Everyday Heroes: Appointing a Guardian for your Minor Children

Did you know…[1]

“Guardians” are more than space heroes that save the galaxy:  they save your minor children from becoming wards of the government.  In the estate planning context, a guardian is the person you appoint to make …

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“Impenetrable (…) Gobbledegook”: Knowing and Approving of the Contents of Your Will

The English case of Franks v. Sinclair & Ors[1] serves as a not-so-friendly reminder of what can go wrong when lawyers draft wills that use complex legal language.

In this case the deceased, Mrs. Franks, had executed and revoked …

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Make a Will Week: 4 Reasons You Want to Make a Will

April 7 to 13, 2019 is “Make a Will Week” in British Columbia, which encourages the public to make a will or bring an existing will up-to-date.

But really, why bother?

  1. Your estate probably does not fall the way you
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Spousal Home on First Nation Land

In the recent case of Toney v. Toney Estate, 2018 NSSC 179, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia considered an application by the spouse of a deceased former band Chief seeking exclusive occupation of property located on reserve lands …

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Speculating On Vancouver’s Real Estate Market: A Taxing Exercise For Executors

With experts forecasting a cooling real estate market for the beginning of 2019, some executors may be tempted to hang on to real property that falls within an estate and wait until more favourable market conditions before listing the property …

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Risky (Estate Planning) Business: Joint Tenancies May Expose Assets to Third Party Creditor Claims

In the recent decision of Justice Baker in Gully v. Gully, 2018 BCSC 1590, the BC Supreme Court considered the legal effect of a registered joint tenancy where a third party creditor sought to secure an interest in real …

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Teachings of Ebenezer Scrooge: Helping those in Need (A Checklist for Charitable Giving in Your Will)

As Christmas draws near, our thoughts often turn to charitable giving, not unlike the enlightenment of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  Perhaps your mind also wanders to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, and you …

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Estate Planning for Pets

Did you know…[1]

Did you know that pets are property? Have you considered what will happen to your pets if something happens to you?

If you have furry family members (and I don’t mean dear old Uncle Mort), or …

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The McDonalds Really Had a Farm… and on it was no Exploitation

On September 28, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal in McDonald v McDonald, 2017 BCCA 255, in which the B.C. Court of Appeal held that the unpaid labour of children in a family setting does not …

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Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia v. Law Society of British Columbia: Affirming the Limits to the Legislated Authority of Notaries to Draft Wills

In the fairly recent appellate court decision, Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia v. Law Society of British Columbia, 2017 BCCA 448, BC’s highest court was faced with the question: What are notaries allowed to draft when it …

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