The legacy of love blog

Can you be held liable for the wrongdoings of your co-executor?

executorship Nov 14, 2019

It is an executor's ethical responsibility to act in the best interest of the estate; but what happens when you are paired with a co-executor who is acting irresponsibly? Can you be held liable?

In general, a co-executor can only be held liable for their own actions, inactions, errors, or for assets that they personally dealt with. This rule protects them from liability in situations where they were unaware of their co-executor taking money from estate bank accounts, selling...

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Can an executor be held liable for the debts of an estate?

Uncategorized Nov 14, 2019

Our office takes many of phone calls from executors who are worried that they will be held liable for their deceased parent or children's debts. In most these cases the deceased owed more money then they had in assets and was essentially bankrupt. There are three general rules that all Alberta Executors and Administrators must follow when they are administering an estate. The three general rules concerning executors liability that every executor should be aware of are: 

  1. An executor is ...
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Can you renounce your duties as executor?

Uncategorized Nov 01, 2019

Being named as the executor of an estate is an honour, but it is also a major undertaking. It can be difficult, time-consuming and emotionally draining. You may not want to accept the position because you are either grieving or ageing, or because you reside outside of Alberta, are traveling abroad, do not have the time, do not have the knowledge, do not believe you can handle the position, or simply do not want to act - nor do you have to. It is important to remember that you have the...

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Best Practices for Family Trusts

Uncategorized Oct 30, 2019

Family Trusts are a powerful and effective financial planning and asset protection tool. Traditional reasons for creating a trust include will and succession planning, asset and legal liability protection and asset administration.

However, Trust has evolved as a tax planning and minimization tool, especially for the family business and high net-worth individuals. In many instances Trusts were created solely for tax purposes.

In response, the Government of Canada has slowly been closing...

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How "Out of the Box" Can I Be When Writing My Will?

Uncategorized Oct 08, 2019

While many people don't have a Will in Canada ( 51% according a 2016 Angus Reid Institute poll), some of us can't help but leave little creative twists in the ones we do make. There are a range of example, take for instance Roger Brown; in his Will he bequeathed 3500 pounds be left to his seven friends so long as they use it to fund a "boozy trip" to Europe. 

Or perhaps some prefer the sweeter bequest by Jack Benny,  a US comedian, who left instructions that one long-stemmed...

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Blast from the Past - 1994 capital gain exemption

Uncategorized Sep 25, 2019

Recently our office has dealt with several estates where the deceased had purchased property prior to 1994. The property included cottages, artwork, rental properties and business. 

Back in 1994 the government eliminated the general lifetime exemption of $100,000.00 on all capital assets. To make up for the elimination, and to make sure anyone who had property and didn't sell it would still get this benefit, the Revenue Canada (now called the CRA) allowed a one time election (using form...

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Capacity: What Is It And Why Is It Needed To Plan An Estate?

capacity Sep 13, 2019

In Alberta, the only limitation to a person over 18 signing a Will, Power of Attorney and Personal Care Directive is that they have the mental capacity to do so. It may seem like a simple concept, but the truth is many people don’t know that capacity is required to have these documents made for individuals.

Why is Capacity Needed?

The largest concern for these Estate Planning documents is that the person executing them, at the time of execution, understood the nature and effect of...

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Executor Compensation in your Will

Being an Executor (or personal representative as they are known in Alberta) is hard work. Once you have picked someone you trust who can be responsible to wind up your estate, attention to detail so they can deal with all the little things surrounding your demise, and the tenacity to keep going and complete the job until the end. 

When you ask someone to be your executor you are asking someone to take one year out of their life to wind up your property. In many cases the executor is not...

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The Line Between Influence and Undue Influence

Uncategorized Sep 04, 2019

In a time that should be allocated to grieving over the loss of a loved one and celebrating their life before passing, the friends and family of Brooke Astor were thrown in a legal battle that lasted almost 7 years after her death in 2007.

The Astor fortune was said to be around $100 million at the time of Brooke Astor’s death, and as a well known philanthropist, Mrs. Astor left much of that to charity, while still providing very generous legacies to her many friends and family members....

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Videostar Wills!

Uncategorized Aug 29, 2019

Something that is often forgot throughout lengthy, expensive and emotionally exhausting estate litigation cases is that the court is taking so much care and diligence, and thus time, in hearing these cases because they are trying to determine the intentions of a person who has passed.

This task is rendered all the more difficult if there is ambiguity in wording, missing information or uncertainty in which is the true last Will of the testator. The focus for today’s blog is the latter of...

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