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I write my books in the same straightforward style as I write my blog posts. If you want to know more about almost any topic under wills, estates, probate, or elder law, you'll find I've covered it in one or more of my titles. Below, you can see the books and read their descriptions. Each has a link so you purchase them if you wish.

Contesting a will without a lawyer: The DIY Guide for Canadians
Paperback, 144 pages, $26.95
Click here to purchase (also available as an e-book using that link)

Wills and estates matters can be complex and emotional. Many people feel that whatever has happened to derail an estate is the result of someone acting in a way that is selfish, greedy, or even criminal. Sometimes someone wants to stop abuse or fraud, or simply ensure the deceased’s wishes are carried out. Perhaps financial support from the estate is warranted and not received.

Often, these types of issues need to be brought before the courts to be resolved. This book not only informs the reader of the types of lawsuits that touch on estates matters and what is involved in each to help with the decision of whether or not to sue over an estate dispute; it is also for those who decide to go ahead with a lawsuit on their own, to help them navigate paperwork and the court system.

It answers questions such as:
• What are the legal grounds for contesting a will?
• What are the pros and cons of starting a lawsuit about a will?
• What evidence will I need and how do I get it?
• How long does it take?
• Are there steps I should take before starting the lawsuit?
• What forms do I need and how do I use them?
• Do I need a lawyer or can I handle this myself?
• Will the estate or the other side cover my costs?

The download kit contains:
• Statement of Claim
• Caveats
• Checklists to help you on your way — And more!

The No Nonsense, Real Life Guide to Estate Planning in Canada
Paperback, 252 Pages, $31.99
Click here to purchase.

There are plenty of estate planning guides, but this one is intended for people who want to know what works and what makes sense.

It's packed with information, ideas, and advice about planning, setting goals, and ensuring that your estate is as problem-free as possible. It uses common sense, practicality, and real-life examples written in understandable language.

Sound Mind and Memory: 19th Century Newfoundland Wills
Paperback, 316 Pages,  $29.99
Click here to purchase.

Wills tell stories. Looking at the will of an individual tells us something about that person. Looking at the wills of several people in a community tells us plenty about their society.

Hilarious home-made edicts that threaten to disinherit unruly children, widows being cut off for disgracing themselves, fathers handing down businesses to sons, heartfelt gifts for kindness given - it's all covered here.

It's a wonderful balance between entertainment and legal information.

The Best of Estate Law Canada
Paperback, 232 Pages, $19.99
Click here to purchase.

More than six million people - and counting - have read Lynne Butler's blog posts about wills, estates, probate, and elder law. From taxation to rogue executors, Lynne tackles them all in her trademark down-to-earth, straightforward style.

This book contains the 80 posts that have gathered the most views. Some have been read by more than 200,000 people!

You'll find it easy to locate the posts you want, as the posts are divided into chapters such as taxation, beneficiaries' rights, executor how-to, and more.

Cinderella's Trust Fund
Paperback, 124 Pages, $23.95
Click here to purchase.

This book uses fairy tales, fables, and nursery rhymes that we all know and love as jumping-off points to talk about executors, wills, estates, family fights, inheritance, and so much more. Written by Lynne Butler, a lawyer with 30 years of experience in wills and estates, this book is light-hearted but packed with important information we all need.

Letters of Administration Kit for Newfoundland and Labrador
Paperback, 82 Pages plus flash drive, $100
This kit can only be purchased from our office at 709-221-5511.

Are you trying to deal with an estate where someone passed away without leaving a valid will? 

This kit contains everything you need to apply to the court to become the administrator of the estate, without hiring a lawyer.

The kit includes an 82-page printed guide with detailed instructions for completing the documents, full-size samples of all documents, and a flash drive with all of the documents to download and use.

The kit is ideal for:
- Letters of Administration where there is no will
- Letters of Administration CTA where there is a will that does not appoint an executor
- Letters of Administration DBN where a previous executor did not finish off the estate.

Probate Kit for Newfoundland and Labrador
Paperback, 56 Pages plus flash drive, $100
This kit can only be purchased from our office at 709-221-5511.

This kit contains all of the forms you'll need to probate a will or codicil - including a handwritten will - in Newfoundland and Labrador. It contains detailed instructions for completion of the forms, signing and swearing them in front of a Commissioner for Oaths, and filing them with the Court. The kit is written in plain, understandable language that will help you prepare your Application for Probate without hiring a lawyer.

This kit comes with a flash drive that contains all of the forms.

For My Family, With Love
Paperback, coil-bound, 92 Pages, $21.99

Our best-selling title, this workbook provides a place for you to record information about financial, legal, and personal matters. More than that, though, it provides a place for you to write personal messages to your loved ones to be read after you have passed away. This book, once completed by you, will save your family hours of searching, stress, paperwork, and frustration, at a time when what they really need to do is just be a family. Completing this workbook is a loving, thoughtful gift to your family.

How Executors Avoid Personal Liability
Number of pages: 136, $21.95
Click here to purchase.

Executors (those named in a will to deal with an estate) or administrators (not named in a will but have the legally granted right to deal with the estate) have a lot of responsibilities. They need to follow the deceased’s wishes if they are known, close out accounts, pay bills, and deal with distributing the estate to beneficiaries who, during difficult times, may not always be cooperative. Rarely discussed but highly important, personal liability is the biggest risk faced by an executor or administrator dealing with an estate; it can result in long, drawn-out court battles or bills that can potentially trump the estate’s value and cost the executor personally.

Understanding the most common pitfalls means less frustration for executors or administrators and beneficiaries, who likely all want the estate to wrap up with the least amount of hassle and heartache. Popular author and Senior Wills and Estate Planner Lynne Butler offers some tips on what to avoid in How Executors Avoid Personal Liability, the latest in her series of estate-planning advice books. Executors, administrators, and even beneficiaries will find this book useful, when they want to better understand how an estate is dealt with; what executors, administrators, and beneficiaries can and cannot legally do; and how to avoid the most common mistakes made by executors to reduce the risk of personal liability.

Estate Planning Through Family Meetings (Without Breaking up the Family)
Number of pages: 144, $24.95
Click here to purchase.

Estate planning and writing a will are among the last things families want to think about, and yet they are so important. You want to ensure that your parents have their affairs in order before they pass away, but you probably don't want to bring it up and risk upsetting them or looking greedy.

Estate Planning through Family Meetings (without breaking up the family) presents an easier way to handle estate planning: through a process of meetings and note taking. As author and lawyer Lynne Butler explains, holding a family meeting to discuss what should happen to a parent's estate is an effective method, because it allows each member of the family to talk openly, ask questions, and work together, so that everyone feels they've had their say.

Using the steps outlined in the book, the author shows you how to plan ahead, hold meetings with your family, learn how to document the plan, and make it legal. She covers the issues you'll need to be aware of to do it properly, the legal consequences of insufficient planning, and how to deal with special circumstances such as family businesses, cottages, and trusts.

The book includes a CD-ROM for use on a Windows-based PC, that is loaded with checklists and tools to help the process along and ensure nothing is forgotten.

Alberta Probate Kit
Click here to purchase.


When you probate an estate, you prove by a legal process that a will has been validly made and executed. This may sound complicated, but it isn't.

Even when there is no will or the executor appointed in the will is not acting, it is possible to administer an estate without a lawyer. This kit is designed for people with small or moderate estates to handle after the death of a family member or friend.

When someone has died, it must be proven that a will has been validly made and executed. This book demonstrates, in easy-to-understand terms, how anyone faced with the difficult situation of acting as executor can probate an estate and how anyone faced with acting as administrator can administer an estate -- without consulting a lawyer. It is possible for a layperson to probate an uncomplicated estate without paying a laywer and save thousands of dollars in legal fees in the process!

Here are some of the topics that are explained in the kit:

What you should do after a death
The powers and duties of executors and administrators
What forms are necessary and how to complete them properly
How to assess the value of the deceased's assets
How to transfer the estate to the rightful beneficiaries
--And more.
By following the step-by-step instructions in this kit, you can successfully probate or administer a straightforward estate yourself; even if you are not planning to do it yourself, the included book will serve as a useful guide in discussions with a lawyer.

Succession Planning Kit for Canadian Business
Number of pages: 168,  $27.95
Click here to purchase.

For small- and large-business owners, it can be an area of worry and frustration: What happens to your business when you retire or die?

With this book, you can plan for the future, whether you want family members to succeed you, or you plan to sell. Ensure your business is taken care of in the manner you wish.

Author Lynne Butler systematically guides you through the process by showing you how to identify competencies; assess current and future business needs; and create a succession plan that works for your business.

The Succession Planning Kit for Canadian Business will help you ensure the future success of your organization and its staffing needs.

The CD-ROM  included with the book contains resources and forms in Word and/or PDF formats, for use on a Windows-based PC.



  1. I am the executor of my Mom's estate. It is s straight-forward estate which does not require probate. I need a template of a standard release form (recognized in Alberta) which I can send out to the beneficiaries. Do you know where/how I can find such a template?

    1. I should probably also mention that my book, Alberta Probate kit, contains all the forms an executor needs, as well as instructions for completing them and using them, providing an accounting to the beneficiaries, and lots of other useful stuff.


  2. The Releases vary province to province. Alberta happens to be a province in which a specific form is found in the regulations to the Rules. It's called ACC12 and can be found here:

    Scroll down to ACC12.


  3. My step-mother wouldn't show the Will after my father passed away. But she wants to sign a paper says that I would give up the property in Egypt and transferred them under her name. How could I find my father's Will to see what I am entitled? Thank you very much.

    1. My first suggestion would be to do a search at the courthouse nearest where your father lived. If his will has been sent for probate, it is now a publicly-available document. Just a tip - if you do find it, ask for ALL the documents and not just the will.

      If she still will not show you the will, get a lawyer. Since she wants you to give up a property, you must either currently be an owner, or you are supposed to receive some portion of it in the will. That gives you standing to see the will. The lawyer will write a letter explaining why she should hand over a copy of the will.

      If she still does not give you a copy and nobody else in the family will give you a copy either, then you have the option of forcing her through the courts to give you one. I would be surprised if it actually got all the way to court, but if it did and if you're a beneficiary under the will, she would be made by the court to pay your legal fees as well as her own.

      Just to be clear, it is not the fact that you are a son or daughter that gives you rights here. It is the fact that you appear to be the beneficiary of property.


  4. I am named as Executor in several Wills - for my Dad and sisters in B.C. and for a good friend in Ontario. Do you have books/Probate Kits available for either of these provinces? (I see them above for Alberta and Newfoundland.)

  5. Do you have books/ Probate Kits available for BC and Ontario? (I see them for Alberta and Newfoundland above.)

    1. Hi Janice,
      The books and kits on this blog are the ones I've written myself and they are only for Alberta and NL, the provinces where I have practiced. However, I do know that Self-Counsel Press (the folks who published my Alberta kit) have probate kits for Ontario and BC so maybe head over to their website.



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