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Podcast & radio

The Law Show on VOCM radio has come to an end. We sincerely hope you enjoyed listening to the program for the last seven months. As the podcasts are no longer available for download on VOCM, we are in the process of loading them all onto our website for your (free) listening pleasure. As you can see from the list below, it's a big project, but we will let everyone know when the podcasts are up and running.

Nov. 4, 2017 - Interim distributions
Oct. 28, 2017 - Mediation as an alternate to litigation
Oct. 21, 2017 - Taxes in an estate
Oct. 14, 2017 - Financial and estate planning
Oct. 7, 2017 - Police involvement in estates
Sept. 30, 2017 - Cleaning out a parent's house
Sept. 23, 2017 - Letters of Administration
Sept. 16, 2017 - Answers to more readers' questions
Sept. 9, 2017 - Get going! Get started on your estate planning
Sept. 2, 2017 - Digital assets (even if you think you don't have any)
August 26, 2017 - Bullet-proofing your will
August 17, 2017 - Practical tips and how-tos
August 10, 2017 - Estate-related words and phrases explained
August 3, 2017 - Answering beneficiary questions
July 27, 2017 - Adult guardianship
July 20, 2017 - Common mistakes in home-made wills
July 13, 2017 - Finding & working with a lawyer
July 6, 2017 - Executor's accounting
June 29, 2017 - Estates gone wrong
June 22, 2017 - Changing and/or removing executors
June 15, 2017 - Dying without a will Click here to listen
June 8, 2017 - Blended families Click here to listen
June 1, 2017 - Beneficiaries contesting wills Click here to listen
May 25, 2017 - Answering listeners' questions Click here to listen
May 18, 2017 - Enduring Powers of Attorney Click here to listen
May 11, 2017 - Executor's duties Click here to listen
May 4, 2017 - Myths and misconceptions about estates Click here to listen
Apr 27, 2017 - Joint property Click here to listen
Apr 20, 2017 - Using a trust company in your estate planning Click here to listen
Apr 13, 2017 - The building blocks of estate planning Click here to listen
April 6, 2017 - All about probate Click here to listen

We've begun a new way of delivering legal information - podcasts!

Episode 1 is about giving away household and personal goods after death.
Episode 2 is about what the executor can and cannot do.
Episode 3 is about what to do when an executor is out of control.
Episode 4 is about how to be a better beneficiary.
Episode 5 is about working with your lawyer regarding billing and fees
Episode 6 is about how to break up with your lawyer
Episode 7 contains tips for a better will.

You can listen to them- for free - by clicking here.

Let us know if there's a topic you'd like us to cover, or if you have a question that wasn't addressed in the podcast. As always, your feedback is welcome because it lets us know what's important to you.


  1. Why does bank hold inheritance of people because their old

    1. Are you saying that a bank held onto an inheritance of someone because the person was old? Doesn't sound like any bank I know of.


  2. Can an estate trustee with-hold an inheritance if a beneficiary doesn't sign a release, even though the Clearance Certificate has been received?

    1. No. In the old days, executors pretty much held the inheritance ransom until they got a signed release. In the last number of years, though, Canadian courts have said that this is not allowed.

      However, this does raise the question of why the beneficiary won't sign the release. There must be more to the story.


    2. The executors accounts are vague, for example saying cheque as a disembursment but not saying what for. Accountant fees but no billable hours or reasoning. Also it was said that there was more in the estate than the accounts are showing. No balances to bank accounts or receipts are provided.

  3. Lynn:
    I was a single foster parent (never married) for about 10 years. One boy who came to me at age 11, is still with me (now age 27). He has a career and is working full time.

    We never went the adoption route (although discussed) as he always felt this was his home.

    I have a legally drafted will which names him sole beneficiary (money, house, cars). My family have always considered him a grandson, nephew, etc.

    Although never legally adopted will he be treated as my son when the will is probated. I am 61 and am not planning on going anywhere (hopefully) for awhile.

    1. That's the beauty of making a will, Randy. You get to include people who otherwise would not be part of it. Without a will, your foster son would most likely have no right to inherit, though I expect he could make a run at it by saying you were acting as his parent for many years.


  4. Hi Lynne,
    The Executor of an Estate that I am a beneficiary to is withholding paying other beneficiaries inheritances because I and another beneficiary want more clarity on the accounts he has provided before we sign a release. I am starting to receive hostile e-mails. Can the executor not pay the other beneficiaries what they are entitled to?

    1. Usually an executor won't pay out any beneficiaries until all have signed off. This is because the amount being paid to the beneficiaries is a division of the available funds. If some of you don't sign off and the accounts have to be passed in court, the executor is going to have to pay legal fees from the estate. This reduces the amount available for the beneficiaries, which reduces each person's share. Therefore, until all have signed off, the executor doesn't know what each person is entitled to get.


  5. My father with dementia gave my sister, POA and I was never informed. Now that he's passed she says he didn't leave me anything. Is it worth it to fight, do I have any say in this. I am his biological daughter, I don't know if she was legally adopted, I don't know if that would mean anything.

    1. I don't have enough information even to begin answering this.

      Do you have the right to be informed when your father makes a POA? No.

      Is it worth it to fight? I'm not even sure what fight you mean. Fight that he left you out of his will? Fight that she might not be adopted?

      I need some facts. Did he leave a will? Have you seen it? Were there assets that he could have left to you? How does the POA come into the picture?


  6. any update on when the podcasts will be available again?

  7. I can't really give you a fixed date. I can tell you that we have someone working on this right now and we hope to have all the radio shows available as soon as possible.


  8. My sister would like to add her daughter to the title of her home. The daughter has live with her all her life and by working in a small family business helped to purchase the home. She would like it so if any one of them dies the other will have full title. Is that practical and are there any tax implications.

    1. There are so many reasons not to do this. Yes there are tax implications. I suggest that you read some of my archived posts about joint property where I have covered that issue many times.


  9. What is involved in a Beneficiary buying estate house? What if Executor and other beneficiaries want the house listed by realtor to be fair to everyone?Can the beneficiary buy after listing and bid according to the fair market value (with data)?

  10. I am a benificery of my father’s trust established with a life interest for my mother and my mothers estate. My brother the trustee for both.
    The trustee has comingled the financial affairs of the trust and mothers own affairs. He placed all funds in a joint and last bank account( mother and son).
    Income split the trust and joint and last account investment income .(is this legal?) As trustee advanced himself funds for
    time and mileage and Estate work.
    A court order is in place for the remaining funds.
    I discovered before Before putting funds in trust the trustee advanced a lawyer $20,000 for legal fees to defend his position as trustee.. I have been to court 2 x to get passing of accounts. He continues to try to pass comingled accounts. A big mess.
    My question can a trustee advance funds for time/ mileage, Estate work, legal fees before the court determines Executor fees? executor fees are for time and trouble spent to administer the Estate?
    Is Self approving expenses allowable?
    When do lawyers get paid to defend an executor ,prior to resolution or after?.
    The actions the trustee has taken as describe Above enough to be considered a breach of trust.
    The case is in BC
    Thank you


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