LegalEagleStar

… a kind of Legal Column

Archive for July 2012

My Late Mother’s Original Will is Missing. Should I be worried ?

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Question from a recent caller.

My mother has recently passed away. I know that she made a will as I have been given a copy of same by the Solicitor who made the will. That Solicitor said that my mother took up the original will but I do not know where it is. What can be done?

In the first instance a thorough search should be made among her papers to see if the original will can be located. You should also check with her bank and with any other Solicitor whom she may have used.

If the will still cannot be located,then it would be as well to consult a Solicitor as an application to the Probate Court for a determination may be required.

That Solicitor will make further and extensive enquiries and may put a notice in the Law Society Gazette to see if any other firm of Solicitors has the original will where it may have been subsequently deposited or knowledge as to its whereabouts.

If the original will cannot be traced,then the question will arise as to whether or not the original will was destroyed by your late mother with the intention of revoking same. If it  was held by her and no one can confirm that it was still in existence after her death ,then there is a presumption that she intended to destroy sameanimo revocandi – unless evidence to the contrary can be produced, although the presumption may be difficult to overcome. If for example, it could be shown that the will was destroyed by accident or if it could be established that your mother did not have the capacity to revoke it during the period when it was in her custody, it may be possible to prove the will on foot of a copy thereof.

Incidentally the presumption of destruction  animo revocandi  does not apply where a will goes missing in a Solicitors office where evidence can be adduced to explain the situation.

If the presumption of revocation cannot be rebutted and she did not make a previous will, she may be deemed to have died intestate or alternatively a previous will made by her may come into effect. It would be as well to get a determination from the Probate Court as to whether or not the will can be proved on foot of the copy and if not as to what is to happen.

I’d like to acknowledge the contribution of Michael O’Dwyer, Solicitor with Early & Baldwin Law Firm for his contribution to this article.

LegalEagleStar , Thursday , 26th. July , 2012 .

Written by LegalEagleStar

July 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Human Trafficking today is Slavery. Government collusion allows this trade to exist !

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Human trafficking. Main origin (red) and desti...

Human trafficking. Main origin (red) and destination countries (blue). Data from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime () 2006 report (http://www.unodc.org/pdf/traffickinginpersons_report_2006-04.pdf) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) 

Over the past while we’ve been told stories of young girls being abducted and sold on to the sex trade. While we all should reel in horror, we’ve become numb to such stories. These horrible things happen. We do absolutely nothing to voice our opposition to what is happening because we know little or nothing about this well organised, profitable, criminal activity. We watch TV and see films that touch on this illegal trade but once the channel is changed, it is forgotten.

I first became aware of this sick trade when a young nun gave a talk about it some years back. At first, I though her talk was about prostitution. As a lawyer, I’m aware of the horrors associated with prostitution and have seen the devastation of families when one of their own embarks on a life in the sex trade. Most men think of it as a bit of fun but that is far from the truth. These girls are usually victims of poverty and in desperation turn to the streets to scrape out a living. Most do this at great risk to themselves and many die at the hands of pimps who inevitably control their every living moments.

I digress. Following the talk by the Nun, I made enquiries from fellow lawyers concerning this issue and had my eyes opened wide. The trade in people is run by criminal gangs the world over. Many source their victims from impoverished neighbourhoods in third world Countries. The Pimp, for want of a better word, pays a pittance to the family, maybe an uncle, and then talks up the situation to the young girl that they are being taken to a new world, Europe and beyond, where they can have a great life and make loads of money. The truth is somewhat different. They are sold on to other Pimps and put to work in dreadful brothels where they are controlled by unscrupulous criminals.

What sickened me was that, bad enough as it was that these women were being detained against their will by criminal gangs, it was the blind eye being turned to this criminal activity by the Police. In fact, upon further examination, it was an activity by which the Police enriched themselves. There was open collusion with the police who frequented these brothels and was a nice little earner for them. It was also the police who transported the women in many instances and made sure that should a complaint have been made to the Authorities that the women were quickly dispatched to further afield to frustrate any proper investigation.

There is a term ‘war whores’ which I find particularly offensive. They are akin to collateral damage. These women, girls really, are used and abused in the most horrible manner. I have been made aware of cases where an international police force has been put in place to monitor ceasefires or similar. These are usually under the Flag of The United Nations. In reality they are police men and women and indeed others, who are contracted to work for Private Companies for a period of time, usually 6 or 12 month contracts. They are supposed to uphold the law and protect the civilian population against war crimes, crime in general and to investigate criminal activity. Looting is rampant but so is the illegal slave trade. Instead of working to help the girls get away from their criminal Pimps, the opposite has happened. A complaint by a member of these Private Police Forces will see the Officer concerned blacklisted and sent home. The story of Kathryn Bolkovac is a case in point. An American policewoman who tried to expose corruption in Bosnia within the UN Mission. She had been recruited by Dyncorp. What happened in Bosnia is now happening wherever the United Nations employs these Private Security Firms to supposedly uphold the law and protect citizens. This abomination must stop but I have my doubts whether the United Nations or the Governments at whose behest they are acting, have the will to do anything about it.

So, beginning with a story about  human  trafficking by a young Nun, my research has concluded that the criminal trade is yet another arm to the Drug Lords seedy business, which in turn is a great earner for the businessmen who are at the top of this criminal pyramid. The collusion with so-called respectable agencies is sickening in the extreme. This problem can only be tackled at the highest level of Government and I am not optimistic that our Government today are the slightest bit interested in standing up for these victims. There’s no doubt in my mind that the IMF, EC etc. are more on their minds for financial matters such as ‘saving the Banks’, instead of saving the lives of the weak and vulnerable who are being openly traded throughout our society today. Lip service is paid to the anti-human trafficking lobby but their words are hollow.

So when you look up porn on the internet, spare a thought for those who you are viewing. Some may not be there by choice but are plying the trade imposed upon them by the criminals who are allowed operate openly by our so-called democratic governments. A lot of those women are posing with a gun pointed at their heads !

LegalEagleStar , Tuesday , 10th. July , 2012 .

Written by LegalEagleStar

July 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Nourish our Youth. Don’t punish them for your own selfish needs.

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English: Bicycle at Inner Temple The sign says...

English: Bicycle at Inner Temple The sign says “do not lock bicycles to these railings”. But this is part of the Inner Temple, one of the four Inns of Court to which all barristers belong. So I am sure that the barrister to whom this bike belongs would be able to make a very convincing legal case as to why the sign does not say what it says! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For Lawyers involved in litigation, the 1st. July registers in our minds, as it indicates that the end of the legal term is nigh. The Long Vacation beckons. Litigation lawyers traditionally take the months of August and September off and head off on their holidays. Not so much those involved in Conveyancing and Probate whose vacation can be determined by other factors. For Junior Cert and Leaving Cert students, July is a time when they go on holidays to clear their brains of all the cramming they have undergone in the long months before their exams and the time before they get those dreaded results. What will the future hold for them? Will they get the points needed to launch them into College to undergo that course or degree which will enable them fulfill their dreams?

For others the vacation is over for another year. It’s time to head back to work. In particular July signals the Pre-Season for professional footballers. Some returning to their clubs with whom they are under contract, while others are going on trial for a few weeks to seek out a new club. Others are free agents seeking the next challenge. These players are mostly all good. Their careers are to be determined by the Coaches and Managers they seek to impress. Agents are working night and day to place their players into the right clubs and match them up with teams that they feel will give them the best opportunity to advance in their careers.

Lawyers, in particular the young barristers are a bit apprehensive to say the least. with the antics of Alan Shatter, the Minister for Justice. These barristers have qualified after long hours in School. Doing their Junior, then Leaving Certs. Got the points required to study law to get them into the Kings Inns where they worked their socks off to qualify for a career in which few can afford to stay long enough to be successful. Now, at the whim of the said Minister, these young  barristers do not know what the future holds for them. The animosity of the Minister for Justice to their profession is what puts their futures in jeopardy. Not an attempt at reform of the Bar but the denigration of same at the hands of  the aforesaid Minister whose personal vendetta against them is nothing short of  disgraceful.

Whether you’re a secondary school student, a footballer or indeed a young barrister, it is sad that your future can be in the hands of those whose agenda is not honest but fueled by their own ideas of where they want to go regardless of the rights and wrongs they inflict. Let the young people progress in life. Nurture them and let them succeed in their goals. Don’t hold them back just to pursue your own selfish agenda.

LegalEagleStar , Sunday , 1st. July , 2012 .

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