Canada - Barry, 75, & Honey Sherman, 70, found dead, Toronto, 15 Dec 2017 #15

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deugirtni

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Thank you, I know how the system works. I should receive an email notification for the first new post after I've been here, but that's not happening anymore, even though my settings call for it. I came here after receiving an email notification of a private message from a member and then saw there were 12 new posts. Notifications are not going to spam. I'll try unsubscribing and resubscribing to see if that helps. Sorry to clutter this thread with my problems.
Is it possible that way back, at whatever time you received your last email notification of a new post in this thread, you saw it and read it in your email, but didn't actually log in to WS to 'view' the post here... and in the meantime, posts kept piling up? So then when you received a different notification and did log in to WS, you saw the pile of posts in this thread that had accumulated? jmo.
 

deugirtni

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How would Atty/Law Firm Know?
@ldlager You're right: an atty/law firm holding a will would not necessarily know that the client's will they hold is the latest will. But briefly, on learning of client's death, atty/law firm is (imo) may be required to file will in court, but not saying this is true for Ontario.
Speaking gen'ly here w a hypo. In 2010 ABC law firm drafts will for Clarence Client which he signs at law firm office w formalities such as witness' siggies, etc, and law firm maintains it. On Clarence's 2017 death, law firm learns of death but does not know - as a fact - they hold Clarence's latest will. Still after his 2017 death, ABC law firm files original will in probate court in jurisdiction where Clarence lived. If no other will is filed, then estate is distributed per 2010 will.
But let's say, in 2016 Clarence changed his mind about leaving $ to Freddie his freeloading relative and went to XYZ law firm which drafted a will revoking previous wills, omitting Freddie as a beneficiary, but otherwise same distrib as per earlier will. In XYZ law firm office, Clarence signed 2016 will which also bears witness' siggies, etc, and was held by XYZ law firm. On Clarence's 2017 death, XYZ firm files that original will in probate court.

In ^ case, which does court rule as valid: 2010 or 2016 will?
--- If no contests, or requests that court declare 2016 will invalid, estate is distributed per 2016 will.
--- If someone, say Freddie contests the 2016 will and provides evidence the court finds credible, say, Clarence was in a persistent vegetative state or coma during all of 2016 in a nursing home, thus could not have been the person signing the will, the estate is (very, very, very) likely distributed per 2010 will. A far out example hypo? Yes, but shows the rationale behind atty's obligation to file will in probate court. Up to the court to decide which is valid.

Even more drastic hypo, w some waaay far out circumstances which invalidate 2010 will as well as the 2016 will, then court rules both wills invalid. In that case, estate could end up being distributed as if Clarence died intestate, IOW no will.

Like I said, wondering if Ontario atty's are obligated to file original will in probate court.
Regardless of whether lawyers are required/obligated to file original wills in probate court.. I think in this particular case, because of the notoriety of the case, any lawyer would have read about it, and at the very least, would have contacted police.. and especially considering the articles questioning whether or not H even had a will. I did a will a longggggggggggggggggg time ago, and there have been major changes since that time.. I now have a different name.. and if I were to die, how would that lawyer from that long ago, even know about my death, or that I was the same differently-named person whose will was held in his files? No idea how that stuff works. I would think an executor might have to be informed ahead of time by the deceased, about which lawyer to contact, etc.?? Or perhaps even given a copy?
 

JayFriend

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Is it possible that way back, at whatever time you received your last email notification of a new post in this thread, you saw it and read it in your email, but didn't actually log in to WS to 'view' the post here... and in the meantime, posts kept piling up? So then when you received a different notification and did log in to WS, you saw the pile of posts in this thread that had accumulated? jmo.
I thought the email notification ceased when the thread was closed and a new one started, but I'm not sure. This time I just went to the top of the page and unwatched, then resubscribed got an email notification. The trick is to click the email button because the default is notifications with no email. I must have neglected to do that at some point.
 

ldlager

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Regardless of whether lawyers are required/obligated to file original wills in probate court.. I think in this particular case, because of the notoriety of the case, any lawyer would have read about it, and at the very least, would have contacted police.. and especially considering the articles questioning whether or not H even had a will. I did a will a longggggggggggggggggg time ago, and there have been major changes since that time.. I now have a different name.. and if I were to die, how would that lawyer from that long ago, even know about my death, or that I was the same differently-named person whose will was held in his files? No idea how that stuff works. I would think an executor might have to be informed ahead of time by the deceased, about which lawyer to contact, etc.?? Or perhaps even given a copy?

In googling links to this case, I have come across a lawyer that I believe could be HS’ lawyer for her Will. If I am correct, ( I have no proof, just putting things together), that lawyer knew the Sherman’s personally, and obviously would know they had been killed. So not much risk of the lawyer not knowing HS was deceased. What the lawyer is supposed to do with the Will I’m not sure.
 

deugirtni

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In googling links to this case, I have come across a lawyer that I believe could be HS’ lawyer for her Will. If I am correct, ( I have no proof, just putting things together), that lawyer knew the Sherman’s personally, and obviously would know they had been killed. So not much risk of the lawyer not knowing HS was deceased. What the lawyer is supposed to do with the Will I’m not sure.
Surely that lawyer would have contacted TPS and the executors, at the very least (since they are widely known), imho.
 

MistyWaters

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I can’t imagine the point of anybody going to the effort of having a Will prepared and not letting the appointed executors know where to find it. What would be the point?

Often Estate lawyers hold the original and even if one chooses not to tell beneficiaries what the Will contains, a business card is provided so the executors are aware of who to contact. If a Will is stored at home along with other valuables in a safe, often trusted family members are given the combination. The law office retains a copy which also ensures nothing was fraudulently changed.

The Shermans were neither foolish nor naive. Anybody coming from nothing to multi-billions must have a few brains in their heads. I think the only reason the Will/No Will story took legs in the media was because the executors had the Estate file sealed before the final wills were put forth to be probated. What would be the point of the Estate files being sealed later?

JMO
 

MistyWaters

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Interesting, the chosen wording by the Judge who sealed the Estate File. By the emphasis on rumours, it could be construed the TPS announcement of targeted double homicide was primarily to squelch rumours, as opposed to the public’s need to know how the deaths occurred.

“On December 15, 2017, Mr. Barry Sherman and Mrs. Honey Sherman were found brutally murdered in their Toronto home. The celebrity and wealth of the victims and the circumstances of their death generated intense publicity. Unfounded rumours swirled and were given a wide audience. On January 26, 2018, Toronto Police Service put an end to many of the rumours when they announced that they were investigating the deaths of both spouses as a targeted double homicide. ...”
https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2018/2018onsc4706/2018onsc4706.html?resultIndex=6
 

Tobiano8th

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thanks very much to the poster that linked me to the article on "lead homicide detective didn't go to crime scene for the first few days"

it just gets me wondering if 1) TPS is that inept, or 2) M/S is still a real possibility...... if this had been a poor immigrant couple, pretty sure it'd still be M/S
 

MistyWaters

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My memory fails me as to how it was decided that BS died first. Will one of you remind me? TIA.

I really doubt that it matters. Even in a Staples write-it-yourself Will I’d be certain there’s a 30-day survivorship clause....it’s that common because it substantially reduces probate fees by not passing on an estate to another person who’s already deceased.

There are umpteen examples of how it becomes impossible to determine which of a couple died first aside from double homicide including both together involved in a natural disaster, fire, car or boat accident, plane crash etc.
 
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ldlager

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My memory fails me as to how it was decided that BS died first. Will one of you remind me? TIA.

To answer your question, I don’t think we know if that has been decided or determined. I believe the assumption has been made by some people because the tps homicide site has HS as homicide #64, and BS as #65. But I don’t know if this has any significance.
 

al66pine

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How would Atty Know of Client's Death?
.... I did a will a longggggggggggggggggg time ago, and there have been major changes since that time.. I now have a different name.. and if I were to die, how would that lawyer from that long ago, even know about my death, or that I was the same differently-named person whose will was held in his files? No idea how that stuff works. I would think an executor might have to be informed ahead of time by the deceased, about which lawyer to contact, etc.?? Or perhaps even given a copy?
@deugirtni. sbm bbm Good question but I cannot speak to the particular circumstances re Honey or re your situation.
Iiuc it's common for atty/law firm drafting a will to insert a sentence/paragraph, reciting - (approx'ly) the will was drafted by Larry Lawyer, of ABC law firm of Big City, State (altho I'm not familiar w practices in Canada specifically).
After testator's death, when family, friends, whoever - even if not familiar w the testator's wishes - search for a will in testator's home, they are apt to see the original will or a copy w this ^ clause (or even just a business card attached to the home copy), and will follow the breadcrumbs to contact Larry Lawyer, to advise that SoAndSo has died, maybe seek advice on probate related matters.
So even w passage of many years & a name change, like in your case, possibly multiple address changes, it would not be uncommon or unexpected imo for an atty/law firm who drafted a will to be made aware of a client-testator's death.
Again, not saying this would necessarily be the common practice in Ontario, Canada.

Yes, good idea for testator to discuss w his/her intended executor whether executor stands ready to accept responsibility for handling obligations this designation involves/- before executing the will. Otherwise, after testator's death, the testator-executor previously unaware of testator's wishes may simply refuse to serve and a stranger may stand in executor's shoes.
imo, could be wrong.
 

Satchie

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Regardless of whether lawyers are required/obligated to file original wills in probate court.. I think in this particular case, because of the notoriety of the case, any lawyer would have read about it, and at the very least, would have contacted police.. and especially considering the articles questioning whether or not H even had a will. I did a will a longggggggggggggggggg time ago, and there have been major changes since that time.. I now have a different name.. and if I were to die, how would that lawyer from that long ago, even know about my death, or that I was the same differently-named person whose will was held in his files? No idea how that stuff works. I would think an executor might have to be informed ahead of time by the deceased, about which lawyer to contact, etc.?? Or perhaps even given a copy?
Just a passing thought, I wonder whether there was concern that the will was missing, rather than there wasn't one, ie that possibly the perp(s) had looked for/demanded it and took it...
 

al66pine

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Complications from Simultaneous Deaths?
I really doubt that it matters. Even in a Staples write-it-yourself Will I’d be certain there’s a 30-day survivorship clause....it’s that common because it substantially reduces probate fees by not passing on an estate to another person who’s already deceased. There are umpteen examples of how it becomes impossible to determine which of a couple died first aside from double homicide including both together involved in a natural disaster, fire, car or boat accident, plane crash etc.
@MistyWaters bbm I did not check Staples package, but---Yes, even the nolo.com WillMaker* DIY-will program contains a clause re "common disaster" or "simultaneous deaths" specifying a 45 day survivorship.

Info dated 2017 from law firm** re Ontario statute re simultaneous deaths and survivorship clauses, and complications.

Footnotes include good examples of how "simultaneous deaths" & "survivorship clauses" work.
_______________________________________________________
* Common Disaster Clause
** https://hullandhull.com/2017/05/complications-simultaneous-deaths/
*** Uniform Simultaneous Death Act - Wikipedia Interestingly, the Uniform Simultaneous Death Act adopted in many US states, uses 120 hours, rather than 30 or 45 days as the survivorship measure.
 

MistyWaters

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Just a passing thought, I wonder whether there was concern that the will was missing, rather than there wasn't one, ie that possibly the perp(s) had looked for/demanded it and took it...

This is where what we’ve been led to believe is confusing to me - Other than the lot the new home was to be built on, Barry holds the purse strings. If so, the assets in Honeys name are essentially inconsequential, but Honey’s missing Will is what makes the big news headlines. Yet Barry’s Will designating the beneficiaries of his multi-billions is hardly worth more than one line in passing.

So I can’t understand what’s the big deal even if Honey’s Will was never found, if her assets were merely pocket change compared to the wealth of her husband. Can anyone enlighten me please?

If instead Barry had transferred considerable assets to Honey prior to his death then some of KD’d unnamed sources insinuating Honey was virtually penniless are unreliable.
 
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nuff

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So I can’t understand what’s the big deal even if Honey’s Will was never found, if her assets were merely pocket change compared to the wealth of her husband. Can anyone enlighten me please?

If instead Barry had transferred considerable assets to Honey prior to his death then some of KD’d unnamed sources insinuating Honey was virtually penniless are unreliable.

I think the answer to this is we just don't know what assets may have been in her name. Although she didn't seem to have independent access to large amounts of fungible cash, it's possible (probable?) that for tax purposes, a considerable portion of the couple's fixed assets may have been in her name.
 

Bobbi Pearl

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I saw reference to TStar Donovan article that lead homicide detective didn't go to crime site for first 4 days

Assuming I interpreted headline (article behind pay wall) correctly, suggests TPS jumped to erroneous conclusion and not some genius swerve to trap murderer

I cannot say 100% that TPS/LE made this assumption, the media could make and publish this assumption (because they had no information to make up a paralyzing headline that no one can pass up on reading about - media get paid when we click and read) LE/TPS get paid to investigate and were in no position to share any crime scene specifics with the public, LE made their standard announcement that the public should not be worried and are not under any threats related to this crime.
 

MistyWaters

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I think the answer to this is we just don't know what assets may have been in her name. Although she didn't seem to have independent access to large amounts of fungible cash, it's possible (probable?) that for tax purposes, a considerable portion of the couple's fixed assets may have been in her name.

Good answer, I don’t know either. Speculation is required in order to create significance. But then contradictions to other media reports appear. KD has not given us one smooth narrative IMO.

What I wonder, in the sealing of the Estate Files, if it’s really the Wills that potentially have a connection to the homicides or if it’s something within the broader Estate Files for either of the couple. An Estate file consists of more than just the Will, it’s a complete financial snapshot at the date of death including assets, liabilities, receivables, payables and considering the Shermans’ wealth, who knows what else. Disbursements to beneficiaries directed in a Will receive what’s left over after all outstanding legal obligations are collected by the Estate, if owed, or paid to the Estate if required, forming part of the Estate File too.
 
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nuff

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If instead Barry had transferred considerable assets to Honey prior to his death then some of KD’d unnamed sources insinuating Honey was virtually penniless are unreliable.

It also occurs to me that my idea of being "virtually penniless" and that of a billionaire couple and their wealthy friends may be rather different.
 

ldlager

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This is where what we’ve been led to believe is confusing to me - Other than the lot the new home was to be built on, Barry holds the purse strings. If so, the assets in Honeys name are essentially inconsequential, but Honey’s missing Will is what makes the big news headlines. Yet Barry’s Will designating the beneficiaries of his multi-billions is hardly worth more than one line in passing.

So I can’t understand what’s the big deal even if Honey’s Will was never found, if her assets were merely pocket change compared to the wealth of her husband. Can anyone enlighten me please?

If instead Barry had transferred considerable assets to Honey prior to his death then some of KD’d unnamed sources insinuating Honey was virtually penniless are unreliable.

MS/HS evidently had joint ownership of at least 1 Fla condo:
Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach, FL | BlockShopper.com

I wonder if HS was co-owner of some/all of MS properties (reportedly 17) in the Toronto area?
HS death without a will would likely have made that situation a mess.... HS share would go (I guess) to HS kids?
 

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