What is an Executor and what are their duties and job?

What is an Executor and what are their duties and job?

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.

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What do I have to do to before I draft my Will and Estate Planning Documents?

What do I have to do to before I draft my Will and Estate Planning Documents?

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 balances

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What is involved in Probate in Nova Scotia?

What is involved in Probate in Nova Scotia?

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. 

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Halifax Public Property is now officially a No Smoking zone.

Halifax Public Property is now officially a No Smoking zone.

Halifax has rolled out some major changes to By-Law N-300, also known as the Nuissance By-Law. These changes are in the form of a city-wide smoking ban. The By-Law amendments, also known as the “Respecting Smoking” amendments are in effect as October 15, 2018.  They cover all smoking and vaping, including both tobacco and cannabis.

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Who Keeps Our Home After Separation?

Who Keeps Our Home After Separation?

Separation and divorce create uncertainty, especially in the early stages. The question of where you, and any children involved, are going to live is one of the biggest long term and short term decisions that you will make. So now what? You are separating, the whole point is that you do not want to live together anymore. And what about the kids, they still have school, you do not want to disrupt their lives any more than they already are.

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What Does a Notary or Commissioner of Oaths Do?

What Does a Notary or Commissioner of Oaths Do?

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. 

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How to Register a Builder’s Lien

How to Register a Builder’s Lien

Placing a Builder’s Lien in Nova Scotia is an option available to contractors like roofers, plumbers, electricians, landscapers and carpenters who have done work to improve a property and are concerned that they are not going to get paid. A Builders’ Lien is not available in all circumstances, but the definition is pretty broad. You do not even have to have completed the work you contracted to do to place a Lien.

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Director's Liability: How Can a Director Ensure They Are Meeting Their Obligations?

Director's Liability: How Can a Director Ensure They Are Meeting Their Obligations?

The role of directors in a company and the liability they can incur by their actions is not often the subject of mainstream news reporting. It sometimes comes up when discussing corruption in large multinational companies. However, a recent local court decision has shone a light on this infrequently discussed topic. 

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Date of Separation – What does it mean?

Date of Separation – What does it mean?

In most cases, people can agree on the date of separation. When my clients ask me how to decide when they were separated I ask them when they stopped acting like a married couple. There is no one thing that marks a separation definitively (although one person moving out is usually a pretty good indication).

 

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Prevent Heartache By Having a Lawyer Review Your Commercial Lease – The Rent Increase Control Clause

Prevent Heartache By Having a Lawyer Review Your Commercial Lease <em>– The Rent Increase Control Clause</em>

I recently came across a story in the news highlighting the unfortunately common situation where a small business owner is facing financial disaster as a result of terms in their commercial lease they didn’t fully understand when they signed.  Cash flow challenges are reality for most small business, particularly those in the start up phase.  As a result, many view spending money to have a lawyer review what appears to be a standard lease is a luxury they can’t afford.

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What happens when your real estate deal falls through?

What happens when your real estate deal falls through?

Failing to close on a purchase or sale obviously isn’t anyone’s Plan A, but it does happen. What does Plan B look like?

Some of the reasons that a deal might fall through on closing day include, financing issues, a buyer purchasing a home on the condition that their previous home sold, major issue arises on inspection or pre-close walk through that cannot be resolved.

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Inspection and the Final Walk-through: Bring it up on or before closing day or forever hold your peace.

Inspection and the Final Walk-through: Bring it up on or before closing day or forever hold your peace.

One major piece of the picture when buying your home is inspecting the property to decide A) what issues there are and B) how they will be addressed OR if you are willing to live with them.

Professional Inspection

One of the first steps after you have signed an agreement of purchase and sale is a home inspection. It is always a good idea to use a professional home inspector come in and do an inspection of the home you are considering buying. Their job is to flag any issues that may change your mind about purchasing the property, or the price you are willing to pay for it.  The inspection is the opportunity to raise issues that will need to be addressed. As a result there may be further negotiations with the seller to either take care of the issue prior to closing, or sell at a lower price so you will have the money to fix it. You should look for an inspector that has both liability AND errors and omissions insurance. This protects you not only from any damage they might cause while on the property to do the inspection, but also provides you with possible recourse if they miss something important on the inspection.

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How long does it take to get a Divorce?

How long does it take to get a Divorce?

Ask almost anyone who has been through it and they will say “too long!” Joking aside, it can feel like a long process, and the justice system is not exactly known for its speed, even at the best of times. The hardest part of a divorce is coming up with the terms of divorce, especially as it relates to custody, property division and support payments. This can be done through negotiation, or a judge can make the decision.  A negotiated settlement is almost always faster than waiting for the court to order the terms of your divorce. So, what exactly takes so long with court?

 

The hardest part of a divorce is coming up with the terms of divorce, especially as it relates to custody, property division and support payments. This can be done through negotiation, or a judge can make the decision.

 

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Ever wonder why some people have a ‘slip and fall’ and get a big payout?

Ever wonder why some people have a ‘slip and fall’ and get a big payout?

Ever wonder why some people have a ‘slip and fall’ and get a big payout from the business owner where the fall happened, but some people, and sometimes those hurt far worse, don’t get anything? 

Most often these situations are governed by the Occupiers Liability Act, although the common law rule of negligence may also apply. Under the Act, the ‘occupier’, defined as the person who essentially has control over the premises (whether because they own it, rent it or for any other reason have physical control over the premises), has a duty to ensure that any person who legally enters the premises will be reasonably safe.  The key word there is ‘reasonably’.  Obviously no owner/occupier of a property can prevent every potential accident from happening, so the law draws a line between injuries that are as a result of unavoidable, unfortunate accident and which injuries should have been prevented by some action by the owner/occupier. 

 

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Estate Planning for your fur babies 101

Estate Planning for your fur babies 101

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.

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Buying or Selling? Why you really DO need an agent.

Buying or Selling? Why you really DO need an agent.

Thinking of buying or selling your home? This is one of the largest transactions you will complete in your lifetime, it’s important to get it "right".  A real estate agent can help you do this. These are some of the reasons why:

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What is a "migration" and why do you care?

What is a "migration" and why do you care?

Many people may have heard the term "migration" with respect to property but have no idea what that means. That’s fair, a lot of people don’t. This blog will give a Coles notes overview of what it is and why it matters to you as a home owner or potential purchaser.

 

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