We’re here to help you move on. Visit our new site!

24 Nov

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Gordon’s Estate Services provides real estate and transition solutions. We specialize in serving the unique needs of people who are going through major life transitions such as downsizing or estate settlement. We have been helping seniors and their families through these overwhelming challenges for more than 25 years.

Gordon’s Estate Services now has a NEW website will tons of amazing content, current listings, news, events, and more! Check out the new site at www.gogordons.com

Our goal is to provide insightful and educational content that is directly relevant to anyone who is thinking about downsizing, in the process of downsizing or helping a loved one through the process.

We welcome your comments and suggestions on our new website and encourage your conversations! We’re here to help you move on.


What Having to Move Can Teach Us

21 Mar

A few weeks ago, our colleague, Paul Fensom, blogged about his neighbor who had to move under unfortunate circumstances.  This neighbor’s father, suffering from Alzheimer’s, had to be moved to a long term care facility but as the father had never finalized powers of attorney, the PGT became his  guardian for property and the daughter who lived with him was put out of the home so the house could be sold all despite the father’s informally expressed intention that she be able to remain there for her lifetime (and receive the house as a gift following his death).

This story reminded us of the importance of planning now and before it is too late and of the importance of careful thought in selecting the method by which someone’s capacity is assessed, particularly where no power of attorney is in place.  It also got us wondering about the assessment process of the father’s capacity, and was there a chance there could have been a different outcome.

The capacity assessment in the neighbor’s case was likely conducted under statute, as opposed to privately.  This statutory assessment under the Substitute Decisions Act or the Mental Health Act, leading to a finding of capacity had the automatic consequence of the appointment of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (“PGT”) as guardian for property.  A private capacity assessment would have carried with it no such immediate consequence, leaving an opportunity for a someone close to the incapable person (if there was one) to apply for guardianship and putting forth a plan that would have better reflected (if possible) the incapable father’s expressed wishes.

An assessment under the Substitute Decisions Act, through section 17(1) provides the added benefit of access to the relatively simple process by which the incapable person’s spouse or partner; relative; attorney under a continuing power of attorney; or a trust company can apply to replace the PGT as the person’s guardian; whereas a finding of incapacity under the Mental Health Act does not.

These opportunities are not, we recognize, always available.  In the neighbor’s case it may be that the method of assessment would not have changed the outcome such that selling the house may have been the required course of action; however, the important lesson from this is plan, plan and plan in advance in order to maximize the outcome.

Lesson Learned:

Where there is no “will” (or power of attorney) there may still be a “way” to ensure that an incapable person’s needs are met in accordance with his or her last known capable wishes.  The method chosen to assess capacity (and the possible consequences) can significantly impact the process and outcome.

 

by Jasmine Sweatman

http://www.allaboutestates.ca

Despicable Son Gets 10 Years – Con Man Defrauds Mother

9 Feb

“Mr. [Roman] Kaziuk would rip off the wings of all the angels in Heaven and sell them to the devil for his own gain if he could”: so held Ontario Justice Lesley Baldwin last month when she imposed a 10 year prison sentence on Mr. Kaziuk for frauds he committed against his mother, Feliksa Kaziuk, 88, of Oakville.

At the time that Mrs. Kaziuk’s husband died in 1999, she owned two mortgage free condos in Oakville, a mortgage free house in Miami, a car and over $1 million in the bank.  By the time her son was finished 10 years later she had nothing. It was all gone.

Mrs. Kaziuk had appointed her son attorney for property which he used to put unauthorized mortgages on her properties for his own use.  He agreed at his sentencing hearing that he had fraudulently used the power of attorney to put $98,000.00 and $65,000.00 mortgages on his mother’s property.  As a result of these fraudulent mortgages, Mrs. Kaziuk was evicted from her Oakville condo to live in a homeless shelter.

Fraud was a part of Mr. Kaziuk’s life – telling a former lawyer that his mother had died and that he needed money for her burial, he borrowed $20,000 which he never returned.  Although no charges were laid on this account, this and a criminal record of 69 convictions for crimes including circulating forged documents, fraud over $5,000.00, theft over $5,000.00, possession of forgery equipment, larceny, and fraudulent use of credit card data, were all factors considered in imposing a 10 year sentence.

As far as we are aware this is the first significant conviction under the Criminal Code of an attorney for property.

Lesson Learned:  Be careful whom you appoint as your substitute decision maker – family or not.  Be wary and vigilant – trust and know the individual you appoint.

Until next time,

Written on February 7, 2012 – 5:00 am | by Jasmine Sweatman
allaboutestates.ca

Commissions on real estate and holding costs may be deductible on your estate tax filing

1 Feb

According to Carrie Fenton, Senior Tax Advisor at Secker Ross and Perry LLP;  Even though a principle residence is not taxable in an estate, the cost of holding that asset and the commission on a sale, may be considered a capital expense against the estate- if the house is not lived in or used by the beneficiaries of the estate. In other words, if it remains just a capital assets awaiting liquidation, the costs applied to its sale ( and depreciation if it exists), can be a legitimate deductible cost. If this issue affects you, please discuss it with your accountant.

Gordon’s Estate Services Receives The National Association of Senior Move Managers Circle of Service Designation

27 Jan

Kingston, ON – Gordon’s Estate Services has been awarded the Circle of Service designation by the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM).  The Circle of Service designation is bestowed on senior move management companies that have been a NASMM member, in good standing, for a minimum of five years, and have shown consistent dedication and support of the National Association of Senior Move Managers and the senior move management profession.

“This special designation is awarded to senior move management companies attaining an elevated level of experience and expertise,” said Mary Kay Buysse, NASMM’s Executive Director.  “Gordon’s Estate Services has been instrumental in the development of the senior move management industry and has worked to increase the professionalism, credibility, and visibility of this emerging senior service.”

Seventy-five senior move management companies from across the United States and Canada received the Circle of Service designation this year.  The awards ceremony took place during the National Association of Senior Move Managers 2012 Annual Conference in Austin, TX in early January.

The National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) is a not-for-profit, professional association of organizations dedicated to assisting older adults and families with the physical and emotional demands of downsizing, relocating, or modifying their homes. As the only professional association in North America devoted to helping the rapidly increasing 55+ population with middle and later lifestyle transition issues, NASMM members are committed to maximizing the dignity and autonomy of all older adults.  With nearly 700 members in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, NASMM is internationally recognized for its innovative programs, leadership and expertise on issues related to senior move management, transition and relocation issues affecting older adults.  For more information, visit www.nasmm.org.

Kingston’s Top Choice for Selling Estate Properties

20 Jan

According to the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association Statistics, Gordon’s Estate Services Ltd., sold the 4 most valuable Kingston area Estate Sale properties in 2011, including 2 over $1,000,000. Average market time to a firm sale was only 23 days with an average closing date of only 21 days!

ALSO, in each case, Gordon’s Estate Services worked with the family to completely empty the home and have it prepared for sale. This included shipping assets to family members who wanted them, donating assets to local charities, garbage removal and the management of the sale of remaining assets. Finally, managing pre-sale repairs, completely cleaning the home and getting it on the market in a way to achieve a sale at or above its appraised value.

Below are a few comments from one of these customers;

“It was a pleasure working with you and your company. I feel most fortunate to have been introduced to each and every one of you as I have worked through the difficult task of dealing with Dad’s passing. Already I find myself letting people know about the professional, committed and empathetic approach each and every one of your team provides in dealing with families in emotional situations. You have created a remarkable, facilitative and innovative approach to this part of life’s circle and I wish you nothing but the best with your company’s progress and growth. In the short time I was in Kingston dealing with this part of the estate, I felt surrounded by friends whenever one or more of your team members were present. “ – Laura Palango

As time flies by: Aging and perception of time

13 Jan

How many times have you heard the heartfelt lament, or uttered it yourself: “Where have the years gone?”
Remember the long, lazy days of summer when you were a kid? Or how a school year could seemingly drag on forever? Or that ritual Sunday dinner at a relative’s home that felt not like mere hours, but endless mind numbing torture?

As an adult, on the other hand, many of us can only shake our heads at how quickly the days and weeks and seasons seem to fly by. An entire year, or even five or 10 years, can pass, seemingly, in a blur.

Scientists say the perception of time speeding up as we age is a global phenomenon that is common across all cultures. Why is this? No one knows for sure, but there are several theories from psychologists and neuroscientists as to why our perception of time changes as we age. Here’s a brief overview of some possible explanations for the sense that life, at times, seems to be racing out of control.

It all comes down to the math

One explanation boils down to basic proportional theory. The logic is that at age 5, one year constitutes one-fifth or 20 per cent of a person’s life, and therefore can seem like a long time.

At the age of 50, on the other hand, a year represents a mere one-fiftieth of your life — and as a result, a year seems to go by far more quickly.

Early memories are more potent

Another theory, scientists say, has to do with how information gets stored in your memory when you experience something for the first time. Basically, when an experience is a new or novel one, the brain is wired to store more details.

In an interview on NPR, neuroscientist David Eagleman of Baylor College of Medicine in Texas says that when we have a new experience when we’re older, the brain can embroider on a bank of previous experiences. When we experience something new in our youth, on the other hand, the brain works hard to record all the details.

The result? The list of early-encoded memories is so dense that reading them back gives the illusionary sense they must have taken forever. “It’s a construction of the brain,” Eagleman says. “The more memory you have of something, you think, ‘Wow, that really took a long time!’”

“Of course, you can see this in everyday life,” he adds, “when you drive to your new workplace for the first time and it seems to take a really long time to get there. But when you drive back and forth to your work every day after that, it takes no time at all, because you’re not really writing it down anymore. There’s nothing novel about it.”

The bottom line: when experiences are new, novel or exciting, the brain records them in minute detail, but as experiences become more familiar as we age, the brain doesn’t bother with all the details – so events seem to pass more quickly.

The aging brain

Yet another theory pertains to biological characteristics of the aging brain. This theory holds that as the brain ages, it loses the ability to measure time accurately.

The brain’s neural conduction velocity, or the speed at which brain cells beat or pulse, essentially slows down with age, experts say. So just as when you’re walking slowly, people around you seem to be moving faster, the aging brain thinks more slowly, making the world appear to move faster… and faster.

The speed of time: a paradox

Have you ever noticed that the hours sometimes seem to drag, but the weeks and months still fly by? Scientists have also observed a time paradox for some older people who have reported feeling a slowness of time as it passes, but in retrospect, a feeling that it’s actually flashing past. According to experts, this generally affects people who have few activities, particularly new ones, to fill their day.

ON THE WEB
Listen to an NPR interview [1] on why time seems to speed up as we get older.

Sources: NPR; Psychology Today
Posted on 50Plus.com

Happy Holiday’s from Gordon’s Estate Services

23 Dec

Wishing you the very best this holiday season.

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