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  #1  
Old 06-13-2018, 02:21 PM
carolinemcinnes15 carolinemcinnes15 is offline
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Default Arbitration : when one party dies

My parents were going through arbitration. Two weeks prior to the arbitration date my dad passed away. Arbitration still went forward and a decision was recently made. Spousal support was awarded to my mum well above the amount that they had mutually agreed to and well above the income level my dad earned; the arbitrator went based on info my mum had provided, with no actual proof and didn't seem to look at what what dad had given prior to his death or ask the Estate for any information. The only asset was from a property that was sold and the money being held in trust (escrow ). The arbitrator said that she gets all of this money for support not received. There is not a penny in the Estate, he had no insurance, absolutely nothing because she kept all of the assets. Mum is estranged from all of the family. His daughters paid for the funeral with hopes of reimbursement through the Estate but this won't happen since the arbitrator did not equalize property but made judgment on support. Now we are wondering if we can go through small claims court for funeral costs as my parents did/do have a joint asset through a funeral home which we were not able to use dad's portion and it is now all to mum. Is anyone able to offer any advice? Are we able to take to small claims?

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Old 06-14-2018, 10:04 AM
ifonlyihadknown ifonlyihadknown is offline
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Did your father have a will? What did it say? If they were in arbitration, does this mean they were still legally married? If still married and no will or the will was never updated post separation, wouldn't your mother be entitled to a large share of your father's assets?

I really don't see how the arbiter could continue if one party has passed away? Perhaps someone else can answer that.
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:33 PM
carolinemcinnes15 carolinemcinnes15 is offline
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He did update his will the year before and there is no mention of mum whatsoever. Throughout his case conferences he was asking for the return of all of his personal assets (clothing, CDS, his family memorabilia) which were never given, not sure how or if we can still try to retrieve those. He never asked for any share of the larger combined assets like furniture etc that she sold and got all of the money for. But we are aware of the joint prepaid funeral

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Old 06-14-2018, 01:44 PM
ifonlyihadknown ifonlyihadknown is offline
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You should really speak with a lawyer to figure out if the arbiter did everything properly.

It sounds like the arbiter is saying that there is spousal support arrears due which would be a debt against your father's estate. If this is paid first, then it's possible that there is nothing left for the funeral.
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:44 PM
carolinemcinnes15 carolinemcinnes15 is offline
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We thought in the event of death that spousal supprt would have ended and the only outstanding issue was division of property but we were wrong.

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Old 06-14-2018, 01:47 PM
carolinemcinnes15 carolinemcinnes15 is offline
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Had equalization of property been done and the money go to the Estate and then mum apply to estate for spousal support there would have been nothing for her because after funeral which gets paid first then the taxman it would have left very little for any other debts. I think the arbitrator knew this and figured a way around it.

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Old 06-14-2018, 01:48 PM
ifonlyihadknown ifonlyihadknown is offline
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I agree with you but am by no means an expert.

What seems odd to me is it sounds like the arbitration was to determine spousal support. You father died before it was decided so I would think that would terminate the process. But it sounds like the arbiter continued on and determined an amount of spousal support and then took the arrears from the estate. Sounds fishy but I don't know the details or how arbitration really works.
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:53 AM
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blinkandimgone blinkandimgone is offline
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If there was an entitlement to support, she is entitled to that money - especially if arrears were in play and she has a claim against the estate for the monies owed.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:09 AM
youngdad91 youngdad91 is offline
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How did the arbitrator make a decision without your father having a chance to state his side? Was the arbitration agreement to have it completed on a one sided approach? I would review their agreement for arbitration and see if the arbitrator pulled off a clown move.
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