work. Thanks! - @Silverie7 via twitter

You have been great to work with and always a smashing success at our conferences. - R.S., Athabasca County

What a lot to read,. BUT it's all good. Well done. - a reader

I truly appreciate your blog. The information provided is superb and has helped to answer a lot of questions that I have had as a beneficiary. - C.P.

I have been reading your blog for some time and I must say it has been most informative, most helpful and very clearly a most needed source of "ESTATE" information. - E.D.P.

What a relief it is to have been given a link to your blog. Thank you for being so helpful! - C.E.

Thanks Lynne, You are really on top of your blog and it is greatly appreciated. - a reader

I've found your blog to be incredibly helpful and easy to read and understand. - M.H.

Thank you very much for your presentation on Wills and POA. Your expertise, integrity and experience were all so clearly evident. It was a great presentation and well received by all. - Seniors Resource Centre NL

Thank you so much for this post! This is EXACTLY the information I needed. - P.P.

I have been reading your blogs for quite awhile they are so easy to read and understand I wish there was someone like you where I live in Ontario. - P.C.

Thanks very much for the book on Succession Planning [for Canadian Business]. An excellent book, and congratulations on making it so user friendly and comprehensive. - G.C.

Really enjoy your articles & our members appreciate your insight often 'neglected' areas for families - Estate Planning.@InvestingForMe via Twitter

Thanks for your excellent blog. It is a real service to the legal ignoramuses out here, like me. - J.S.

What an information-packed blog! Sheesh! - a reader

Whoa~! That was an amazing post about wills Calgary~! Blogs like that will surely help a lot of people...Keep it up! R.W.

Thanks [for the reply to a question], that is perfect, clear, easy to understand, all features I love about your site and the information you convey! - P.G. via email

I was so happy when I found your website today - thank you so much - it's fantastic! - C.C. via email

Cheers, I enjoy reading your work since I became an executor (I enjoy your writing, I don't enjoy being an executor). - D.L.

I have been absolutely devouring your blog posts since discovering them about an hour ago. Thanks so much for what you have written. -M.L. via email.

I recently purchased the Alberta Probate Kit to help me as executrix of my aunt's estate. In general, I find the book to be extremely helpful. I wouldn't even have been able to consider handling this myself without it. - C.K.

Thanks for a wonderful book [Alberta Probate and Administration Kit] and for your recent reply to my question - P.M.

Great resource by the way [Alberta Probate Kit], thank you for providing it. It is sure making things a lot easier for me. - P.S.

I have been a great admirer of your blogs and writings ever since I discovered them last year. I just bought your book on estate planning through family meetings. It is wonderful, after nearly 30 years of trying to educate clients in this area, to read such lucid comments. They should be required reading for everybody. - C.M.Superb post [Can a lawyer act for an executor and the beneficiaries?]. So informative and rational. - Wheaton Probate Lawyers

I'm buying a copy of your book [Estate Planning Kit for Canadian Business] because my Small Business Manager read it and said it was the best business book she has ever read. - Scotiabank Branch Manager

Lynne, you're a gem. Thank you. -R.C.

Hi Lynne, I just wanted to say "Thank You so much for answering me so quickly!" You have addressed most of what I
needed to know, and I, along with my sister are so grateful to you! We just LOVE your Blog! What a wealth of information, and how kind of you to answer our questions! I am sure that I can speak for everyone on your Blog, "you are one in a million, Lynne!" Thank you! - a reader

This book [Estate Planning Through Family Meetings] offers suggestions for discussing their inheritance with your children or other heirs. Doing this, with honest discussions with your children while you are still living, can prevent disputes among the children after your death. It also allows you to make your intentions clear to all involved. It further allows the children to prepare their own wills with appropriate consideration of any potential inheritance. It just makes good sense, and the book is a welcome discussion of how to do this. - Ronald L. Gillum, M.D., 5-star review on

I have read the book [Estate Planning Through Family Meetings] from cover to cover and as a financial planner, think this book is excellent for anyone. - Raymond W. Johns, 5-star review on

I thank you [for your answer to my question] and have learned a lot more than I thought I knew prior to dealing with a passing parent. I truly thank you for your input, and you deserve even more praise as you are answering this on your own time, and without a fee. Again, much obliged. - B.M.

You have been very helpful and I do appreciate it. - L.M.

I really appreciate your fast, comprehensive and professional response. Thank you very much. - G.V.

Of the several folks I tried to connect with, you were the only one that responded . Seems the folks out there on that rock are friendlier sort. Words cannot express how I felt when I got an email from you. Blessings, - a reader

Thank you so much for your wise words. You are so great & understanding. I wish that I could hire you to be my lawyer. - a reader

Your Estate Law Canada blog is just full of valuable information. Thank you so much for all your effort. - G.P.

I've read some of your articles on estates. Been involved in a horrible one which thank god is coming to its conclusion and I respect the clarity of your answers. - R.B.

I came across your blog yesterday and found it extremely helpful. You are to be commended for answering people's difficult questions. Actually, I'll go further and say that you are a comfort to many when they don't know which way to turn next. - G.L. 

I just subscribed to your blog, it looks VERY informative and interesting, I can’t wait to go through it! - S.R.

This blog post has been SO informative, Lynne. You should be commended for giving people such great advice on your valuable time. - a reader

You seem very knowledgeable and answer questions in a manner which the normal layman can actually understand. - D.G.

I've appreciated your explanations as they are devoid of legalese. - J.K.

I find your blog very informative and probably one of the best resources for estate law on the web. - E.S. via email

Fantastic web site. I have really learned a lot. - a reader

I am so glad to have found your blog ... thank you so much for writing it. - D.C.

Thank you so much for your article. Without this info I would still be sitting here not knowing what to do. - S.D. via email

Had I known about you before, I would have hired you as my lawyer. - a reader

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my email. We filed our application for probate earlier this week. Just wanted to say that your book [Alberta Probate Kit] and assistance were a huge help in dealing with some of the least fun stuff life drops in our laps. - S.J.B.

I just wanted to thank you for answering my question on your site. I read through all of the questions, and your replies, because I am quite possibly nearing a passing in my family, so I decided to try to tap into your expertise. I feared I was late to the table when my question went unanswered. It made me feel really good when I came back tonight and saw you had responded. Thank you again, Lynn. - G.P.

I thank God for your very clear advice Lynne, Bless you. - P.P.

You are totally wonderful for getting back to me and thanks for the info. - J.D via email

It's not the most stimulating topic but she makes it interesting.  She's a wealth of knowledge. -#@KatyPlesuk via Twitter

I am so very pleased to receive your reply [to a question]. I am very impressed by you and by your speedy reply. Forever grateful, - J.M. via email

You made me feel a little less blind to a legal system for the people, by the people but too complex and inter-connected for an average person to fathom. Best wishes to you and I hope you take great comfort from the sometimes un mentioned appreciation. You are a soldier for the people. - B.M via Facebook

Thank you so much [for the answer to a question]. You are a godsend. - R.P.

Wow, I am so excited that I found your Blog. I could spend all night reading it. - J.M. via email

Thank you for listening and providing outstanding feedback on my estate and trust inquiry. Your book of knowledge is amazing and you are there to share it. You rock. - M.M.

Thank you so much for your informative blogs! You're really helping a lot of people. - C.M.

I am soo lucky to have found your blog! It's amazing! - a reader

I am grateful for your help and your blog is absolutely fantastic. - M.M.

I am a lawyer called to the Bar in Ontario, and I would like to congratulate you on the Estate Law Canada blog. - S.D.

WOW Lynne! Thanks so much for your very insightful skill build with us this morning. You show great passion for what you do and anyone would be so lucky to have you as a partner to help them achieve business results and do what is right for the client!!! - Scotiabank branch manager

Thank you so much [for the answer to a question]. You are the best ever!!!...I have more hope when I meet people like you who care. I feel like maybe I can make it through this bureaucracy. - S.S. via email


  1. Thanks for your excellent site which I have followed for a year as an executor. Comment; no reply necessary: I wish I had known earlier about needing social insurance numbers and the USA equivalent for the clearance certificate.
    If it is flagged on your site or others I missed it.
    In addition I think there should be a best practise for collecting and storing these numbers. I imagine say 10 numbers stored for years in an unsecured file. As an executor I will be destroying their record as soon as possible. Thanks again. Jim P

    1. Thanks for that reminder, Jim. I'm really glad you've found some help among these posts. That was my original intention - to provide a resource.


  2. We purchased a single bedroom condo for our developmentally disabled son 10Years ago. The purchase price was $110,000 and is now valued at about $230,000. The title is in his mother's name.
    During this period my son paid rent equivalent to the condo fees and municipal taxes.

    We would now like to sell this property and purchase a two bedroom unit for him, so we would be able to stay with him occasionally.

    Is there a way that we can do this, without paying capital gains on the sale of this upgrade to my son's living accommodation?


  3. Mother died Aug 2012 and no probation sis's give no info and is our business with the lawyer. Please do not interfere....2014 and I am ready to call the lawyer in Ontario or the courts. Lynne, you gave me advice and I passed it on..there was an issue of 20 names on a share and they are trying to get the names removed..some have died. No communication at all...what to do? Lynn

  4. Lynne, you gave some fab advice..2sis'sexecutors of my mom will died Aug 2012 and still not probated..would have not known this if we were not blunt. 5family shares-and a sixth to her20 friends. They do not want to share anything with us"..did mention the lawyer is taking some of the names of the sixth share and leave only the we are 2014...ready to star making some calls...secrets...despise. Lynn

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Good to know that at least things are progressing. Hang in there.


  5. Your blog is quite interesting, and I wish I'd gotten a chance to know of it before I hired the lawyers that I am dealing with. I have a question re: estate distribution and Revenue Canada (a.k.a revenge Canada). What is the proper means through which to ask it?

    1. You can ask your question on any thread on this blog, or you can email me at


  6. Hello Lynn,
    Loved finding your book Alberta Probate Kit. Parts of it were extremely helpful, other parts were outdated!
    Any chance you'll be releasing an updated version?

    1. Yes! I'm pleased to let you know that the publisher and I have been talking about updates recently. I've been working my way through the book and the CD, as they are very detailed. You won't have to buy a new book though; you will be able to download the updates. I'll let everyone know on this blog when the updates are done.


  7. Dear Lynne Butler; I am not familiar with blogs and hope you will see this. My biological father passed away and there are no other relatives or people that have been found to claim his estate. I was put up for adoption and I am the only child of his that is known Even though I was put up for adoption would I qualify for the estate in Alberta? Thank you so much for any info you may be able to give me. Will I need to hire a lawyer and would you be available?

    1. Hi Donna Marie.

      I'm pleased that even though you are not familiar with blogs, you decided to read mine. Welcome!

      I assume that when you were put up for adoption that you were actually adopted. This may sound like splitting hairs, but it's really important legally.

      If you were adopted by someone, then you have no claim at all on your biological father's estate, unless of course he made a will that names you. It sounds, however, as if he passed away without a will based on the fact that you said other relatives were found.

      Once you are adopted by someone, you are legally their child for all purposes, and no longer the child of your biological parents.

      If you want to discuss this with a lawyer, that never hurts. General information is fine, but it's never as valuable as one-on-one discussion. No, I'm not available, partly because I no longer live in Alberta, and partly because I work in-house now as a will planner for a trust company.


  8. Hi Lynne,
    My husbands grandfather passed away recently. In his will grandpa named my husbands father, my husband & my brother in law as trustees. My husbands father is adamant that he (the father) is the only one that can sign anything to do with grandpa's estate. It is my understanding that all 3 trustees have to sign any legal documents. Is this correct?
    Thank you

    1. You are correct. All three must sign legal documents.


  9. Hello Ms Butler
    I need advice on challenging a will in Ontario. Here are some details:
    - my mother-in-law passed away in June 2013 with a will; my husband is the executor and I’m the alternate executor
    - the will gives her daughter and her daughter’s son a very small share of the estate; the deceased did not get along with her daughter
    - the will gives the rest of the estate to my husband "for him to use as he sees fit"
    - my husband of 28 years decided to separate in September 2013; he will not give me a share of the inheritance; I helped my mother-in-law many times, including for 2 years while my husband and his sister were each living in different provinces
    - shortly after my mother-in-law’s death, I convinced my husband to give each of our daughters a small share of the inheritance since they are grandchildren of the deceased and should receive a share as the grandson did; in December 2013 my husband gave each of our daughters a small share stating that "it was gifted by Grandma"; also, he decided to give his sister a much larger share than the will stipulates
    I've delayed challenging the will due to a major depression for which I'm being treated since November 2013. The will has already passed probate so time is running short.
    I read many of your articles on contesting a will (undue influence, lack of mental capacity, problems with the will document itself). The will is poorly written: for example, had my husband passed away before his mother, the majority of the estate would have gone to the daughter (?) which was not the intention of the will. To a different reader you wrote “You personally can't contest anything because you have no rights whatsoever to your mother-in-law's estate”
    How can I successfully prove that the intention of my mother-in-law was for her son (my husband) to share the inheritance with me?
    Thank you in advance for your help and time.

  10. Dear Ms. Butler,
    RE: Class Action Suite
    Thank you, for responding my to blog, IVery much appreciated.
    I,m looking foward for your comments.
    H. Webster BC.

  11. Hi Lynne,

    My sister and I are considering using your probate kit. We are both executors and the beneficiaries. One question prior to doing so. I have read and heard of some unfortunate stories from people attempting to do so. The estate is more complex than average with house ( previously moms and now our principal residence and no cap gains ) , Land that is split between mom and three siblings to pass on to us, and two banks. Would you still recommend your kit with our situation or to use a lawyer and avoid any potential delays and possible rejection. Lastly by doing so will we have to present to the court after probate is granted?

    Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Scott,
      I hope the "unfortunate stories" were from people administering estates without lawyers, and not necessarily those using my book! :)

      I have to say that the land split between siblings to pass on to you concerns me a little. I would feel more comfortable knowing that you had taken the title to the property to a lawyer for a discussion of each party's rights before going ahead.

      Not that I don't want to sell a copy of the book, but I'd hate to see someone get messed up with a land title. The book gives instructions on how to transmit and transfer land from an estate, but that is all predicated on knowing the rights of each person.


  12. I and my brother are secondary executors of our father's will. Our mother is first executor but she had a stroke a few years ago and is unable to sign or speak anymore. I one of the sons who takes care of her is trying to request tax history records from the government and sent in his will and also my full
    power of attorney I have for my mother whom I take care of. My executor status was
    rejected by CRA and they said in the letter that a letter from my mother has to be sent
    saying she names me as executor as she is unable or unwilling to do it. I already explained in my t slips request that she can't sign or speak anymore and they still rejected my request for my father's old tax info. I cannot get
    my dad's tax returns done until I get those old tax records.

    I am wondering if a doctor's letter stating my mother's inability to write will be sufficient to prove legally that
    she is unable to perform the duties of executor anymore, or do I have to
    go through the whole court process to have her deemed mentally incompetent
    which I do NOT want to do?

    1. No, you should not have to have your mother deemed incompetent. Assuming that the POA is validly signed, then you are legally able to rely on it.

      I can see the disconnect. The law of wills says that an alternate executor cannot act until the first named executor has renounced. I believe you aware of this concept, based on the steps you've taken.

      I suggest you make a second attempt at CRA, with some changes to your documentation. Find a form of renunciation by looking at the probate rules of court for your province. A good site to find this is This form is the one used when an executor wants to step down so that an alternate can take over. Where your mother would normally sign, you should sign instead. Sign your name, followed by "Power of attorney for...." so that it's clear why you are involved. Include a copy of the POA when you send it in.

      This is no guarantee. In my experience, CRA has rejected POAs that don't specifically make reference to CRA.

      I don't think a doctor's letter would do it, though I haven't personally tried it that way. You should send a letter either from yourself or from a lawyer arguing that you have the right to sign the renunciation for your mother.

      If this fails, your other option is the courts, but not to have your mother declared incompetent. I don't believe that declaration would put you any further ahead. You would need an order allowing you access to the tax records.


  13. Ms. Bulter,
    Do you have a public email address? I would like to ask a question; however, I would like to keep it private.

    1. Sure. You can email me at I will of course respect any request for privacy.


  14. Dear Lynne,

    IF two people own a property as joint tenants (In Alberta) and the property is sold, is all equity split between both owners regardless of who put how much money into the down payment? So both names on title and both names on the mortgage.

    Thank you.

  15. Hi Lynn,

    My husband and I have a house (currently joint tenants on the title). I want to ensure that should I pass away that my portion of the house goes directly to our daughter as oppose to my spouse. If the title to the house is changed to tenant in common, can i name my child as my beneficiary? then my child and spouse would be co-owners. I'm trying to find a way to ensure that my daughter inherits in the event my spouse remarries. Do you foresee any issues with this approach? thank you kindly

    1. You would change title to "As to an undivided 50%" then you can bequeath your portion. Joint tenants goes to surviving person on title, not to your estate. Correct Lynn?

    2. what happens if the husband also leaves the daughter his portion of the house at the time of his death? the daughter would inherit portions of the house at different times, would this affect any capital gain taxes that she would be responsible for?

    3. He could at any time add her as joint tenant then the property would become hers in the event of his passing. She would then only pay capital gain if she were to sell the house, unless it is her primary residence, then no taxes upon the sale.


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