AUGUST, 2013
Executor Liability Insurance
Estate Administration Bonds

What Should We Say When Your Clients Call?

Scot Dalton, CEO, Estate Risk Protection Plan Inc.
We at ERAssure support the role of legal counsel within our executor/estate administration insurance program. That’s why we require legal counsel on every application and specifically why we do not usually subrogate against the estate lawyer when we pay claims.

Given both the consumer protection and the significant lawyer benefits derived from executor/estate administration insurance one would think every lawyer would be having this discussion on every new estate….but

Here are the ERAssure Top Ten Reasons Some Lawyers Don’t Encourage Executors to Protect Themselves with Insurance…..these are actual quotes.

10. “They don’t even want to pay my fees – why would they buy insurance?”
9. “I don’t do a lot of estate work.”
8. “I prepared the will and know the family so what could go wrong?”
7. “The Law Society doesn’t require me mentioning it.”
6. “It’s new. I’m not sure when I should start saying something.”
5. “I’ve never heard of it.”
4. “I’m waiting until a lawyer gets sued for not mentioning it.”
3. “I have E&O insurance myself.”
2. “I’m waiting for the right estate where insurance makes sense.”
1. “I don’t know much about it, so I don’t bring it up.”

ERAssure has been in the marketplace actively now for 2.5 years. We have talked to thousands of lawyers and in fact a good number of policies sold are to lawyers themselves acting as executors. So when we hear the “Top 10” and when we consistently have to refuse late applicants because the estate is already in turmoil, all we can suggest is:
People don’t buy fire insurance because they want to, they buy it because a loss could be financially and emotionally devastating…not unlike a significant and personal estate challenge yet the likelihood of a house burning to the ground is less than an estate facing significant challenges.

We know you offer good advice. ERAssure should be part of the solution.


Misery Loves Company

Another lawyer has submitted an urgent insurance application for their client because a trustee negligence claim is looming (or already commenced). We call the lawyers office and explain that we would have been happy to provide insurance if they would have just applied nearer the start of the administration.

It’s almost always the same reason for the problem . . .

The lawyer guessed it was a safe estate, so he or she didn’t suggest insurance – but guessed wrong.

We don’t know how lawyers explain this predicament to clients, but we do admit to being curious . . .

Unfortunately, now some clients are calling us directly in these situations. They’re worried, and have a lot of questions about insurance. “What’s the application process?” “Why can’t I buy it now?” “When could I have bought it?” These are hardly surprising questions, given they are facing a legal challenge and usually trying to manage family tensions, too.

They’re worried about who is going to pay to defend and settle; mostly though, they’re looking for someone to blame. . .



Can You Change a Will Based on a Broken Promise?

Written by Areet Kaila, Clark Wilson LLP

Sabey v. Beardsley, a recent decision from the BC Supreme Court, involved a dispute as to the rightful owner of a farm property located in Langley. The dispute arose because the Will of the deceased (Kim von Hopffgarten) provided that the property would go to one person (Burgi Rommel) but the farm had been promised to another person (Jesse Sabey), who lived and worked on the farm. The farm had previously been owned jointly by Kim and her husband Dietrich, who died in 2006.  Read More


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Read this OBA Deadbeat newsletter article to hear what Lawyers are saying about Executor Insurance.

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CBA Estate Practice Link

Jordan Atin, Hull & Hull LLP, discusses why every Executor should be advised about Executor Insurance.

The 2-Minute Estate Insurance Discussion
We offer a quick summary of what executors are liable for, and why they get sued.
Click here for your copy.

When drafting Wills, include this Wills Drafting clause.



Playing Favourites

Written by Candace Cho, Estate Litigator and Founder of 
Onyx Law Office
Growing up, did you ever get the feeling that your parents were playing favourites? Did they give your sibling(s) more cake/toys/candy/hugs/love than they gave you? Of course they did. But don’t worry - you’re not alone. It’s been going on since the days of Cain and Abel. The thing is, for some of us, it never really gets better as we grow older. For some of us, it gets worse. Welcome to the heart and soul of estate litigation.

Let’s say you were the one who took care of your mother as she was lying on her deathbed. Well to be fair, your brother would have helped you take care of her, but he was away at medical school, becoming a doctor like mom always knew he would be.  Read More

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