Tag: Archived BLOG POSTS – Hull on Estates

18 May

Law Based Podcasting

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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!


17 May

The Cost of Preparing Wills – A Little “Give and Take”

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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.


16 May

Why Podcast?

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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.


15 May

Why Blog ?

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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.

14 May

Mother’s Day – Something to think about

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This is always a big day in our house as with most families. It is truly a day to celebrate the wonderful things that many of our mother’s ( and wives) do for our family, everyday !

So what happens when they go ? Is your mother the one person holding together the whole family chemistry ? Is she the glue that keeps the family emotions from blowing over ?

Again, what happens when she is gone ? Do you think it would be a good idea to talk about life after mom ? While today is NOT the day to bring up the topic, it may be something we should be talking about with our family and something that needs to be considered in the whole family estate planning fabric.

On to business, I mentioned yesterday that we are podcasting. My partner Suzana Popovic-Montag and I host 2 weekly podcasts. They are great fun to do and I think they cover a good cross-section of the legal and non-legal aspects of estate law. If you want to listen in, right now it is probably easiest to get to them in itunes and use the key word Hull in your search. It can also be found on The Podlounge.

As I try to follow the Canadian social media scene I intend to look at and report on other legal and non-legal sources. I note that my colleague Robert Coates has his own blog. Robert has been blogging since November 2004 and he offers comments on recent developments in the law. Robert is a Toronto Lawyer Specializing in Estate & Family Law. ——–


10 Apr

The Inaugural Blog

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Welcome to the inaugural Hull Estate blog. With the fast moving pace of the social media a blog on this topic seemed to be a natural fit.

I mean, why not try to look at issues of death and succession, and in particular, look at these issues before your death and before a family fight begins. The central theme of this blog will of course be estates and estate related matters.

However, an important sub topic will be to address the question as to why our culture spends so much time accumulating wealth and yet does not put the same , or even close, value on planning for the succession of our wealth. Starting with the funeral arrangements right through to distributing many millions of dollars, beneficiaries fighting is almost inevitable.

The family fight is not something we spend enough time planning to avoid.

However, as with everything in life, it is really a question of degree and what is an acceptable level of conflict.

This blog is going to look at estate issues and estate planning from all perspectives including a more bottom up estate planning process, as opposed to a top down model that exists in the minds of most people today.

We have started our social media efforts already and you can listen to our podcasts that are currently on itunes. We have a series of weekly podcasts (14 podcasts so far). One podcast deals with legal issues of interest to lawyers and the other deals with general estate planning issues designed for the lawyer and the client.

We continue to focus on a more inclusive approach to estate issues and consider such issues as the "High Price of Not Talking" about your estate plan with your family.

We would love feedback and we hope to be able to generate some excitement about this new social media outlet and hope that we can generate some real debate in the process. So welcome and I hope you enjoy the ride ! ——–


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