Negotiating commercial leases is an important aspect of operating a business. Factors to consider include: Location: What spaces are available? Can you create competition for your tenancy? Are competitors able to rent nearby? Rent: What does rent include? Gross leases involve one monthly payment for rent and shared costs such as taxes, utilities, and maintenance. […]

Couples who have lived in a marriage-like relationship for at least 2 years (referred to as “common law couples” for this article only) and married couples are both considered spouses under family law legislation in BC. Upon separation, both categories of spouses have the same rights. If the spouses have children, then there is no […]

Many people register ownership of homes as joint tenants because of the estate planning advantages. With its right of survivorship, a surviving owner can assume the deceased’s interest upon the death of a joint tenant. Surviving owners thinking of selling often overlook that title must be transferred to them in the Land Title Office (LTO) […]

As parents plan for trips this summer, especially trips outside of Canada, an important consideration is the preparation of a consent letter. A consent letter states: who may travel with a child, where the specified person may travel with the child, and the dates in which travel with the child is permitted. Consent letters are […]

While people recognize the importance of estate planning many fail to consider the importance of personal planning documents that are in effect during their lifetime. A power of attorney is a document that appoints a person, called an attorney, to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf. The attorney must be 19 years old […]

The Societies Act comes into force November 28, 2016.  While many provisions include a grace period during which existing societies can adapt, some changes take effect immediately, among them: New procedures related to meetings, such as proxy voting, written consent to resolutions, and voting thresholds, unless contradicted by existing bylaw. A prohibition on altering bylaws […]

Considering making or updating your will? Don’t forget to review your banking arrangements.  Although a commonly used device between spouses or relatives, a joint account doesn’t always include survivorship rights.  Mere deposit of funds into a joint account has, in some cases, been insufficient to show the primary depositor’s intent that the other holder have […]

Thinking of going into business?  Maybe your side hustle has really started to take off?  Many entrepreneurs are surprised by how inexpensive incorporation is.  This is especially true given the benefits it can afford. Some key advantages to consider: Liability Protection: Canadian companies are separate legal people. They can buy, sell, and hold property, borrow […]

Building or buying a new home? Confused about your obligations related to builders liens?  Here’s the key points: A buyer of a newly built home is an ‘owner’ under the Builders  Lien  Act (BLA). He holds back 10% (7% for strata property) of the gross purchase price for 55 days after the date an unconditional […]

If you have a criminal record or have been “red flagged” at any USA border crossing you may not be allowed entry into the US. The Immigration and Nationality Act stipulates a number of crimes involving moral turpitude which may deem you inadmissible to enter.  To avoid any surprises at border crossings you can apply […]

You are the executor named in the Will and have obtained a grant of probate – the right to deal with the deceased person’s assets – and you now want to administer the estate. Estate administration involves gathering the assets, paying the deceased’s debts, and distributing what remains. The executor usually has a year (called […]

What should you consider when choosing an executor An executor is a person or company named in your will to carry out (“execute”) your wishes and distribute your estate when you die. The role of the executor is to gather up your assets, pay your debts, and divide what remains of your estate among the […]

While people recognize the importance of estate planning many fail to consider the importance of personal planning documents that are in effect during their lifetime. A power of attorney is a document that appoints a person, called an attorney, to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf. The attorney must be 19 years old […]

Part of a lawyer’s job is notarizing documents. A notarization is the assurance by a duly appointed and impartial Notary Public that a document is authentic, its signature is genuine, it was signed without duress or intimidation, and it was intended that the terms of the document to be in full force and effect. If […]

Since the winter season is upon us, it is time to begin making plans for winter vacation. When parents are separated this can be difficult if they do not agree on the proposed schedule or travel plans for the holidays. If there is no agreement or court order parents should begin these discussions early. Parents […]

Foreclosure is when the lender calls in funds advanced under the mortgage due to default by the borrower. Default occurs when the borrower fails to pay, fails to sign renewal documents or the mortgage expires. Foreclosure is initiated by filing a Petition in the Supreme Court. The Petition must be personally served and the borrower […]

Thinking about trimming your neighbour’s tree? The growth of trees along a property line can cause a number of risks, but you have rights if your neighbour refuses to maintain their trees to your satisfaction. You are entitled to trim back branches overhanging your property and to cut/remove roots encroaching or interfering with the use […]

A tool to help ensure your children aren’t disinherited When spouses only have children together (i.e. no stepchildren), there is typically little concern that their children will eventually receive their cumulative estate. In the case of blended families, things can be more complicated.  Consider the example where a husband and wife have wills that leave […]

A common misconception is that the government will inherit your estate if you die without a will. Your estate will only go to the government (called escheat) if you die without a will and have no surviving spouse, descendants, parents, grandparents or great-grandparents and also have no surviving descendants of a parent, grandparent or great­ […]

Your pet’s first bite may soon cost you more. Pet owners are generally responsible for the actions of their pets.  Using a dog bite as an example, in order for an injured person to be successful in court, the current law requires the injured person to establish the identity of the dog owner, prove that […]

You found your dream home and drafted an offer – congratulations!  Before you sign, some timing tips: ‘Subject-Tos’ Due diligence takes longer than you think.  Lenders may take weeks to assess you.  Natural disasters affect insurers’ time lines, even at a distance.  Investigating strata disclosure requires significant time. Professionals The fifteenth, first, and last of […]

When parties begin construction they enter into a contract and decide upon the scope of work. The impact of changes in the scope of work – in terms of money and time – is probably the most disputed issue in construction. In order to keep the project moving toward completion, the following are a few […]

With love in the air and Valentines bringing couples together, it may be time to discuss a Cohabitation Agreement with your partner. Cohabitation Agreements are used to protect party’s interests in the event that the relationship ends. Generally it is easier for parties to agree on matters while the relationship is still amicable. Cohabitation Agreements […]

Have you considered adding a child on title to your home? Aging home owners often add a child jointly on title to their principal residence to avoid probate fees upon death (approx. 1.4% of the property’s value).  The transfer is also exempt from property transfer tax. Although avoiding the aforementioned costs is a benefit, there […]