June 26, 2018, was a big day in my office?
Well on this day we were told that another bunch of Alberta Community papers was being shut down. Six local community papers to be exact. Now you may ask yourself why does a lawyer who spends a couple of hours a day online care that a bunch of Alberta newspapers were shut down. I mean I live in St. Albert. We have the most significant community newspaper in Alberta - The St. Albert Gazette!
The answer is simple, myself and my clients need the local papers to do our job correctly. I use it all the time to advertise for creditors and claimants for our executors. You know those little-classified ads that say if you have a claim make it now or forever hold your peace. Ya - you have likely read those.
Many of Alberta's smaller community newspapers have closed their doors over the last couple years. In some communities, there are no local papers, and the big regional papers, such as the Sun and Journal are not regularly delivered. Forcing executors to advertise in those papers is antiquated.
In many small towns surrounding Edmonton, the local convenience stores have closed. If you need milk, it will be a 45-minute drive. Local papers no longer exist - at best there may be a Community Facebook Group. Mail is rarely delivered (at least not correctly if you live in rural Sturgeon County). The community obtains it news in two ways - satellite TV and via online services like Facebook or news websites.
This everyday reality is why I am so excited about a Canadian company,NoticeConnect, that has created an online service that allows executors to advertise electronically for creditors and claimants. Their website is https://www.noticeconnect.com/
I cannot take all the credit for finding this website. One of my clients recently asked me why they couldn't advertise on the site and directed me to the website for NoticeConnect.
The online service is cheaper, more efficient, user-friendly, available 24/7, and powered by Google so they can easily be searched now and in the future. Better yet, If you are a creditor, you can register your debts with the site, and they will notify you if your debtors die and as a result have an ad placed through the service.
This sounds great, right? Why haven't Alberta lawyers started using this service?
In Alberta, our Surrogate Rules of Court, which is akin to an estate lawyers workplace bible, doesn't allow it. We need to advertise in an old-fashioned newspaper. A newspaper ad that will cost about the same as a flight from YEG to YVR and that the local community will never read.
I am very fortunate. I live in the 4th best community in Canada (It's a great City - I have to brag). This community is lucky enough to be the hometown of the Jamison family. This family, owns GreatWest Newspapers and they have dedicated themselves to placing resources into local news reporting in St. Albert and 19 other small communities in Alberta.
Not every place is so lucky.....and that's why we need a service like NoticeConnect. Check it out. The internet is the future of advertising for creditors and claimants
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