Probate is the process by which a “Personal Representative” is formally appointed to have the authority to administer the estate of a deceased. The person appointed Personal Representative assumes the duty of gathering information about all of the assets of the deceased, (such as bank accounts, investments and property) paying the debts of the deceased out of the assets of the estate, and then and distributing the remainder of the assets among the rightful heirs, who are known as beneficiaries .Read More
In Nova Scotia, your Executor is the person you designate in your Will to be legally responsible for distributing your assets to the beneficiaries you name after you’ve died. They’re also technically responsible for handling your remains. It is a very important role with heavy financial consequences attached to it, as such it is important to select someone who is up to the task.Read More
When a person creates a Will in Nova Scotia the two main functions of the Will are to determine which assets each beneficiary will receive and to appoint the person who is in charge of following the instructions in the Will. The Executor is title given to the person whose job it is to follow the instructions in the Will.Read More
A common question we get when people contact us about starting the process of drafting their Will or estate planning is “What do I have to do before I come in?” The short answer is nothing. At our firm, when we help people with their estate planning we don’t require any sort of forms to be filled out in advance, nor do you have to compile a laundry list of bank account numbers or balancesRead More
In Nova Scotia, Probate is required if a person dies without a Will, if the Will is contested, or if there are assets within the estate which require probate (e.g. owning land or registered assets). Put simply, probate is the formal process where the court determines who will administer the estate, who the beneficiaries are, and which assets each beneficiary receives.Read More
All children under the age of majority, which is 19 in Nova Scotia, require a legal guardian. This position is typically assumed by their parents. When one of the two parents die, guardianship of minor children is generally transferred automatically to the surviving parent. However, in circumstances where both parents have passed away, or the surviving parent is unfit to take on the role, guardianship will be determined depending on certain factors.Read More
Quite simply put, Notary Publics and Commissioner of Oaths are people who have been authorized by law to serve as an official witness to the signing of various legal documents. Notarizing a means that a Notary or Commissioner has taken the proper steps to verify your identity and then has witnessed your signing of a particular document. Afterwards they seal and sign the document to certify their witnessing of the signature.Read More
A Power of Attorney is a document in which you appoint an “Attorney” who can exercise certain authority on your behalf. For example, you might sign a Power of Attorney authorizing someone to sign an agreement on your behalf because you are out of the country when it needs to be signed. It is important to note that “Attorney” in this context does not mean “Lawyer”. Your Attorney under your Power of Attorney can be anyone that you know and trust.Read More
Student Loans have become the norm as higher education has come to be a prerequisite to earning an average income. With college and university tuition rising, if you desire higher education, loans are simply part of the process. To fund their education, most students borrow from Federal and Provincial student loan programs. According to the Canadian Federation of Students, today's students are the most indebted generation in Canadian history with the average student graduating with over $28,000 of debt. That said, have you ever taken a moment to consider what happens to your loans if you can not pay them off?Read More
Why do I need a Will?
It is important to explain the general purpose of Wills before outlining the reasons why you should consider getting one. A Will is your opportunity to decide what you would like to happen with your assets at your death. Generally, your Will can provide for an immediate distribution of your assets to your chosen beneficiaries (friends, family, and charities) or the distribution can be delayed using “Trusts” (a topic for another day).
There are four primary reasons why you should have a Will:Read More
A somewhat alarming statistic is that nearly 50% of adult Canadians do not have a valid Will. Drawing from that, I am going to imagine that an equally large number of people in Nova Scotia are unfamiliar with probate. This blog will take a look at what probate is and why many people would wish to avoid it.Read More
A common (and troubling) statistic is that approximately 50% of adult Canadians do not have a valid Will. The reasons why people haven’t yet prepared their Wills are varied but I’ll suggest one of the more important is that they don’t understand the consequences of dying without one.Read More
As a Golden Retriever Mom, I understand the desire to ensure your pets would be cared for properly if you cross the Rainbow Bridge before they do. Estate planning will help you accomplish this. Leaving a letter or talking to your family is not legally binding and opens the door to the possibility that your wishes will be ignored and your pets given away, or worse.Read More