“Recreational Property” “Estate Assets” “Capital Gains Tax”
READ THE TRANSCRIBED PODCAST HERE
During this podcast on knowledge and approval and mistake, we discussed the following:
(i) the general concept of "knowledge and approval" and what amounts to such;
(ii) the case of Hastilow v. Stobie;
(iii) how to ordinarily establish "knowledge and approval", and what might be needed in special circumstances;
(iv) the cases of Crerar v. Crerar, Re Phelan and Fulton v. Andrew; and
(v) words appearing in a will by inadvertance. ——–
As we thought about our Blog this weekend, it struck us that perhaps we haven’t been entirely clear on how we hope to send out our own unique form of social media. Presently, our plan is to produce our 2 Podcasts weekly and we are going to try to Blog on a daily basis.
Unlike many current Blogs, there are 2 of us who are primarily going to be Podcasting and Blogging. Ian and I intend to jointly Blog, recognizing that it is "outside of the box" a bit because, right now, most Blog on their own. However, given the fact that we are working so closely on the Podcasts together, we thought a joint Blog format would make sense in the circumstances.
As to the format of the Blog itself, we are going to try each day to provide a quick comment relating to the social media world, together with a note on a legal issue that catches our attention.
As to the social media comment, Ian has now signed up for an upcoming conference called "Podcasters Across Borders", a Podcaster conference being help in Kingston on June 23 and 24. It looks like a fantastic event and we are sure it will enhance our own Podcasting.
As for the legal note, we are currently working on an intensive review of the whole concept of testamentary capacity. Our "Hull on Estates" Podcast for April 25, 2006 (Episode 5) addressed the following legal issues:
· constructive trusts;
· specific devises and bequests;
· life insurance;
· the description of beneficiaries;
· trusts/life interests;
· the selection and powers of trustees, including the power to encroach; and
I was reminded by the Globe and Mail May 18, 2006 article on the VoIP software "Skype" that this is a technology boom that not everyone has become aware of.
The first question to ask is what is VoIP? It is essentially using the Internet to conduct phone calls. It is known as "Voice over Internet Protocol" (VoIP). It is a technology that allows you to make telephone calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line. Some services using VoIP may only allow you to call other people using the same service, but others may allow you to call anyone who has a telephone number – including local, long distance, mobile and international numbers. Also, while some services only work over your computer or a special VoIP phone, other services allow you to use a traditional phone through an adaptor.
Skype is a leader in this technology. Just how big is Skype? It has over 100 million registrants. It is clearly a part of the technology boom that is on a very fast track. We use the Skype software everyday and, generally speaking, it is very affordable and effective. The Skype technology has advanced to the stage that you can call from a Skype line to a regular phone line.
Those who are not keeping up with the technology are bound to be left behind!
In our ongoing effort to keep you up-to-date on our Podcasts, we have the following summaries: Hull on Estates Podcast – Summary Episode No. 4 During our 4th podcast on "Hull on Estates" – for April 18, 2006 – we discussed the following legal issues:
- the International Will;
- revocation of a will by marriage;
- the concept of lapse;
- the concept of abatement; and
- the rule in Saunders v. Vautier.
The lead article on the Law page in the Globe and Mail yesterday was all about the various uses and success stories in the world of Podcasting. The article highlighted the efforts on the part of Torys LLP to use Podcasts and video Podcasts as an important client service and marketing tool.
As an aside, there is also an interesting debate going on in Podcast circles about the use of video Podcasting. The Globe article helps highlight the difference between the two mediums. There is an excellent Podcast on the difference between video and non-video Podcasts on Ultimate Podcasting . The discussion centres around the fact that non-video Podcasts are arguably going to be the central Podcasting medium because they allow the listener to multi-task, while the video Podcasts require more direct attention. During the Podcast the interviewer points us to an excellent article in the March 27, 2006 edition of Time Magazine entitled The Multitasking Generation .In the Time Magazine Article they point out the growing trend of the ability of kids and adults to multi-task.
The battle between video and non-video Podcasting will no doubt rage on; however, our vote stays with non-video Podcasting for now. We want our listeners to be able to fold the laundry while listening. Both tasks need to be done and both can be properly done at the same time. The perfect multi-task!
With over 50% of Canadians and 70% of Americans who do not have wills, the cost of preparing a will (and a Power of Attorney) needs to be considered. I must confess I have never personally understood the pricing arrangement with will drafting in Canada.
In short, it is a service provided by lawyers that is often substantially undercharged for and why it is so many people do not take advantage of this in the marketplace is still a mystery to me.
Certainly in Toronto, a husband and wife can still get Powers of Attorney and wills done for under $1,000 together.
Historically, it has been the case that a lawyer will charge less for the preparation of the will knowing (and hoping) that he or she will receive the estate administration work on the death of the client.
However, in our more complicated and fast-moving world, there is simply no guarantee that a lawyer will be part of the process at the end of the day. Even if a lawyer does get lucky and does get the file for the estate administration, with the advent of jointly held property, multiple wills and more sophisticated estate planning, the necessity for a lawyer after that, while important, is not nearly as substantial.
READ THE TRANSCRIBED PODCAST HERE
During this podcast on suspicious circumstances, we discussed the following:
(i) the general concept of “suspicious circumstances” and what amounts to such circumstances;
(ii) the onus of proof on a propounder of a will and an alleger of undue influence;
(iii) the meaning of the phrases “the true will of the deceased”, and the “righteousness of the transaction”;
(iv) the rule in Barry v. Butlin; and
(v) the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Vout v. Hay. ——–
READ THE TRANSCRIBED PODCAST HERE
During this podcast on the role of the Executor, we discussed the following:
(i) Executor’s fees;
(ii) the use of professionals by the Executor;
(iii) removing Executors; and
(iv) income tax filings. ——–
I was thinking about this whole social media scene in the area of Estate podcasting and I have to admit that I was dragged into the second stage of blogging, kicking and screaming.
My law partner and co-host of our two Podcasts, Suzana Popovic-Montag, suggested to me a couple of months ago that while she liked the idea of Podcasts she thought we should do 2 per week. One focused on the lawyers who we work with in the estates area and one for lawyers and people generally interested in estate planning issues.
Out of her idea sprang our Podcasts and we just launched our 8th of the series. While our 16th Podcast is certainly better than the first one, we are both working on our skills as interviewers and as information delivery people.
I am struck by the ever-growing and almost always useful legal Podcasts that are available on line and I commend them to you. A key word search in itunes or any of the podcast resources brings up many choices. "Coast to Coast" is one of the leading US Legal Podcasts and if you are interested in learning about podcasting generally, I suggest "Podcast 411" .
Episode 8 of our "Hull on Estates" Podcast was released this morning and we continued with our current intensive legal analysis of the important concept of Testamentary Capacity. We are going to spend a considerable amount of time on this legal issue and we are confident that it will prove to be a useful summary of the topic. While this area of the law is ever-changing, we think our Podcast series will be a helpful resource for lawyers and we encourage our listeners to go back over these Podcasts to assist them in understanding the various aspects of the topic.
Suzana and I are certainly learning a great deal about this area of the law in the course of reviewing it for our Podcasts. In this Podcast, we tackled the concept of suspicious circumstances. We broke down testamentary capacity a bit further, beyond insane delusions. We also looked at capacity as opposed to the idea of knowledge and approval. Suzana talked about the test and reminded us that the onus is on those who propound the will to prove it is a valid will.
However, where you have suspicious circumstances, the propounder of the will needs to lead evidence to deal with this allegation. The Supreme Court of Canada Case in Vout v. Hay is the leading case on this topic. While we touched on the concept of undue influence we just talked about the overlap with suspicious circumstances. We intend to really work through undue influence in future Podcasts.
This is day 3 of the blog and I still have the early blog excitement in my blood. I know the dog days of summer will be tough and the Christmas rush will make me crazy; however, I am determined.
How did I start this blog gig ? Well the idea came from my brother-in-law, Tim Fallis http://www.blackrockmarketing.com,who also happens to be one of Canada’s greatest marketing guys, he is President of Blackrock Marketing, and Tim’s idea was supported by his equally talented identical twin brother Terry Fallis. Tim is the idea man in social media and Terry is the get it done man. Terry is President of ThornelyFallis, a PR communications firm and Terry is one of the leaders in the Podcast world with his and David Jones’ Podcast, Inside PR. I have always been one to trust the judgment of good people around me and needless to say I really trust the judgment of Tim and Terry.
Next I bought and actually read the new book on blogging, Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel (http://www.amazon.com/). It was an easy read and an important confidence booster. With our Hull Estates Podcasts going, the move to a Hull Estates blog was a natural extension. My thought on blogging is that you should get informed and then jump right in to this vital aspect of communications. I am also encouraged by the recent article in the Canadian Bar Association National Magazine where Jordan Furlong and Melanie Raymond provided an A-Z list of trends for the legal profession. The authors listed blogs as the second important legal trend.
We certainly hope to provide both general and specific comments on estates and we look forward to the inevitable exchange with our participants in the blogging world.