Feedback

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. When I'm having a tough day, these comments remind me of why I do what I do. Feel free to add to them if you want to. Thanks so very much for the feedback.

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Great articles - we practice estate taxation on the west coast and find your blog articles to be highly informative - @JasonTrefanenko via Twitter

Bless you for being so generous with your knowledge and time. - a reader

You're the greatest, Lynn Butler! Wish YOU were running the land yourself. - a reader

I thought you might like to hear that my husband did the executor’s course [Executor Boot Camp] last week and found it really helpful. I always tell people that there is work to being an executor and it is a big responsibility – not to be taken or assigned lightly! Your course is a great idea. - C.B. via email

I sincerely appreciate your time and excellent advice!! You are wonderful!! Thank you!!! - G. via email

Thank you very much. Your description and advice is amazing. I really cannot thank you enough for your help. - M.P. via email
Thank you so much for the quick reply, and ...thank you very much for your time!!! you helped ease our minds :) - C.L. via email

Thank you @estatelawcanada for keeping us informed and up to date. +legacytracker . via Twitter

Thanks for your very approachable style, +Lynne Butler​. Your informative posts helped see me through a challenging Estate resolution. - K.D. via Google+

Thank you for your blog and your genuine concern and understanding of your readers' questions. - a reader

Lynne, just wanted to thank you for the captioned book (Alberta Probate Kit). I used it to probate my Mom’s Will, which had a few complications that I had to figure out not covered in the book. Your book is great and I would recommend to many. - B.B. via email

Thank you for your blog. It is very informative, and I not only like reading your posts, but the comments from readers as well. You can tell that wills and estates, regardless of how long they have been in existence, are still very confusing for many people. Your clear writing and straight forward answers bring peace of mind to many people, I am sure. - T.L. via email

I came across your website by accident and can't stop reading all the so informative articles. - C.K.

Thanks for your professional insight and no nonsense approach. We are delighted to finally have proper wills. - H.Y.

Thank you so much for meeting with us last week.  We felt very comfortable at our appointment and really appreciated the time you took with us and your attention to detail. - J.L.

Thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule and helping people in the manner that you do. I wish more people could take a proactive role like yourself. - M.P.

You are a saint for having this info available on the internet - a reader

Mrs. Butler good evening to you I have been following your column and has everyone else's stated it is absolutely brilliant and informative - a reader

Your assistance is invaluable with the information you provide. Big HUGE thanks, - T.B.

Thank you for your incredibly helpful site!! Honestly, you've answered so many questions I didn't even know I had! - M.

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. - a reader

Thank you for your reply. I've been checking periodically for your response and can't thank you enough. - a reader

This site has provided me with an amazing amount of information; that you for that! - a reader

We received the probate! We couldn't have done it without your book and blog!!!! -S.

I found your wonderful site today.  One of your posts leads me to another and another…I can hardly stop reading…but I have to sleep too! - M.L.

You've done a fantastic job of breaking difficult information down into digestible yet substantial chunks that are very easy to absorb and work with. Your tone makes serious and often scary issues seem non-threatening and possible to work through if one just applies logic. In 10 minutes, I went from completely lost and very apprehensive to feeling like I've got a proper handle on the base starting point. I understand what paperwork to assemble for the first round (thanks for the reminder about creating an inventory!), and feel that I'm well equipped to ask intelligent and complete questions next Friday. It's a big relief, and a blessing. Thanks so much for your hard work - it's having an impact, and making a positive difference for people who are having a very rough time. Thanks again! - A.S.

Thank you so very much for taking the time to respond to my email. You cleared up all of my questions and concerns regarding my fathers will... Just wanted to thank you for all the work and information you provide…I will keep reading your blog…….thank you - T.S.

Thank You for this site! I have found the answers to many things here, regarding the settlement of my Mother's Estate this past February. - a reader

Your site is amazing! So much invaluable information.- N.

I am loving your site! I've obtained in minutes, more information from the questions and answers here than all the hours of searching/researching I've done across this vast net/web "info highway". - L.


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. - a reader


Lets start off with me saying thank you, your Blog is awesome. Yes, some people still say "awesome". - A.B.


This information is very helpful. Thank you. By the way, every beneficiary should read the book you wrote. It contains so much information and is very easy to understand. I think beneficiaries need to be aware and informed of the process. It contains a lot of information that would never have crossed my mind. You're helping a lot of people...Thanks. - a reader


I am both executor and one of four beneficiaries of my mother's estate, and I have just read The Beneficiary's Answer Book. What a great resource! -  a reader


Thanks a million, Lynne, for your response. It's a relief. - D.


Hi Lynne, Just wanted to say a Huge Thank-you for your Alberta Probate Kit..I was trying to take care of my Mom's matter's without a lawyer and the paperwork was overwhelming. Then I found your book and had it done within a week. I received probate w/no mistakes and I am currently wrapping this up...Thanks again - a reader


Lynne...so thankful for your blog, I have learned a lot, and I sure needed it - J.


Your advice has brought positive results and once the estate lawyer advised that the executor was prepared to have a judge pass the settlement account, the problematic beneficiary signed the release as she had no claims of merit. Thank you. - F.



Hi – sure enjoy your blog – its so informative and 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 Amazon.ca 

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 and 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 Amazon.com

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 Amazon.com

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 and 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


138 comments:

  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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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.

      Lynne

      Delete
  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?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mother died Aug 2012 and no probation yet...my sis's give no info and say..it 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

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  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 grandchildren..here we are 2014...ready to star making some calls...secrets...despise. Lynn

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

      Lynne

      Delete
  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?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can ask your question on any thread on this blog, or you can email me at estatelawcanada@gmail.com.

      Lynne

      Delete
  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?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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.

      Lynne

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  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?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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.

      Lynne

      Delete
  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

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

      Lynne

      Delete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To my husband "for him to use as he sees fit" is what you quoted from the will. How is that interpreted as an intention to be shared with you? You need a divorce lawyer & a discussion regarding 'his' assets. That's my opinion on the matter
      .

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    2. I didn't realize I hadn't answered this question before. Sorry about that! I have to say, I agree with the person who commented right above this. The law will assume that the intentions expressed in the will are the real intentions of the person who signed the will, unless there is some other evidence to the contrary. You don't have any right to your mother-in-law's estate, even if you did help her many times. Unfortunately, she is not required to pay you for that help. I also don't know why you would say that the estate going to the daughter was not the intention of the will, since it is written that way in the will and it was signed by your mother-in-law. I don't think you have much, if any, chance of successfully contesting this will, but feel free to ask a local lawyer for a second opinion. I also agree with the commenter that you may be able to recover something through matrimonial property division.

      Lynne

      Delete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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.

      Lynne

      Delete
  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?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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 www.canlii.org. 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.

      Lynne

      Delete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure. You can email me at estatelawcanada@gmail.com. I will of course respect any request for privacy.

      Lynne

      Delete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lynne, wondering if you missed replying to this question?
      Thank you.

      Delete
  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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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?

      Delete
    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?

      Delete
    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.

      Delete
    4. These posters are correct in saying that if you and your husband changed the title to tenants in common (the undivided 50% each mentioned above) then you could leave your portion to your daughter. If your daughter inherits halves at different times, that is perfectly fine, in legal terms.

      Assuming that the house she inherits is the principal residence of the person leaving it to her, there is no capital gains tax liability when she inherits it. As the poster above said, she might incur tax when she sells it if it is not her personal residence, and she owned it long enough for its value to increase.

      As for foreseeing any issues with the arrangement, you should consider that your husband could leave his half of the house to someone else, say a new wife. In that case your daughter will have to deal closely with the other. This could be complicated, especially if the new spouse is living in the house and is joint owner.

      Lynne

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  16. Concerning the article, My husband didn't update his RRIF beneficiary.

    If the annuitant named his wife or common law partner as his beneficiary of his RIF and also a successor annuitant. If they separated years later but the annuitant didn't change the designation of the beneficiary because he wanted the separated person to have it, will the beneficiary still be a SUCCESOR ANNUITANT, or does the separation nullify being a Succesor Annuitant, resulting in a huge tax bill, and most of it lost when dissolved.

    Do you know of any legislation in print that states that a separation will nullify the beneficiary as a successor annuitant.

    You have written many great articles. Thanks. Andy

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Lynne,

    Absolutely love your blog!

    Please forgive the length of this post, but it takes a bit of explaining.

    Okay... When my husband's mother became ill, we moved in with her, in to the home that my husband grew up in, to care for her. We nursed her back to health only for her to be diagnosed with a terminal illness 6 months later. After being hospitalized for 3 weeks, we now have her home where we continue to care for her as this is where she wants to be when she passes.

    She has just shared with me that her lawyer called her the week before she went in to the hospital to ask her to come in and go over her documents, to see if they needed updating. She said that the lawyer wrote down all of the money that my husband had borrowed from her over the years and that my husband would have to "pay it back" out of his inheritance. She asked me to read and explain her Last Testament to her because she didn't understand it. She told me where she had hidden it in her house and asked me not to tell her sons.

    As I read through it, I discovered that she had made a withdrawal on one of these reverse mortgages. In her will it states that my husband must pay that amount, which is double (the amount he owes her is also stated in the will) what he owes her, from his inheritance. On top of that, his share of the inheritance was changed from 50% to 45% because my mother-in-law says the lawyer explained to her that it would be most fair to her other son seeing as how he has never borrowed money from her.

    Now, she says this is what the lawyer told her to do! My mother-in-law speaks very little English and you have to speak very slowly to her. I'm concerned she didn't understand what the lawyer was telling her. She is convinced that I am wrong about how much my husband will actually have to pay.

    The lawyer has no idea how much time we have spent in caring for our mother, how much money it has cost us, and how much money we have lost. We are both self-employed - when we don't work, we don't get paid. His brother and his wife have done nothing to help. Not to mention that my husband has invested approximately $10,000 of work into the home since we have been living here. We just feel like the lawyer stuck her nose where it didn't belong - just looking at figures on paper!

    I haven't told my husband anything about this (who, by the way, has Power of Attorney), but when his mother passes on, which is going to be very soon, he will be devastated to learn he was snowed by his mother's attorney. How on earth are we ever supposed to deal with this?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi

    2 of my sisters are execs...3 of us are not but we are all beneficiaries...my dad has propertys in BC ...which the execs want to buy..the whistler was worth more in 2007 now the market isn't as good...and now they choose to buy us out now...is this a conflict of interest as one is a cga and the other a realtor. they did renos well over what we agreed to and voted on..and could have sold it in 2009 or 2010.I am upset

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you saying that your father died in 2007 and the property is only now - 7 years later - going on the market?

      What happened with the property since 2007? Who was using it? Did any of the beneficiaries insist that it be sold? If the beneficiaries just went along with all of this for 7 years, or perhaps even used the property off and on during that time, you can't complain now that it wasn't sold. The term for not speaking up for years is called "beneficiary acquiescence".

      If, on the other hand, you or the other beneficiaries have been pushing and insisting and doing all that you can to get the property sold ASAP - and by this I mean right from the start - then things are different. If the executors have been ignoring your attempts to have it sold or refusing to list it, they will have to explain themselves to the court, and possibly come up with the lost amount personally.

      It's not legally a conflict of interest for a person to be both an executor and a beneficiary. That is definitely allowed. But anyone who appoints an executor who is also a beneficiary is usually being unrealistic if he expects the executor to act impartially. People are terrible at being executors, mostly because they are unable to put aside their own interests.

      If you are really upset about this, and you want to take it further, you need to take all relevant estate documents to an experienced wills lawyer for a straightforward conversation. However, as I said, if you've gone along with the property not being sold for all these years, don't expect much sympathy.

      Lynne

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  19. Thank you Lynn for this most interesting blog, I've only found this today searching for answers on my fathers' fatal accident last week. My question is, can someone with an extensive criminal record be an executor/trustee of a will? Or at least without any legal supervision, in this case my
    brother ?

    ReplyDelete
  20. I recently bought your book and found it very informative, but was very disappointed to find that it doesn't reflect current laws and forms.

    With that being said, I do believe that it provided fairly decent information that carried over to the current acts.

    I was hoping you could help me regarding an issue of beneficiaries.

    My father-in-law passed away recently without a will. His wife pre-deceased him by five years, he has two living children and two children that also pre-deceased him. One of the pre-deceased childeren had two children. My interpretation of the Wills and Successions Act (Section 66) is that the estate should be divided into three shares, one for each living child with the third share divided between the pre-deceased child's children.

    However, one of the living children has consulted a lawyer who claims that the estate is to be divided between the two living children only. Although I am a layman, the law seems clear that a pre-deceased child's share is to be divided between that child's children.

    The estate seems relatively simple and I think the surviving children should apply for grants of administration rather than engage a lawyer. If my spouse and I are correct regarding the estate being divided into three shares rather than two, then I have no faith in the lawyer the other person consulted; but, on the other hand, if my spouse and I are unable to correctly interpret such a basic rule of law then I don't think we should attempt to administer the estate ourselves.

    I would appreciate it if you could clear up this issue.

    Thank you, and I look forward to the updates you referred to in an earlier post.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you Lynn for this most interesting blog, I've only found this today searching for answers on my fathers' fatal accident last week. My question is, can someone with an extensive criminal record be an executor/trustee of a will?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A criminal record alone does not disqualify someone.

      Lynne

      Delete
  22. Lynne, is the information in your book ALBERTA PROBATE AND ADMINISTRATION KIT (published 2011) still accurate with respect to the new wills legislation that came into effect there in 2012?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello Lynne
    you state that "a trustee in bankruptcy has complete control over the bankrupt person's incoming money. The executor of the estate has no choice but to send the inheritance cheque to the trustee in bankruptcy".
    Well, that sounds great but what if the executor did not know about a beneficiary's bankruptcy and sent the inheritance directly to the heir who now, surprise, surprise, refuses to forward the funds $85,000 + to her trustee? Where does that leave me as her creditor?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Similar to a previous comment, I have been told that I must use the forms from the 2012 Probate Kit, and previous publications should not be used. Do you have an update for those of us who have purchased your 2011 book? It's use appears to be limited now. I still hope it will be a useful guide, but am disappointed to find out I can't use the forms on the CD now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The book and CD come with a link to a site containing updates for the forms. It doesn't cost any extra for those who have bought the book.

      Lynne

      Delete
  25. Hi Lynne,

    I have a question with regards to duties of a court appointed Trustee that has, in our eyes, crossed the line, so to speak. Is there a resource that you are aware of that explicitly explains what a Trustee can and can not do? Or, could I email you privately with an explanation of the events that have led me to write you this blurb?

    You have the most wonderfully informative site! Thank you.

    Laurie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laurie,
      My most recent book is called "How Executors Avoid Personal Liability" and is a guide for beneficiaries as well as executors/trustees. You might find it contains the answers you want, as the entire book is about what trustees can and cannot do. You can buy it on amazon.ca or on self-counsel.com.

      Lynne

      Delete
  26. Hi Lynn, my ex fiancé 's common law spouse recently contacted via email to tell me I am the beneficiary named on an investment account that he had. She is refusing to give me any other info. He has been dead for 15 months . She is the executor. Is this illegal?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it's not illegal. If you are directly named as a beneficiary, the investment account is not part of the estate. The executor is in charge of the estate and nothing else. Therefore, it's up to you to deal with this asset on your own. In my opinion, the executor's role is simply to advise the beneficiary of the person's death, and the fact that he or she is named as a beneficiary. I also believe that some good manners and courtesy go a long way in these situations (she could, for example, have offered you a copy of the death certificate just out of courtesy), but it seems pretty rare that people care about that.

      Lynne

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  27. Hi Lynne,

    Thanks so much for your blog! It is extremely helpful.

    I am a US citizen but co-own Ontario property with 3 sisters and 1 cousin (sisters own 1/2, cousin owns 1/2). We are tenants-in-common. In our discussions (we are in our 60's and know we need to deal with inheritance issues), we have agreed that only family bloodline should inherit; however, we have no legal, binding document to that effect. A couple of us are having wills written to reflect our children inheriting our "share"; is it possible to have that bloodline stipulation written into the deed itself to avoid confusion? Or do we need a separate document to that effect, or should we just let the wills cover it? I like the thought of having subsequent generations "see" our intent to follow the bloodline.
    Thanks for any help,
    Shari Brown

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Lynne; My ex-husband died suddenly December 2014. We have a 17 year old and a 15 year old together. Our 15 year old was with his Father when he had the heart attack. My ex died without a will. We do live in Ontario. I am just trying to settle things for my kids. We do not have a lot of money - but we manage. He left behind a small house, older car, furniture and some tools. He has only 1 brother and both parents are deceased. His brother took the kids to the bank to close their accounts and gave them each a check for several hundred dollars. I was fuming. I took them straight to my bank and had them open accounts to deposit that money into. As the mother of his children and their Legal Guardian is it my responsibility to organize and distribute everything. I know he would want the house sold and the money put in a trust for the kids until they are older. What is the easiest way to go about all of this. We are on a very limited budget and I am now paying his utilities and house insurance until everything is settled and I can barely afford these now that we don't have his child support payment. Any advice or links to sites or groups that specialize in this kind of thing would be great. Thank you so much for what you do. Yours was the first site spoke in plain old english, not legal jargon.
    Bobbi-Joe Roberge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When a person dies without a will, someone has to apply to the court for authority to deal with the estate. When you're married, the spouse is the first choice. However, since you're divorced (I think), you are no longer the person in charge of this. It sounds as if his brother has stepped up, but if he has, he should have legal authority from the court. If you're not sure if he has this, ask him, and if his answer isn't clear, you can do a search at the court house nearest where your ex lived. It's a probate search done on your ex's name. It'll cost about $10.

      If the brother hasn't applied for administration yet, perhaps you need to persuade him to renounce (waive) it so that you can do it. Whoever is appointed as administrator is responsible for selling the house, investing the money, etc. Even if you're the legal guardian, that's up to the administrator because it's estate money until the children are old enough to inherit it.

      By the way, you can recover child support arrears from the estate. This might make a difference to you if the estate is all invested to go to the kids in the future but you need financial help now.

      Self-Counsel Press sells a DIY probate and administration kit for Ontario. There is a link to it on the "interesting links" section of my blog. This might help you if you are going to be the one to apply for administration.

      Hang in there.
      Lynne

      Delete
  29. I know that income taxes must be paid on an estate to the time of a person's death, as part of the deceased income, but how are the taxes paid between the time the person dies and the estate is divided among those named in the will?

    Thanks for any help.
    Alan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alan,
      An estate is a trust, which is a taxpayer. If the estate earns any income after the person dies and before the estate is distributed, the executor has to do a tax return (T3 as opposed to T1) for the estate. Any tax liability is paid out of the estate before it's distributed.

      Lynne

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  30. Hi my sister and I have a question. My parents promised to gift the proceeds from the sale of their primary residence to both of us before their died (we 2 are their only heirs). The problem is before they could sell the house our father died, and then soon after our mother had a stroke leaving her unable to write or speak, though she is still clear minded and understands questions. With our poa for our mother we sold her house and deposited the proceeds into a joint bank account which we use for our and our mother's living. Our question is since our parents never put it in writing that they were going to gift the house sale proceeds to us before our father died and out mother became sick, they only verbally promised it to both of us, could this become a tax problem? Isn't a verbal promise legally valid? We are wondering as someone thought that a gift could possibly be challenged by the government in some way if they wanted to get more of the proceeds of the house for them instead of us their daughters having it, is this true, and if so how could they challenge the gift as there are no other heirs other then my sister and I, and no other witnesses still alive of our parent's friends or relatives.

    Thank you kindly
    Jen and Kate Lawrence

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jen and Kate,
      This isn't going to be a simple answer :)

      A verbal promise can be a contract, but not when it comes to land. Every deal concerning land must be in writing.

      In my opinion, you are breaching your legal responsibility by using some of the money from the sale for yourselves. Trustees such as people acting under powers of attorney are fiduciaries, and part of the fiduciary responsibility is not to use the person's assets for your own benefit.

      I know it's tangled, because you're both going to inherit one day, but that day has not yet arrived. While your mother is alive, that money belongs only to her.

      Basically, you're asking me about your odds of being busted for this. In reality, when all beneficiaries of an estate get together and cover for each other, there isn't much chance of being caught taking money from the estate. There are no estate police, after all. However, you now know that what you're doing with the money is not ok, and how you deal with that information is on you.

      Lynne

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  31. Re: Section 9(1) of the Estates Administration Act, RSO 1990, c E. 22

    In the case of an Ontario intestacy involving real estate and when no caution is filed, and three years has passed from the time of the owner's death, how do beneficiaries proceed to take possession? What steps need to be taken for beneficiaries to receive the property into their names? What is the purpose of filing a caution?

    Thanks in advance if you get to this, and thanks for a great informative blog.
    T.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Good morning Lynne: My husband passed away last month and I noticed on his will when I got it from the cubboard that he had signed it on the page with the witnesses. Everything has been left to me as well I am the executor to his will. Everything we own is in both names. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If everything you own is in joint names, you won't even need to put the will through probate. It sounds as if the two of you had done the proper estate planning so that things can go as smoothly as possible.

      Lynne

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  33. Hello Lynne, My husband and I jointly own most of our assets. I also own a rental property and mutual funds with my mom (joint tenants). All my RRSP, life insurance policy, bank account that are not owned jointly have a beneficiary named. I'm completely new to the Will procedure. Do life insurance, RRSPs, jointly held accounts and assets with named beneficiaries have to be indicated in the Will? Also, if my husband and I leave this world together, what is the most painless way to pass everything to our only adult son? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If someone came into my office and asked me this question, I would devote an hour to discussing it. I can't do it justice here in a few words but I'll give you some highlights.

      You can't pass "everything" on to your son for the simple reason that you own some of it in joint names with your mother. No matter what you say in your will, if you die before your mother, she will own the joint assets, because that's how joint assets work.

      As for the assets with named beneficiaries, that depends on who you've named. Most likely you've named your husband, so on your death they will be paid to your husband. If he makes a will leaving them to your son, your son will eventually get them. However, if your husband remarries and names his new spouse as his beneficiary, your son will not get them.

      You and your husband should both make wills that address a) what happens when one of you dies and b) what happens when both of you have died.

      Consider what should happen if your son, God forbid, should pass away before you do, e.g. should the estate be held in trust for his children?

      It would be worthwhile for you and your husband to sit down with someone for a chat about these things. Try to find someone who does "estate planning" as opposed to someone who "makes wills" so that you can get the full picture of how it's all going to work together.

      Lynne

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  34. Lynne

    Your blog has helped so many people with many questions and answers. One thing always leads to another. I am always grateful to those that share. I share as much as I can as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I always appreciate shares and I really appreciate that you read and comment as much as you do.

      Lynne

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  35. Hi Lynne,

    I was wondering if you can help me out with a question I have. I live in Vancouver and I built a laneway house on my parents property. I was talking to my brother of how we would split up the estate in the distant future. We decided that we would split the value of the property minus the value of the laneway house 50/50. We talked about having the property go under my name (after my parents have passed) and I pay him cash in payments. Is this better then to have the property go under both our names and have my brother buy me out? We want to figure out a way to pay as less tax as possible in the future while staying within the guidelines of CRA.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi Lynne, I'm finding your comments very helpful. Here is my sister and my situation. Our father passed away in Vancouver, BC July, 2015 in a nursing home. He left no will, but had approximately $12,000 in the bank, a violin approx value $14,000, some cassettes/CDs of music he recorded, and two paintings by a Canadian artist of himself probably worth approx. $1-$2,000 each. His ex-girlfriend (they broke up several years before he went into the nursing home) had POA just to help out with his finances, but did not withdraw the money from the bank, which we suggested she do right before he passed to avoid probate, and we would split it three ways. Which she did not do, so the money is stuck in the bank now to go through probate, lawyers, etc. We were told the cost could be $3-4,000 in legal fees. Due to dissension on her part towards our father and us, she might have lied about the amount of $ in the bank, and the Royal Bank of Canada will not give us that info, to determine if it is even worth going after. There are also the two paintings that have no real value except to us as his daughters. She doesn't want them, has been nagging us to remove them from her property, and we made arrangements to donate them to the nursing home, but they need photos of the artwork before they will accept them, and she refuses to do this...for a whole year now. We live in the USA and have no access to them as she won't let us in her home. Then there is the violin that is worth supposedly $14,000. We were initially more than happy to let her keep the violin, the cassettes, CDs, the paintings, and the $ if she had taken it out we will probably never know, but the aggravation has been costly to us emotionally. She sends us threatening and cruel emails to remove the paintings immediately (NEVER mentions the violin or $ in bank) but when we take steps to have a courier service pick up and ship the paintings to us in the USA she says that they belong to the "estate" and cannot be shipped anywhere until the "executor/administrator" says we can. My sister and I are his only surviving relatives. We have put this all to bed, walked away from everything, from the alleged money in the bank, the violin, his cassettes of music he recorded, and his paintings because of the heartache this cruel woman has dispensed on us. What are your legal and or any suggestions? Very grateful for your help. Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As soon as I found out my sibling was named Executor (I live outside of the country), I hired a good lawyer from a well-respected firm. This has helped us keep the sibling in check some what, although she has still stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from the estate. But at least I have paperwork showing what the estate was comprised of before death. A good lawyer is your best friend right now. Maybe all she needs is a letter on legal letterhead to adjust her attitude.

      Delete
  37. My mom 96 had her properties, matrimonial home & rental income stolen by my brother for 14 years. They were in Joint Tenancy 1993. 1996 my father severed the joint tenancy without her knowledge or written consent, including the matrimonial home. Is that legal? Property theft unfortunately is not a 'criminal act' in Canada so the police could not help her.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Wonderful site. I don't know how you can find the time to do this - but may the Creator of the Universe bless you. To bad I did not know about you 14 years ago. But I am using it now by getting a new lawyer & hope to put my thieving brother in jail. Mom is 96, and still has no rights because my brother stole everything due to my father secretly severing Joint Tenancy on the Matrimonial home & 2 other income properties. I think theft of property & its' rights should be in 'criminal law' not civil. I intend to fight to my death to make that happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sincerely wish you the best of luck with your battle. You are right that theft of property should be criminal - and it is. The problem that defeats many people is the fact that the thief is an executor who has paperwork giving him the right to access the assets. From there it just gets messy as to who did what, and why, and what was intended. Estate litigation is harder and messier and more depressing than anyone can imagine, until they are stuck in the middle of it. Hang in there.

      Lynne

      Delete
  39. We ordered your book on May 14/15 but have not received it. Can you let us know when it will be mailed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You didn't order it from me, since I don't sell them, but that's an unusually long time to wait. Where did you order it from? The link I give on this site for most of my books is to the publisher, Self-Counsel Press, but my books are also available at Amazon, Indigo, Lulu, and many other places. Wherever you ordered it from should have sent you an email confirming your order, so I suggest you look back and see where you bought it.

      Lynne

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  40. PART ONE - A TALE OF TWO ESTATES:
    I've been reading your blog for a while and I appreciate the amount of information you have provided. It has been very informative. I hope you can offer some guidance with respect to my estate issue, and that it can be of benefit to others in similar situations.

    This is the story of two estates and a residual beneficiary (myself) that belongs to both. The estates are my father's and my grandfather's.

    Context: My grandfather owned a commercial property with rental incomes and transferred a section of it to my father. A lawyer prepared the legal paper work for the transfer, and it was registered with the land registry office in Ontario. While my grandfather and father were both alive (at the same time), both benefitted from the revenue stream generated by this property. However, my father predeceased my grandfather by 18 months. As a beneficiary and trustee to my father's estate, I was unaware that my father owned a portion of this property until my grandfather died.

    Problem 1: The executor/trustee – and only other residual beneficiary to my grandfather's estate – sold this property without my consent. Also, the trustee had no pre-existing ownership of the property. An Agreement of Purchase and Sale was brokered by a real estate agent and signed by the trustee and purchaser. It wasn't until they went to pass deed and title (without my consent) to the new purchaser that I was informed of the sale. The trustee's lawyer informed me that it was imperative I consent to the sale (the sale would close in 30 days), or the estate's assets would be liable to civil litigation from the purchaser.

    Problem 2: I was unhappy with this situation. Shortly after my grandfather's passing I asked the trustee if she had any interest in the building or interest in joint ownership of the building. She said no. I then told her I was interested in purchasing the property and to let me know when it would be ready for sale. I heard nothing from her until the building was sold.

    After I was informed of the sale I asked the trustee if/when she knew of my father's estate ownership of the property. She told me she knew a couple of months after my father's passing because the realtor – who eventually sold the building – had approached my grandfather to see if he was interested in selling the property. The realtor "walked away" after learning my father's estate was tied to it.

    I worked with the trustee to resolve this horrid state of affairs with certain conditions. The trustee and I agreed to terms and the trustee's lawyer was included in these negotiations. However, within weeks of having reached an agreement, the trustee's lawyer informed me that the trustee was going to challenge my father's ownership of the building and that the previous agreement was null and void. The lawyer claimed the instrument transfer between my father and grandfather was invalid because it violated a section of the Planning Act relating to an "abutting issue".

    ReplyDelete
  41. PART TWO – A TALE OF TWO ESTATES:
    Problem 3 and Context: A month after the trustee hired her lawyer, the lawyer changed law firms. All discussions I had with the trustee's lawyer regarding the building sale occurred while she was at the new law firm. Once the trustee's lawyer stated the trustee was challenging my father's estate ownership, I contacted the senior partner at the lawyer's previous law firm and asked if there was a file addressing these "violations". After searching, he told me the trustee's lawyer had been in charge of this file and had discovered these violations 18 months earlier (note: another law firm prepared the instrument transfer between my father and grandfather but the trustee's lawyer was the last person to discover the problem and work on the file). However, the contents of the file and nature of the violations had been removed and all that remained was an invoice for money owed to the firm for work done while the file was under the lawyer's charge. The trustee's lawyer took the contents of this file to the new law firm and was aware of the "planning act violation" from the time the realtor expressed interest in the property. When asked to disclose the contents of the file and the nature of work done, the trustee's lawyer refused.

    The trustee and lawyer were both aware of these "violations" while my grandfather was alive and in advance of the building sale. However, the trustee's lawyer instructed the trustee to sell the building anyway: it could be quietly sold because of these violations and wouldn't require my consent. However, the trustee's lawyer then decided that title and deed could not be transferred to the new purchaser because the nature of the planning act violations were not sufficient grounds to erase my father's estate interests and my consent was required to pass title and deed. Then the trustee's lawyer flip flopped, stating the "planning act violations" were in fact significant and sufficient grounds existed to challenge my father's estate ownership.

    Who purchased the commercial property? The trustee's husband's nephew. I surmise that this arrangement is really a third party proxy for the financial benefit of the trustee. I conferred with another realtor with 35 years experience and he believes the appraised market value provided by the trustee's realtor (and final sale price) was $100 000-$120 000 below market value. What this means is the trustee has attempted to negate my father's estate interests and a portion of my beneficiary interests as they pertain to my grandfather's estate, as the building was bought for a significantly lower sum than market value resulting in a lower inheritance amount for me. Is this not a breach of fiduciary trust and a conflict of interest for the trustee?

    I have a few other questions and apologize for the length but I felt it necessary to provide this background information. Did the trustee's lawyer have a legal responsibility to address and correct the "planning act violations" upon first discovery? Should the trustee's lawyer sought to rectify the situation rather than sit on the file and use it after my grandfather had died to enhance the trustee's inheritance? The lawyer had this file for 18 months and refuses to produce the contents. I had a conversation with a law professor and he believed the last lawyer to uncover any violations must take the necessary steps to rectify the situation immediately. Should I file a grievance with the Law Society of Upper Canada? Would a civil suit be possible? Has the trustee engaged in fraud? Is the trustee's lawyer complicit/negligent if it is fraud? Is this grounds to have the trustee removed? At the very least the trustee's lawyer has provided poor counsel but it also appears that she has been working with the trustee for the trustee's advantage.

    ReplyDelete
  42. RE: Mistakes Executors Make
    Lynne, I find your website to be very informative, however, when an Executor treats the financial assets of the deceased as his/her own personal piggy bank, that is called theft! NO different than an accountant dipping into the company coffers. Perhaps your advice should have been "Don't even think about helping yourself to any of the financial assets of the estate unless you look good in horizontal stripes"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that. May I quote you? ;)

      Lynne

      Delete
  43. Hi Lynne, I am looking for some clarity on some matters concerning the probate process for my mother who passed away in BC in Sept 2014. She left 3 family members as executors, myself who lives in Scotland, a brother who lives in Toronto and another brother who lives in Ottawa. My mother lived and owed a unit in a +55 complex, my daughter (aged 25) moved here to be her carer until her death and has remained in the unit. I expressed my wishes that because we are all so far apart we should get a lawyer to deal with everything, however this is not the case. One brother has taken charge and decided to do the probate paperwork himself, the other brother is ok with that and nearly a year later it still has not been done. I have come over for a long holiday to try to get some things sorted.
    1- Does the grant of Probate need to be filed within a certain time limit?.
    2- Can we put the unit up for sale now?, as the Strata has now written to resolve the issue of someone under 55 residing in the unit.

    I appreciate you get lots of queries, but I hope you have time to help. Regards, Ellen

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Lynne, I hope you can advise on some points that I'm confused about. My mother passed away in BC in Sept 2014. She left me and my 2 brothers as executors, I live in Scotland, 1 brother in Toronto and 1 brother in Ottawa, I requested we should get a local BC lawyer to deal with the probate, but this was dismissed. She lived and owned a unit in a +55 complex. My daughter had moved here to be her carer, and has remained in the unit meantime, until we plan to sett it.. With the unit my mom has also some back accounts. It turns out my brothers have not filed for probate yet, can you advise:
    1- is there a time limit that we have to file this probate.
    2- can we sell the unit now?, it turns out the strata is now why someone under 55 is still in the unit.
    thank you for your assistance, regards Ellen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ellen,
      It really would be easier to have someone in BC take care of this, particularly as it seems that your brothers are not dealing with it. Getting a BC lawyer is a good idea, or you might consider getting a trust company to act as your agent. When I recently worked for Scotia Trust, they had some extremely knowledgeable people working in both Vancouver and Victoria who would be able to help you.

      There is no specified deadline for filing of the probate. However, not dealing with it means that issues (like that raised by the strata) will crop up. In the meantime, someone has to pay the expenses and taxes on the unit. Also, if there is a fire or other disaster, the unit and its contents could be lost entirely.

      You could list the condo for sale before getting probate, but you cannot actually complete the sale until the probate order has been granted.

      Lynne

      Delete
  45. Hi Lynne,

    Can you please help?

    1. My parents want to exclude my sister from their will because she is financially doing well, can they do this legally in BC?

    2. Can 2 people be appointed as the executors of the will with equal power?

    3. My brother is brainwashing my parents and I feel he would push for him being the sole executor of the will which will create major problems for our family?

    What is the best advice you could give me?

    Thanks so much! :)

    Anthony

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anthony,
      Just to be clear, I don't give anyone advice on this blog. I talk about the general rules and give information, but I cannot give advice to anyone without a full conversation in which I get to ask questions and look at documentation. In any event, I'll do my best to answer your questions.

      Yes, parents can choose to exclude one of their kids who is financially independent. BC has a unique set of rules that allows a child who has been left out to challenge the will on fairness grounds, so your parents should get any new wills prepared by an experienced lawyer who can make the will as strong as possible.

      Yes, two people can be appointed as joint executors. This is pretty common, but it doesn't always work out. It's tough for two people to agree about everything, large and small, that arises from an estate. However, it can have the effect of keeping a second set of eyes on what someone is doing.

      Lynne

      Delete
  46. Hi Lynne,

    Please help! :)

    1. My parents want to remove my sister legally from their will because she is doing very well financially, can they do that?

    2. Can you have 2 executors of a will with equal power?

    Thank you so much for your time!

    Anthony

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, your parents can leave your sister out of their wills if they want to. However, as I always tell people, the right question to ask is not "can they". It's "should they", taking all factors into consideration.

      Yes, you can have two executors of a will, and if you do, they have equal power and equal responsibility.

      Lynne

      Delete
  47. Hello Lynne,

    I have read your blogs and articles regarding will and estates. My situation is a little more complicated and would love to get your advice.

    My father passed away last year in a foreign country. His will has been declared interstate. My sister and I had been declared his beneficiaries of his LIF and our children beneficiaries of his estate. 2 months before he passed away he was married. That is why the will is interstate. What is the entitlements to the wife as my father never made any changes to his will because he didn't want the wife to get anything.

    My sister is at her wit's end dealing with this and financially I have been making all payments to the estate bills.

    Is she entitled to the LIF and estate 100% and if so, would my sister, as administrator, have to pay all outstanding income taxes. His estate is worth approx. $75000 and the LIF $420000.00.

    Any incite or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  48. My situation is: the executor is also a beneficiary and is willed the house, where she will live. I and 2 others are willed the cash, to be split 3 ways. When it is time to pay bills and final taxes, if she pays out of the estate account, how does she contribute her share as no cash goes to her? Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She doesn't contribute to bills or taxes if she is not left a part of the residue of the estate. Those of you inheriting the cash pay all of it. You may not think it's fair, but it's not her fault. This is how estate law works in Canada. Either whoever drew up the will did not advise the testator that this is how it works, or they did advise and the testator was ok with it. You'd be surprised how often this happens.

      Lynne

      Delete
  49. Hello Lynn,

    I have a question regarding money invested in my mother's bank account (ie GIC, Savings Accounts). In the will, she has named my brother and myself as executor's and Trustee's of her will. One of the clauses in the will states that " I will give all my property of every nature and kind whereever situate, both real and personal to my Trustee. Would this mean that that monies in the GIC's and Savings Accounts would pass over to my brother and myself upon her death even if she didn't specify a beneficiary on the GIC's / Savings Accounts at the bank? Is that sentence in the will sufficient enough for the banks to release the funds to us? Thanks Joe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sentence in the will does not give those funds to you to own. You and your brother are not the beneficiaries. That sentence only gives them to you for the purpose of letting you do what's in the will. Normally GICs and accounts don't name beneficiaries since they are not registered funds. The beneficiaries are the estate, and whoever is named in the will. Yes, the bank will release the funds to you, but not for you to own.

      Lynne

      Delete
  50. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hi Lynne, Would you please delete my comment above. It may be too specific for you to respond to or to even help others, and I appreciate that. I would be grateful to just have it deleted please. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I deleted the right one :)

      Lynne

      Delete
  52. Hi Lynn, I have a very complicated situation. For the past 15 years, my father has been living with a woman who is not only very controlling, but has worked hard on creating family disputes. At times, there have been large periods of time that he would go without talking to any of his 3 children. Also her adult child and grandchildren. All he ever wanted was to be loved, and he believes she loved him. Two weeks ago, he found out his health issues would take his life (heart). He decided last minute to see her lawyer and draw up a will leaving her in charge of everything-beneficiary of all $ assets, executor, and having all say in his funeral. She had him believing his kids don't love him. He picked up and paid for his will, and 10 hours later, died of a heart attack. Previous to this will, which left the 3 of us adults only non-monetary, no value assets, he had 3 life insurance policies left to us. We do not know where these policies are and who they are with. We have been denied seeing his will. Apparently (?) he changed one policy to name her as beneficiary to cover funeral/death expenses. The will also states that the other 2 policies are to be left to her. She is implying that the 3 of us have no right to see the will, nor be included in anything. Previously, she had been working on him to leave his insurances to an estate with her as executor to evenly distribute what was left between his 3 kids, even though the insurance was basically his only asset with value. What are our rights? Do we have a legal right to a copy of the will despite the lack of any money? Which takes priority, the beneficiary listed on the policy or the will? Any help right now would be appreciated, we are all walking on eggshells as we don't want to stop ourselves from getting the items left us (tools for my brother, photo albums for me, etc.) Also, for tax purposes, they claimed as she was his landlord (yes, he paid her rent!) yet the death announcement says "partner". We are afraid that she can actually stop us from attending his memorial, which she is spending as little as possible! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi Lynne, I am having trouble locating your actual email address! I have some very difficult questions about a death that happened only 5 days ago, and NEED your help! Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My email address is lynne@butlerwillsandestates.com. But are you sure a complicated matter is best served by a couple of sentences in an email? If you want legal advice from me, call me at my office (Monday to Friday, 9 to 5) at 709-221-5511. I charge $250 for a consultation. I'm always happy to tell people by way of email of the general rules that apply, but those comments are not legal advice.

      Lynne

      Delete
  54. I appreciate the blog you have. I realize that there is much out there on bad executors. I understand they exist. However, there is another side to the coin. Executors can be put through a lot even when they have done a good job of taking on the task of an estate. Beneficiaries can be volitile, threatening and much more. The litigation they bring that is not legally based is shameful. thousands of dollars and much stress beyond words. There needs to be a cap on the harrassing unfounded litigation beneficiaries can do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are absolutely right. People can be jerks, including beneficiaries. There was a recent case, the name of which escapes me at the moment, in which the judge punished the beneficiaries (cost-wise) for nit-picking the executor's work unreasonably. The courts are meant to be a last resort to be used when reasonable people can no longer reach agreement, and it seemed that the court was fed up with adults picking on each other like whiny children. I think this throws some responsibility onto beneficiaries to be more reasonable, and onto all parties to work together better.

      Lynne

      Delete
  55. Here can I find a form for beneficiaries to sign upon agreeing on price to sell condo in an estate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know of one that is prescribed by law. Unless you find one at a place like LawDepot, you'll have to make up your own.

      Lynne

      Delete
  56. Hi Lynn. Thank you for your blog. My dad passed away two weeks ago. He and my mom had a cross will. (So no issue). My mom has terminal cancer and will not be here much longer. While she is changing the title on the family home into her name (removing my dad) she will be adding my name to the title. Will her will still need to be probated? I am the executor and main beneficiary. There are small money gifts left to a few others. The estate is sizable, but not huge. Any advise that you can give me would be very much appreciated. There are scary times ahead.

    Thank you!

    Dee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The information you've given here is not enough for me to know whether probate will still be needed. You've only told me what one asset is. You said the estate is "sizable" so if there are accounts or investments, you may need probate to deal with them. With regard to the home, putting your name on it, without her doing anything else, may not be enough to avoid probate. If by "the main beneficiary" you mean that you are the only residuary beneficiary, you may be able to keep the house out of probate simply because there is nobody else to contest it. However, as I said, I don't know what other assets exist, or what the policies are at the banks that hold them, or whether there are any issues with the will that may require probate.

      Lynne

      Delete
  57. Hello Lynne
    you state that "a trustee in bankruptcy has complete control over the bankrupt person's incoming money. The executor of the estate has no choice but to send the inheritance cheque to the trustee in bankruptcy".
    Well, that sounds great but what if the executor did not know about a beneficiary's bankruptcy and sent the inheritance directly to the heir who now, surprise, surprise, refuses to forward the funds $85,000 + to her trustee? Where does that leave me as her creditor?

    ReplyDelete
  58. I'm in the process of listing assets for the will to go to probate because real estate is involved. Luckily, bank accounts are mostly joint; TFSAs, RRSPs and RRIFs have beneficiaries. The vehicles on the other hand are under the deceased's name but transfer of ownership was allowed with a notarial copy of the will and death certificate. My question is whether the vehicle values still need to be listed as assets for probate even though transfer of ownership was allowed to happen before probate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they have to be listed. The inventory is supposed to be a snapshot of the estate on the day the person died. THis means you include all assets he/she owned on that day, and all debts that existed on that day.

      Lynne

      Delete
  59. Hi Lynne! Great website!! I hope this finds you well. Garry Bard, Linkedin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Garry! Nice to hear from you. Yes, I'm doing just fine. Hope you are too :)

      Lynne

      Delete
    2. in Ontario -- my sister past away but before she did she was in hospital and wanted to make a final change in her will. I wrote out what she wanted and she
      signed it in my presence and i had the security guard sign as a witness. i did not know that two had to sign. question: as a valid witness can i make an affidavid and sign at a later date? please reply to; kenjeanmarshall@shaw.ca

      Delete
  60. Hi Lynne,

    My father (widower) and I are Ontario residents, and have been for the past 40 years. He passed two months ago in Ontario, but he has a notarial will that was made by a notary in the province of Quebec in 2007. Is it necessary to have it probated in Ontario? At the time of his death, all that my father possessed is a bank account with less than $ 8,000. He named me executor and my brother and I are his only heirs.

    Thanks and have a very Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think you would have to go through probate when there is only one asset worth $8,000. I would suggest that you ask at the bank whether they'd be willing to take a signed indemnity from you and your brother in lieu of the probate. Banks don't advertise that they do this, but they will sometimes do it to save their customers the cost and trouble of getting probate. I think your situation sounds ideal for that alternative solution.

      Lynne

      Delete
  61. Hi Lynne, thanks for a fantastic site! I live in Ontario.
    My husband has been diagnosed with early stage Alzheimers disease. He still manages to go to a club and work part time. He is on regular meds and under a geriatrician's care. He now refuses to help pay for our bills, and is planning a divorce.
    Can he do this and get a way with it? We are both on pension, and a divorce would destroy us. Selling our house, as he wishes, in this economy will leave us nowhere. Can he legally get away with this, considering his diagnosis, and me being his primary caregiver? I have Powers of Attorney but do not want to institute these as yet, as he does manage otherwise, and would be well aware and more angry. Please advise, and Happy New Year! Many thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A diagnosis of early stage Alzheimers won't in itself prevent someone from proceeding with a divorce. Yes, it might well destroy you, as divorce quite often does, but that doesn't mean he can't do it. After all, divorce is not usually done for the purpose of financial gain.

      Lynne

      Delete
  62. Lynne,

    I have a question regarding parents 'gifting' joint tenancy, I believe I have heard it called "gift of survivorship".

    I am located in Calgary, Alberta. I have lived in this house since the day I was brought home from the hospital, January 1962. This is the only home I have ever lived in.

    I have 3 sisters, 2 older and in good financial standing, 1 younger estranged and in poor financial position. I myself am in poor financial position.

    My parents have no Will currently. My mother has always stated that when they go, the house is to pass to me.

    Just recently my father approached me about finding out the process to make the passing of the house to me possible.

    That brought me to joint and common tenancy. Due to my financial situation, this would bring liability issues to my parents, and tax implications to me.

    For my parents obviously if one goes first the house/estate passes to the other.
    It is probably likely my father would go first.

    Is there such a thing as "gift of survivorship", where the house would pass to the one parent and then to me, when that parent goes?

    I realize you can only offer suggestions, and not legal advice in this type of correspondence. I am wondering if you have trusted associates in the Calgary area
    that you could suggest.

    Thank You

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know of anything called gift of survivorship. However, you are obviously aware that a verbal gift of the house is completely worthless, and it must be properly documented.

      A right of survivorship arises when there is a joint tenancy, but that appears not to be a good option (and I agree with you on that).

      It seems to me that the simplest and most effective plan is for your parents to have wills that say when they are both gone, the house goes to you. Is there any reson why that couldn't be done?

      If a gift of the house is made in a will, make sure that it's clear what is to happen to the contents of the house, as that is not included in the title.

      A lawyer I know and trust in Calgary is Jason Sweeney. I worked with him a bit when I worked at Scotia Trust in Edmonton, and he is a great lawyer and a really nice person.

      Lynne

      Delete
  63. My mother passed away a couple of months ago. We are the beneficiaries to her estate.
    Now, the place she lived in had 3 income rental apartments.
    Do we need to probate the will to sell the property or can we deal with the property sale without a probate.
    We are not sure if we can keep it in the family or if we need to sell. At present family live in the apartments
    Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You cannot sell someone else's property without legal authority. That's what the probate is. So yes, you will need probate.

      Lynne

      Delete
  64. hi Lynne,
    Does a widow applying for CPP widow's benefit or a child applying for a survivor benefit affect or delay the estate tax clearance certificate or the normal payout of CPP entitlement to the estate?

    ReplyDelete
  65. Hi Lynn, it is my first time to read your blog and there is a lot of great information written in an easy to understand way for me who is totally new to the matter of will. Thank you for your blog and your genuine concern and understanding of your readers' questions... I have 2 questions for now :) :1. Are the estate laws same across Canada ? because I live in Ontario, just want to make sure there is no provincial differences ? 2. My husband has major issue with backlog income taxes and there is a lien on the house which is jointly owned by the 2 of us. What is the implication if he has a will, and if he does not have a will ? If he dies before me, what happens to the lien and his part ownership of the house ? If he dies after me what happens ?
    Thanx very much for any help !

    ReplyDelete
  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hi Lynne,
    Thanks for all that you do! My mom recently passed away, and I am the sole heir and executor of the will. In terms of her assets, she owned rental property which was solely in her name, and also owned items in safety deposit boxes which are in joint names. All of her bank accounts are joint with me, and I am the sole beneficiary of her RRIFs. She also has her possessions (furniture, clothes, china etc.) in the house she last resided in a few years ago. If these are the extent of her assets, is probate required in B.C.?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you will need probate to deal with the real estate.

      Lynne

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your help! :)

      Delete
  68. Due to a stipulation in my uncle's will, the final distribution cannot take place until this summer, which is more than five years after his death. The beneficiaries all receive equal shares. Two distributions have already been made and there have been no problems.
    One of the beneficiaries (his sister, my aunt) died 2 months following my uncle's death. Her estate was divided equally among her two sons. As I understand it, one of her sons acted as the sole executor of her estate. Upon receiving money from my uncle's estate, he split the amount equally between himself and his brother.
    But this executor of my aunt's estate has recently died.
    If, on the final distribution of my uncle's estate, the cheque to his deceased sister were to be payable to her estate, who would have authority to receive it and distribute it?
    My brother is co-executor of our uncle's estate. He is suggesting that instead of writing a cheque payable to our aunt's estate, that we simply write cheques to each of her 2 sons (well, to the estate of the one recently deceased) in amounts that reflect a 1.5 share for each of them. This does seem easier and I would expect everyone would be happy with it. Would this be an acceptable way to make this distribution?

    ReplyDelete
  69. Hello Ms Butler

    This is my first time reading your site. I find your answers and viewpoints very interesting

    I live in Ontario. Our family has seven siblings. Both our parents are elderly and closing in on 90 years.
    Over their lifetime they had acquired several properties and have some monetary assets.

    I'm an executor of their wills. They have corporate wills and personal wills.

    In the corporate will they identify giving a property to a sibling. Then dividing the remains assets (after government taxes, etc) equally amongst the siblings.

    This creates an unfair distribution of the assets. In order to be fair I'm of the opinion that the building should be included in the value for distribution.

    Is there a way to handle this in the will?



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The decision of what's fair is up to your parents, as they are the owners of the assets. I don't mean to sound harsh, but it's not your call to decide who should get what. If your parents are happy with their wills, you are just going to have to live with it.

      Lynne

      Delete
    2. Hi Lynne:
      Thanks for responding to the many questions on this blog. It's a great help. I've purchased your Probate Kit, and most of it makes sense. Until I get to some of the directions in 'Preparing Your Affidavit of Service'. On page 156, step 1 states that a person should "Fill in the court file number from Form NC1". This seems confusing in that I would expect that I wouldn't know this number until I have already completed the application (everything signed, sworn, and served to the beneficiaries). Otherwise, I would have to go to file this at the court, get this stamped with the number, and be allowed to leave at that point to finish the remaining steps.
      Any clarification would help. Maybe I'm just missing something here. I'm thinking that all beneficiaries would receive a copy of the application which wouldn't have the court file number on any document (?).
      Thanks

      Delete
  70. Your blog is excellent - keep it up please -:) Have you written about how separation/divorce agreements can impact second marriages and the matrimonial home?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not specifically, but thanks for the idea. And thanks for reading!

      Lynne

      Delete
  71. My father has recently passed away. He had a 2nd wife for the last 6 years. She's listed as "tenants in common" on the title of the house. His will indicates that the house is to be sold upon his death, at a time agreed upon by the the joint trustees - myself and his wife. I'd like the sale to happen sooner rather than later. Do I have any rights here?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a pretty odd situation. Your father has said in his will that an asset is to be sold when he only owns half of the asset. He can't make his wife sell her half. Is there any kind of written agreement between him and his wife that says she'll sell it? Assuming she is agreeable to selling the property (since you haven't said otherwise) does the will say anything at all about the time limit for the sale? Who the heck made this will anyway?

      You haven't actually said there is any problem or disagreement, so your question about whether you have any rights is pretty open-ended. Perhaps you could be more specific about what the problem is?

      Lynne

      Delete
  72. Which of these would guide you to a lawyer who specializes in estates?
    I note that you do not include the Law Society of ie your Provence in Canada.
    Lynne, sorry...I did not know where to post the above.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, I forgot to include that on my poll.

      Lynne

      Delete
  73. Lynne: I am in a common law relationship for over 10 yrs and we purchased a house which was purchased as Joint Tenants. What happens if one of us dies without a will? Will the house past to the other partner?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, if you are joint tenants, the title to the house will pass to the other when one dies. It doesn't matter whether you are married or common law, since the joint registration decides who gets the house.

      Lynne

      Delete
  74. Thanks Lynne: I have been tormented trying to figure out how to prevent my son in law from having control over one penny of my estate. He's a nice guy and except for spanking the grandchildren which I hate, he's basically a good husband. Financially he's a disaster--you've heard it all but he got them into an investment scam and they have no equity in their home and he won't disclose things to me even though I send thousands their way. A trust for my daughter specifying for the grandchildren's education is the solution. Bless you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should be able to get good ideas from an experienced wills and estates lawyer. If you are talking to a lawyer who isn't asking about your goals and suggesting solutions, you need a lawyer with a few more wills under his or her belt.

      Lynne

      Delete
    2. re Anonymous April 3 2016: I caution her that leaving a will is not good enough. I just lost 15 years of my life because my father's will giving mom the matrimonial home did not stop my brother from stealing her home. Father should have transferred title to her prior to her death. I would put whatever money or investments into something legally stronger than a trust. The laws on trust in Canada have changed & I discovered they are not even allowed for adults. I would do a lot of research before making that decision. Your son-in-law sounds to me like he is addicted to gambling. Only a gambling addict puts money into scams-caught up by their greed of getting something for nothing. They can never be trusted with money or financial matters. By giving them any money you are enabling the addiction. My fiancé of 31 is one & that is why we live separately & our finances remain separate & why I will never marry him. He is a wonderful man, who has kept me alive 31 years, takes care of me as I am hands-capped Parkinsonism Disease, but I can never marry him. He has declared bankruptcy twice & lost everything to some of the biggest scams going that only an idiot or a gambling addict would be stupid enough to invest in. Any 5 year old would make better use of money that a gambling addict does. Good luck. And may god have pity on your daughter & grandchildren once your gone.

      Delete
  75. thank you so very much for your assistance to those who need. many blessings for you. again, eye thank you so very much.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Lynne, my brother in law returned to Canada after working and living in the States for 25 years. He passed away after only being here 10 months and died without a will and never worked while here. He leaves two young adults in the states and has been divorced for 3 years. He leaves a 401k and 2 IRA's with the children as beneficiaries. Any bank accounts he had here in Canada were held jointly with the deceased's sister. She wants his kids to get this money. (Can. bank account) Should she hold off on doing this until a tax return in Canada is filed on his behalf? What are Canadian implications for his American holdings? What should she do since she is listed as next of kin on the death certificate?

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  77. Lynne, you are a miracle worker & we in Canada are blessed by god to have you do this blog. Thanks to you my lawsuit against my brother for stealing our mother's properties & rental income is 100% well prepared, I have copies of all pertinent documents, & my lawyer was amazed by your knowledge & my affidavit of the facts backed up by legal points that I copied from your blog. My goal is to get the laws in Canada changed so that property theft becomes a 'criminal' offence & not civil. Thousands of seniors & naive people have been robbed of their homes. I do however; have a suggestion. Sometime the issue of selling properties in an estate should be warned to all heirs. Make sure that the purchase agreement clearly states that all bills must be submitted prior to closing. To my dismay our accountant (which I fired) did not warn us that Capital Gains must be filed 3 months from the date of closing or April 30th to be exact. It is April 25, & we still do not have any copies of any bills as my brother the executor of dad's 50% of the estate has continued to withhold all that information since 2009! He has already kept us in court almost 3 years just to get the sale & his name off the properties (put there illegally). Had a simple clause, "all bills must be presented prior to closing" this would have been finished December 12th,2015, or at the very least closing delayed until we got the bills. He held our mother hostage since the day my father died, Jan 2001, left her in abject poverty forcing me to sell my home to rescue her 2008 & I expect to spend the rest of my life in court to get justice for all seniors like mom. Unless the law changes to criminal this robbing of homes will continue. Mom is 97. I made arrangements with the new owner she can remain in the home until she dies, then I move out of Sudbury Ontario, where I can live in peace & breathe clean air without a gas mask! The corruption here is so rampant it is not a fit place to live. But thanks to you - and your wonderful blog, your amazing research, I at least now have the legal power that was denied to me for 15 years! Not one lawyer out of the many I consulted over the years ever told me that as an heir I have the legal right to take my brother to court & that I did not need my mother's permission. My mother is a victim of such violence by my father & terrorized by my brother I could never get her permission to file against my brother. Your blog clearly stated that as an heir I don't need anyone's permission. I pushed the sale of the estate through with my new lawyer in just a few months, what I was unable to do for 15 years. For the record the estate was originally worth over one million dollars. Mother lost everything & is now a tenant in the home she lived in since 1941 & got just a bit over $200,000.00 but money for me was never the issue. Giving her freedom from being robbed & terrorized controlled by my brother is worth any price we paid. God bless you Lynne. Thanks so much.

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    Replies
    1. It sounds as if you've really had your hands full, and if I've helped in any way, I'm absolutely thrilled.

      Lynne

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    2. It sounds as if you've really had your hands full, and if I've helped in any way, I'm absolutely thrilled.

      Lynne

      Delete

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