Learning When Laws Change

Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Learning, virtual legal assistance | Comments Off on Learning When Laws Change

Learning When Laws Change

Nothing stays the same and that is as true in law as in life. As the world changes, laws have to change to keep up with the times. And in Alberta this has recently meant some serious changes to the way wills and estates are handled. In February (2012) the Wills and Succession Act, SA 2010, c W-12.2 came into force, replacing a number of other pieces of legislation.

A number of my lawyer clients were affected by this change; the ones who do estate litigation, the ones who do estate planning and even the ones who work in matrimonial law. As a paralegal who helps prepare probate documents I needed to get up to date on the way the changes will affect the forms we use and the things we need to do differently when working with clients. To achieve my goal of getting up to date I recently attended a Legal Education Society of Alberta seminar designed specifically for legal support staff. The seminar was incredibly helpful and I came home with a whole binder of information and sample forms, so I feel really ready to work with my lawyers on future files. I didn’t just come home with paper notes though. The seminar chairperson is a Twitter enthusiast and at the beginning of the day he mentioned that all seminar attendees should feel free to use Twitter with the hashtag #lesaonline to interact with one another and to create another mode of discussion. Of course I jumped right into that! I was essentially the only legal assistant to join the twitter conversation, but I’m hopeful that maybe the inclusion of the hashtag conversation on an official basis will encourage others to see the professional value of social media and Twitter.

Below I am sharing the hashtagged tweets from the seminar (since I know they won’t always be searchable on Twitter!) Hope you find the discussion helpful and interesting ūüôā Oh and note that it is probably easiest to read from the bottom up, as the oldest tweets are last.

 

LESA ?@lesaonline

Yay! Thanks for tweeting! RT @lmapp: Impressed we are using twitter at my @lesaonline session on wills and estates today!#lesaonline

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Well the #lesaonline seminar was fabulous & I think I got a couple people thinking about virtual paralegal life #awesome

Dawn Ofner ?@dawnofner

#lesaonline to learn about division of matrimonial property be sure to read the SCC Tataryn decision.

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Analogy 4 two plus personal reps: compensation available is 1 bowl of dog food, reps have to share the bowl #lesaonline

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

See case of Middelstadt Estate, 2002 ABQB 656 re PR having to repay estate for use of funds to personal benefit #lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline if you are providing an accounting to the OPT, you should include ALL supporting documents

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline beneficiaries are entitled to ask for supporting documentation (ie receipts, invoices)

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Beneficiaries are entitled to backup documentation #lesaonline

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Informal accounting is the more common court process#lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†do not need to serve bennies who have signed a release b/c they haven’t indicated any issues with the accounting

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline goes to court if 1. not all bennies sign releases 2. if PR needs to cancel a bond 3. interested person applies for accounting

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline interim accounting is a good idea given the fact that many estates do not proceed very quickly

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Case worth a read re: personal rep and lawyer compensation: Anderson Estate 2012 ABQB 517 #lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline lawyers need retainer agreements with their PRs setting out fees for core and non-core services

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†PR should be prepared to support their claim for compensation. Don’t assume everyone knows how hard you worked!

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline PR compensation is reportable as income. CRA can give the estate a business number to issue a T4.

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

@leannahamill¬†Alberta’s changed this year too, so this is so helpful, I’ll be saving the hash tag tweets to PDF later!¬†#lesaonline

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Compensation is a touchy issues for beneficiaries #lesaonline

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Create an excel with formulas to help determine personal rep’s compensation¬†#lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline PRs: no pretaking compensation without consent of all beneficiaries or Court Order

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Personal representatives should track time spent to show what compensation may be reasonable #lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline PRs should track their time for working on the estate and record the tasks performed. A ledger matching task to time is helpful.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline PR entitled to be reimbursed for reasonable expenses; should record details and keep receipts for expenses

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline no set format for the accounting but should contain things that give picture of what happened in the estate since date of death

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

No set forms for financial statements #lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline creditor can demand an accounting; OPT can demand an accounting

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline accounting goes to residual bennies, persons interested in estate, and specific bennies with respect to their specific gift

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline accounting required every 2 years or when required by the court

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Estate accounting session-it’s interactive!¬†#lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline estate accounting: record of transactions during administration; proposal about who gets what; proposal about PR compensation

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline Monica Johnson presenting on Estate Accounting

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline also need Court certified translations of everything from the foreign jurisdiction if necessary

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline also need Court certified copy of the foreign grant.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline for ancillary grant need an NC32 and NC33, and need a will. Residency is an issue, leading to bonding issues.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline ancillary grant is NOT a reseal b/c the foreign jurisdiction is not traceable back to the British Empire

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline caeterorum bonorum Рnot a swear.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline grant for property not included in another grant: need NC1 and NC2.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline grant limited to specific property requires NC1 and NC2

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline grant limited to specific property: needed if someone needs to do something right away and may not be entitled to a grant

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline resealed grant is not a new grant, just gives effect to foreign grant. Value for property should be date of death valuation.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline foreign grant is proof of death, signing formalities in jurisdiction followed, and that there is a will

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline be up front about any issues with formalities, especially if you have real property that will be subject to the resealed grant

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†deponent in resealing application can swear that “formalities met in foreign jurisdiction because lawyer told me so.”

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline were the will formalities complied with in the foreign jurisdiction? A must.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline for resealing use an NC32 and NC33

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†if from outside Canada, UK, colony or commonwealth, can’t reseal but require ancillary grant

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline resealed grants Рa foreign grant confers no authority on the executor in Alberta.

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Limitation to challenge a will is not caught by Limitations Act#lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline should surrender all court certified copies or at least account for them in the application.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†explain why asking for the grant under “special circumstances”. Paint a very clear picture. Issue all appropriate notices.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline must file an NC1 and NC2, only include unadministered property in inventory. Must surrender the original grant.

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Sometimes the lawyer might benefit from including legal assistant or paralegal in client meeting #lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†“when you’re in the bizarre, more heads are better than one” – SJK

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†doctrine of chain of executorships: if deceased was an executor, deceased’s executor can be executor of original estate

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline rules of preference (Rule 11) speaks to priority of who can apply

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†someone needs a grant to deal with what’s left in the estate

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†grant of admin for unadministered property: need all named PR’s dead and property remaining to be distributed

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†10(b) grants look clear but are very intricate, some aren’t that uncommon, but difficult

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†you need to really think about what kind of grant you’re going to need, not just short term needs, but long term needs

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline 10(d) grants are for limited purposes

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline 10(c) grants are limited for a time

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline double grant: for example, if co-executor not in first grant and needs to be added later

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline a supplemental grant is when you have an executor who took out probate but no longer able/willing, replacement gets supp grant

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline Rule 10 includes Latin in case you have to look back in time

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline Administrator has NO authority until application is granted

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline are you dealing with an executor or an administrator? Distinction: executor appointed, grant approves appt.

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Be clear if you are dealing with executor or proposed administrator#lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline Limited Grants Рbizarre situations

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline Sherrilynn Kelly (Parlee McLaws LLP) now speaking on uncommon grants

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Now we’ll learn about uncommon grants courtesy of Sherrilynn Kelly#lesaonline

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Great information in that part if the session – thanks Marianne!#lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline Edmonton is getting around 200 applications a month. Edmonton and Calgary both working on applications submitted on Sept 7.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline in NC7, indicate where property is if relevant.

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

For estates, step-children essentially don’t count if not specifically named in will¬†#lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline can include the MD in the NC7 if necessary Рthe more info, the better

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

On NC 3 if a child predeceased the deceased, say “Yes” then list those children right there¬†#lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline serve minor AND the guardian with the NC24

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline NC24 notice required Рold act/new act.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline you may want to submit a family tree, even by way of letter, with your application

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline if surviving spouse or AIP is the parent of the child, the OPT has no obligation to act for child in for family maintenance app

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

NC3 grandchildren section is just for cases where grandparent acted as parent of child #lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline in NC3 grandchildren section meant to address when deceased was in loco parentis to grandkids

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†must list all of the deceased’s children, living or dead, beneficiary or not

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline proof of death not required for predeceasing spouses

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline forms are still evolving. Clerks are working on consistencies. You CAN insist that your application go straight to a judge

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline identify how many certified copies you want at the time of filing Рcan do in the NC1

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Also on NC1 should say how many certified copies of grant are required #lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†NC1: don’t have the only thing on page 2 the justice’s signature – please put something there so document can be identified

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

On NC1 should NOT be just Justine’s signature¬†#lesaonline

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Helpful websites http://alberta courts.ca andhttp://justice.alberta.ca/programs_services/wills/Pages/default.aspx#lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†law firm names/lawyer’s names in footers ok but logos on documents being filed or signed by judges not ok

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline regarding Court seals, they will still be required for grants being used by foreign courts. If you need it, ask for it.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†http://www.albertacourts.ca¬†will provide updates about what’s new in the Courts, Practice Notes, and (perhaps) new forms

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline any questions about WSA send an email to just.succession@gov.ab.ca

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline must also look at WSA when you have an intestacy, but all of this explained on AB Justice website

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline check the parentillic chart on the Alberta Justice website when you have an intestacy http://www.justice.ab.ca

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†there will be changes to the forms. They are going to be “positive” – we’ll see.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†due execution is a problem – clearly identify who is to sign where ie so you don’t have someone witness their own signature

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†requirement for dispense with bond consents will be removed from the checklist and changed to “might be required by the Court”

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline may only require bonds if minor beneficiaries or if the estate is large so the court can ensure beneficiaries are protected

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline for bond requirements see Rules 28 and 29 Рare affidavits to dispense and/or consents required?

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†changes have been made to Surrogate Checklist – use the new one when it comes out. “Bond requirements” have changed.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline supplementary affidavits/letters acceptable in some circumstances regarding unusual matters or clarifications required by court

Dawn Ofner ?@dawnofner

if you can’t comply with a rule then explain why in the NC2. This is your ability to address the court.¬†#lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline can address all unusual matters in part 6 of the NC2 (ie irregular but acceptable markings on Will for NC8)

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†put markings in a place that won’t destroy any text in the will itself

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†concerns with markings in the NC8. Put markings on front or back of will. If on back, take care that ink doesn’t bleed thru

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline be specific and clear in your NC7

Dawn Ofner ?@dawnofner

#lesaonline use the exact wording of the gift from the will in the forms. Diamond ring should not be described as jewelry

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†clerks use Google Maps to see if you’ve filed in the proper judicial centre. You can do this before you submit to be sure.

Dawn Ofner ?@dawnofner

@Marianne¬†from Surrogate Court advises ‘do not delete anything from the surrogate forms, answer no or strike out the wording’#lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline judicial centre is determined by nearest road so be specific with your property descriptions.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline if there are specific bequests, be specific in your NC6

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline Edmonton Surrogate will accept and advise of any concerns; Calgary Surrogate will reject and expect you to redo

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline be clear as this is a desk application Рrepetition is not a bad thing (apparently)

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Realize you need to address any questions the judge might have#lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline lots of potentially unnecessary info to be crossed out, NOT deleted Рneed to know your circumstances and be consistent

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline simple insertion of the date is not unusual and need not be listed in the NC4 and is addressed in the NC8

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

NC 4 is place to address markings on the will-very important!#lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline NC4 is often submitted incorrectly Рanything and everything in the will (ie markings/additions/alterations) must be addressed

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†list all children and relationships – it’s in the form, need to deal with it.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline repetitive info (ie in NC3 and NC6) required in both places.

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline crossing out seems more burdensome than simply deleting the unnecessary parts Рform is MANDATORY as is

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Don’t delete from the form, use strike through for anything that doesn’t apply¬†#lesaonline

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†forms causing grief include the NC3 because it does not give you the option to delete, just cross out or don’t insert data

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline¬†the Surrogate Checklist can be used to review your application to ensure it’s complete before submitting it

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline difference b/w jurisdictions as to what can be deleted from the forms

Aaron Bickman ?@AltaLaw

#lesaonline chairing the Wills and Estates for Legal Support Staff seminar Рfirst, chief Surrogate Clerk Marianne Rivard

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

First up today: Marianne Rivard on forms #lesaonline

Laurie Mapp ?@halosecretarial

Better tweet my #lesaonline stuff through this account today not my @lmapp one!

Laurie Runs Life ?@lmapp

Impressed we are using twitter at my @lesaonline session on wills and estates today! #lesaonline

Featured image © Rafal Olechowski РFotolia.com

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