A University of Windsor law school graduate, who has become a sought-after spokesman on wills and inheritance issues, has co-authored a third book which sheds light on the problems faced by families dealing with thorny inheritance issues.
Now practising in the Toronto area, Les Kotzer and law partner Barry Fish have written Where There's An Inheritance, which gives practical advice through numerous anecdotes and personal stories to help families negotiate their way through potential minefields.
While blood is said to be thicker than water, there's something about injecting money into the equation which often changes everything.
"I don't think a book such as this has ever been done before," said Kotzer, who graduated from Windsor Law in 1987. "It's full of bizarre, shocking, funny, touching and heartwarming stories taken from our 20 years in practice.
"We now have baby boomers perhaps inheriting more money from their parents than at any previous time, and we have more divorces today which also serves to create combustible situations when it comes to money and inheritance," said Kotzer.
Kotzer said the book is a must-read for parents considering making a will and or changing the one they do have and it's instructive too for offspring.
"I have a client who was her mother's caregiver for most of her final years," said Kotzer.
"The elderly woman had another sister who was not involved in the care in any away and the mother wanted to leave her out of the will entirely.
"But my client, not wanting to deal with her sister's wrath once their mother passed away, suggested her mother leave her sister a small amount which hopefully would satisfy her.
"Instead, her mother left her five percent, which opened the door to the inheritance and gave her the right to attack and challenge everything that was done during the probate process," said Kotzer. "A more appropriate decision would have been to leave her a set amount rather than a percentage since that would not have opened the door."
Kotzer and Fish are also co-authors of The Family Fight: Planning to Avoid It and The Family War: Winning the Inheritance Battle.
Used with permission of The Windsor Star, which retains copyright.