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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Free Wills Month 2019

It's that time of year again. It's Free Wills Month, an event sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Society. We are participating again this time around. Last year we did more than 40 free wills for folks over 55 who would have found it difficult to pay for wills, even though they have a house or other asset to pass on. It's our way of supporting the important work done by this charity, and of giving back to our community.

This event happens across the country, so check your local papers for ads in your area.


  1. Lynne,
    Thank you for bringing this public service announcement to our attention. In some markets ie Toronto etc many young people and some older people are struggling to get by. Many, approx 50% adult Canadians we are told, do not have a 'will'. This is a must. Most people are not aware of a Free Wills Month. I was never aware of this nor have I ever seen a newspaper ad ie. lawyer offering this.


    1. This is only the second year they've done this event in our town but I understand it's been around in other places for a few years. You're right that people do need wills but sometimes the budget is just too tight to afford one.


  2. Hi, Lynne

    It's been a few years, and I am still waiting for my father's estate to be settled.

    I appointted an executor on August 2016.

    The problem now is the lawyer past away, but a few weeks ago his son emailed me, and said he would be taking on this file.

    I sent him an email with all unfinished business.

    Like no receipts, or invoices for any of the purchased items using estate funds.

    Were talking about a free thousand.

    The executor also is holding onto a few estate items, he kept for himself, and he wants to set the price for them.

    I feel $1500.00, is to much for administration costs for a simple creation, I paid $3500.00 for, and I asked for him to tell give me a break down of the admin gees., But he has not researched this.

    Now that the son of his laywer, has referred the executor to another laywer, I am left wondering who will pay for this, and wondering if this is a breach.

    1. Richard, I'm having trouble understanding your question. In particular, I don't understand the dollar amounts in the second-last paragraph. Who is asking for $1,500, the executor or the lawyer? And who did you pay $3,500 to? If you are a beneficiary, as I think you are, why did you pay $3,500 to anyone? If you could clarify these issues, I would be happy to take a stab at answering your question.



  3. Out of curiosity. I do have some questions and comments for Richard and Lynne, based on what I have read.
    1) Were you the appointed Executor, but chose to let a sibling brother to become Executor? If that is the case then your sibling is in control of administering the Estate. We don't know anything about the 'will'.
    2)[....]The problem now is the lawyer past away, but a few weeks ago his son emailed me, and said he would be taking on this file[Richard]. Then you write -Now that the son of his lawyer, has referred the executor to another lawyer, I am left wondering who will pay for this, and wondering if this is a breach.[Richard].
    I don't understand. If the son of the previous lawyer has taken over, why is he referring the Executor to another lawyer? Is the lawyer (son) not wanting to carry on after his father? I gather the father lawyer was representing both you and the sibling you appointed to be the Executor.
    3) Re chattels. I assume that the 'will' outlines the disposition of the chattels etc. If not, then the chattels belong to the Estate. If you and your sibling(s) are in agreement then you can resolve this. If not, then they are to be sold and the proceeds becomes part of the Estate.
    You are no longer in control of the Estate but the Estate still has to be resolved and finalized according to Estate Laws Rules and regulations. Sadly, this drawn out case is going to cost everyone a lot more. The passing away of the lawyer (father) does not help. There are many missing pieces to this puzzle. IMHO.

    My matter. I too (for specific reasons) used a lawyer that represented both me and my sibling. I believed that everything would be easily resolved and settled. It was after all, a very simple and modest Estate. That turned out to be 'one huge mistake', one that has become a nightmare. Individual representation is generally recommended I believe.


  4. The executor wrote a cheque from the estate funds to the funeral director for $3,500.00,I asked the executor why he paid so much for a creamation, and he said $1500.00 was for admimistration fees, I asked the executor for a breakdown in the admin fees, but he said the funeral director would not do that.

    I am three provinces away and I did not attend the service as I was sick with the flew, so I am wondering if somehow I paid for two cremations as my father's sister passed away a month after my father did, and they had a service for them both and buried them in the same grave in the country.

    A side from that the executor wrote cheques for two viehicle goverment safety and repairs to one of the vehicles, but claims he lost the reciepts.
    There is a missing snow blower, that he said my dad may have borrowed to a friend, but he never looked into it.
    He sold everything at the price he wanted, with no consideration for the price I stated.
    Everything went for half of what I was asking.
    He claimed he did jobs like cutting the lawn, but never asked me first, or sent a picture, or qouted the job.

  5. Hi, Lynne, continued
    The lawyer that passed away sent me an invoice for a golf caddy, which the executor at first said was in good condition, but then two weeks later the executor said some kids damaged it, and he said that his daughter would buy it as is for half the price, and I agreed.
    Then a few months later the lawyer sent me an invoice for repairs to the golf caddy for $500.00.
    Also I had a lady call me up to buy the house, I don't know why she called me up, and she was offerings me money under the table for selling her the house.

    After I recieved the invoice for the repairs to the golf cart I sent a huge email to the lawyer about how I was not happy about things I wanted the executor to provide me with reciepts do I could balance the finacfinls with the transaction sheet from the bank.

    I never heard back, so I sent this email.

    Dear, Richard

    This is the lawyer writing.  I'm the son of your lawyer, and I also work at his office in Ashern as a lawyer.

    I'm very sorry to inform you that Dad passed away last month after a long, brave fight with cancer.  I am now the lawyer in charge of all of his open files, so it is my responsibility to answer any questions you may have.

    I have not yet had the opportunity to review this file.  I will do so as soon as possible and then contact you regarding your questions.

    If you have any further questions, please just email me at this address and I will follow up.

    Thank you.

    Yours truly,

    Barrister, Solicitor, and Notary Public

    I sent this email to the son who is also a lawyer.

    Hello, Paul

    I sent you an email a few months ago, may I know what is the hold up, and when can I expect a complete set of the financials, with a complete set of reciepts for all written cheques from the estate account. Thank you, Richard

    The son who is also a lawyer, sent me this email.

    Hello, Richard.

    After speaking with Mr.Executor, we decided that the best thing to do would be for my office to refer him to an experienced estate lawyer to complete the legal work on the file.  I referred him to the law firm of Taylor McCaffrey LLP in Winnipeg, and to a lawyer there by the name of, who has agreed to represent him.

    I replied back to the son of the estate lawyer who passed away.

    Hello, Paul

    A few months ago you sent me an email stating you would be taking over the case from your father.

    Now you have changed your mind, may I know the reason you are not taking on this case.

    I have been very patient, and I feel I deserve an answer.

    Thank you, Richard

    The son of the deceased lawyer sent me this email.

    Hello Richard.

    When I spoke with Mr.Executer about this file, it became clear that I would not be able to complete the remaining legal work myself.  As a result, I referred him to a more experienced lawyer at Taylor McCaffrey LLP in Winnipeg.

    It is my understanding that Mr. Executor and Mr.New Lawyer,at Taylor McCaffrey, have already spoken about this file.  If you have any questions, please direct them to Taylor McCaffrey.

    Sorry Lynne so much has happened it's so confusing, is this a breach of contract?
    Who will pay for this.

  6. Richard,

    Sad to say, but, what a Royal Mess!


  7. Hi, Lynne

    There seems to be some wheeling and dealing going on in my opinion, I want to see the safety inspections, and expensive repairs to the vehicle because I want to be certain that those vehicles are from the estate.

    Also I don't see why I should pay for repairs to a golf cart the executor sold to his daughter, as is, and for half the price I was asking, and then later subbmi an invoice for repairs.

    And the executor is asking for a $3000.00 pay out for his duties.

    I think I deserve to see a balanced set of financials.

    To date It has been about one year that I have not contacted the executor, and the lawyer who passed away his last email to me stated that he thought everything was ok, and sent me the final paper to sign off on this case, but I never did, because the financials are not complete, I am missing all the reciepts, and invoices, I never received a copy of the death certificate, and both vehicle government safety certificates.

    The executor was my father's power of attorney, and he informed me about my father's passing, he also said that he would like to be the Executor of state, but I do not know him, although he said he met me once when I was a teenager.

    The son I am referring to is the original lawyers son, in the sons email to me, he is informing me about his fathers passing, and Lynne yes, you are correct, the son who is also a lawyer has referred the executor to another lawyer because he does not want to take on this file now that I have pointed out all the missing reciepts, and invoices, and other things.

  8. There is no other siblings, I am the only child of the deceased.


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