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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 22, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 18 -THE IFTHBRIDOE HERAID March 22, W73 WILLS If a person could foresee the problems ivhich could result after his death., there's little doubt he would prepare a will now. Thousands ot Alberlans nobody knows lor sure exact- ly how many do not have legal wills to direct the dis- posal of thoir property when they die. Why? By JIM MAYBIE Herald Staff Writer "Because I haven't had the time to get one made one local chap said in an in- terview. "Because I don't ex- pect to die lor a long time said another. "Because I don't like talking about such things as said one. "Because I don't have anything to leave anyone." Thousands of people have fiaid the same thing. Then they died without a will. Wishes And the sorting out of their estates, both large and small, has pitted survivors against each other, split fam- ilies, caused untold hard feel- Ings, and has cut into the value of the estates through court actions, legal and ad- ministrative fees which could have been avoided had a will been prepared. If a person could foresee the problems which could re- sult after their death, there's little doubt they would pre- pare a will now. A will, in its simplest terms, is a legal document setting down the wishes of an individual for the disposal of his property and the care, support, maintenance and ed- ucation of his children after Ilis death. Half an hour with a lawyer is all the time it takes to provide the lawyer with suf- ficient information to prepare an average draft will. The cost is about Specialist The importance of having a lawyer prepare a will can- not'be overstated. Business- men have tried to prepare their own wills with disas- trous results. The nominal fee charged by a lawyer is well worth it for the peace of mind know- ing that one's wishes are down in black and white and are in accordance with the law. Lawyers and trust compa- nies are aware of the legal requirements for estate dis- posal and can advise indivi- duals of the legal aspects and how to avoid future prob- lems. CIcve Hill of Canada Trust says ttiat when a person's TV Is on the frilr, he calls Li a specialist, but often that same person, when dealing with all his assets, will try to prepare a will himself or not even bother with a will. Codicil Trust companies, he said, advocate having lawyers draw up wills. Any mentally competent person at least 18 years of age can make a will. A .will may be cancelled or changed at any time by mak- ing a new will revoking the old one, by deliberately de- stroying the old one or by adding a codicil. A codicil is an amendment to a will, (a make any chan- ges an individual desires af- ter the original will has been prepared. Cost of a codicil is about Fees The legal profession has a schedule of fees for writing up wills. A simple or short will, for example, should cost no more than Hus- band and wife reciprocal wills would cost about More complicated wills could cost to based on their involvement and the length of time required to prepare them, says Roman Scholdra, .president of the Lethbridge Bar Association. The small initial cost to prepare a legal will, how- ever, could save hundreds or thousands of dollars in extra costs thai, could result if a person dies without a will or with an improperly prepared will, he said. In making a mil a person should first consider what he owns or is purchasing. If his assets are not large say some life insurance, some cash savings, a car, equity in a house, furniture, a pension simple will would suffice until conditions change to warrant a codicil or new will. In the majority of cases in- volving average estates, ev- erything would be left to the spouse who is usually the ex- ecutor. In the event of death of both husband and wife, al- ternative executors and alter- native beneficiaries have to be considered, said Mr. Scholdra. For more complicated wills with the estate being split several ways, wills should be prepared by a lawyer in con- junction with the individual's life insurance agent, trust company representative and accountant, advises Mr. Hill. Once present assets, have been determined, large or small, and the individual has decided who he wants to re- ceive what, he should discuss his wishes with the profes- sionals. Naming an executor, a psr- son or trust company, who will carry out the expressed wishes of the will. It is advisable to appoint an executor who resides in the province where the will is expected to be probated, preferably in the same gen- eral area, because non resi- dents of the province are re- quired by law to provide a bond twice the value of the estate, adding costs and in- conveniences in administra- tion, Mr. Scholdra said. Executor In selecting an individual, name one you trust and who has a good chance of surviv- ing you, he advises. Serious consideration should be given to naming a trust company as a will exe- cutor, especially in the case of complicated wills and where young children are in- volved, Mr. Scholdra said. Trust companies, as legal en- tities, will be around much longer than any individual to handle extended estate ad- ministration and they have the expertise and staff to handle the job adequately. Lawyers are generally re- luctant to he involved in the administration of a will, he said. Alter everything has been considered value of an es- tate (large or who is to get what and who the ex- ecutor is to be the lawyer prepares a draft will. The draft is checked by the in- dividual to make sure it is what he wants, and if nec- essary, changes are noted and the final draft is pre- pared. The will must be signed by the person making it in the presence of two witnesses who must sign their names at the same time and in the presence of each other, Mr. Scholdra said. Tlie signatures make the will legal. The will should then be stored in a safety deposit box at the court house, in a law- yer's safe or with a trust company for maximum sofe- keeping. The executors should be informed where to find the will. Upon the death of the in- dividual, the will is probated. With a will a person can designate what goes to whom and who is to be guardian of the children. Without a will there is no way to be sure of who will get what or what will happen to one's children. When the will goes to pro- bate Surrogate Court sen-ices of a lawyer are nor- Most careful consideration should then be given to the mally required to contend with procedures of probate. The basic fee for probate is plus Hz per cent of the first value of the estate. On the next of value (he fee is one per cent, on the next it's three quarters of a per cent and on the next it's five eighths of one per cent. Anything over million, the fee is set at ttie discretion of the court. A person with an aggre- gate estate of would then be assessed plus for the first plus for the remaining 000 plus extra charges for special work involved on cer- tain items connected with the estate. The fee, then, would amount to at least plus special expenses, which could run quite high, depending on the complexity of the estate. free Administration of the es- tate by a trust company or lawyer is not usually free. Foes are based on a tariff set by the court which takes into consideration the amount of time spent on administra- tion. For a simple estate, trust companies and lawyers often advise the beneficiaries on what action to take, so they do not have to charge the es- tate anything. Any exec u t o r or benefi- ciary of an estale has a right to ask that the lawyer's bill of costs be "taxed" by the court. The lawyer then has to appear in court with the executor, and any benefici- aries who wish to be present, and must justify to the court the fees charged by him. After the estate has been wound up, the judge of the Surrogate Court allows a fee to the executor of the will for his services to the estate. Everybody, regardless of present financial circum- stances, should have a will, say Mr. Scholdra and Mr. Hill. It doesn't take much time to prepare a will in the ma- jority of cases and the fee is nominal. Wills should be prepared by lawyers. Individuals are advised to slay clear of the do it yourself method to save problems in the future. An improper will or no will could tie up an estate for years. Individuals are advised to contact a trust company or lawyer now about their wills. Many have waited too long. INTERIOR EXTERIOR 32-010 HOUSE PAINT WHITE CHOOSE FROM HUNDREDS OF CUSTOM COLORS IN GENERAL PAINT'S BEST QUALITY FINISHES GENERAL PAINT and WALLCOVERINGS 1005 3rd Ave. South Phone 328-9221 Also Available at DON'S BUILDING SUPPLIES LETHBRIDGE ON HIGHWAY (COALDAIE) 3 EAST NEXT.TO. CANADIAN PROPANE PHONE 328-3535 Eligible for grant Native society finds home Fears of losing a federal gov- ernment grant have subsided among members of the Leth- bridge Native Friendship Soci- ety. By obtaining another home for their society Wednesday, they are once again eligible for a federal government grant that guarantees their existence If the society had not found a centre by April 1, it would have been automatically in- eligible for a federal grant worth as much as Appii- Phone caller remanded A Lethbridge man charged with making phona calls threatening the life of Mrs. Christine Cohen, of 1101 llth St. S., was remanded with- out plea Wednesday to March 23. It is alleged that between Feb. 1 and March 13, Joseph Konya, of 409 2r.d Ave. S., made calls threatening Mrs. Cohen The charge, upon conviction, carries a maximum 10-year sentence. A 31-year-old Lethbridge man, Howard Lerone Franklin, oi 1653 3rd Ave. N., was given a one-year suspended sentence af- ter he pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of aji offensive weapon. Franklin was charged Tues- day night after he visited his estranged wife and threatened her while carrying a hunting knife. A Calgary man, Gary Veraon Ramchuk, charged with theft over from Thriftway Phar- macy, was remanded without plea to April 3. cation deadlines for the govern- ment funding was April 1. When its lease at their former location Et 5Ui Ave. and 3st St. S., expired at the end of Febru- ary, the society was faced with finding a new centre a task they found very difficult. The Municipal Planning Com- mission turned down a previous location possibility because "it was not suited for temporary use as a centre." The building was one of six in the old Cen- tral School area slated to be moved, possibly within three montlis. The new location at 426 13th St N., is described by Mike Keewatin, executive director of the society's centre, as having a large enouRli building to "serve our needs." The centre hopes to upgrade many of the programs and ac tivities it sponsors. They also plan on holding an "open house" to acquaint peo pie with the new house and the activities offered. THE SALVATION ARMY ANNUAL TURKEY TAKE-OUT HOT TURKEY SUPPER DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR Saf., March 31 Phone 327-3742 or 328-8611 or 328-0523 Tickelt Should be Purehnied by Wed., March 28. Something Is Happening At KVCLSTOIK Now Available! STIPPLETONE WALL AND CEILING TEXTURED FINISH The excilEng texture fin- ish for walls and ceilmgi, Irvsido or out. Ready to use. Goes on easily with brush or roller. Covers cracks, patches, nail Can applied lo concrete, block, brick, plaster, wallboard, gyproc, acoustic tile al- mast ony surface. In Ultra White for tinting. Also Sil- ver Frost and Gold Duif. 1602 3rd Ave. S. PhonB 327-5777, Open Monday thru Friday a.m. 10 5-.30 p.m. Saturday o.m. 1o p.m. FREE DELIVERY "CHARGEX" R6V6LSTOK6 COMPANIES LTD. Collision injures two Two people involved in a two- car intersection collision Wed- nesday afternoon at Mayor Ma- gralh Drive and 10th Ave., are in fairly good condition today in Lethbridge Municipal Hospital. The injured drivers are Flor- ence H. Gouw, of Milk River; and James Theodore Appclt, 18, of 320 Dieppe Blvd. A passen- ger in the Appelt vehicle, Karen Lohka, 17, of Lethbridge was treated and released at hos- pital. The accident occurred when one of the vehicles southbound on Mayor Magrath attempted a left turn onto 10th Ave. and was in collision with a north- bound car Damage is estimated at 000. Sawyer's Automatic Focusing You Focus The First Slide. We Focus the ROTO TRAY 2T4.55 747AO Sugg. Lift GRAND PRIX 570M Sugg. Lisl GRAND PRIX 570AF JOi OF Sugg. Lisl "0.7 J GRAND PRIX 570R 1 1 C TC Sugg. Lisl I