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
Incorporation is the act of making your business a corporation and is one of several forms of business ownership you can have in Nova Scotia and across Canada. When you incorporate and separate the owners from the company itself, your company is considered a person under the law. It will have the ability to have its own money, take out a loan, sue or be sued, contract with other persons and even be convicted of crimes. There are two different ways you can incorporate, federally or provincially. There are advantages and disadvantages to both federal and provincial incorporation, and you need to consider the type of business you have now, and what you would like it to look like in the future in order to make the best choice for your company.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
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.Read More
Verbal contracts are technically enforceable. You can go to court and obtain a judgement against someone who doesn’t respect a verbal agreement. So why bother getting it in writing? Here are a couple of basic reasons why everyone should use a written agreement instead of relying on a verbal agreement:Read More
The good news is that in some cases, you can get divorced in Nova Scotia without ever setting foot in a court house. As long as you have an agreement on the terms of your divorce you can get a “paperwork-only divorce.” And it is not as expensive as you may think.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
When you are selling your current home and buying a new one there are a lot of moving parts in order to get both deals closed. Ideally they could close a day or two prior to the purchase. However, things don't always go that way.Read More
It is always exciting to buy a brand new home. New builds are often customized to you in ways that buying a home that is already built would require extensive renovations to achieve. This advantage comes with it own set of potential issues. One of the big common ones is "deficiencies". These are the things that are not completed by the builder as of the closing date. Best case scenario there are none, or they are minor things that needing to be finished.Read More
It is perhaps a bit obvious to say that divorces can be messy and that many families struggle to pick up the pieces after a nasty separation. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
When people use court to resolve their disputes they are relying on a stranger, the judge to make major decisions about their life. In a family law context this means a judge can decide when and where you will see your children, how much money flows to or from your spouse, where you can live and even what happens to your house.Read More
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).
Because each family and every situation is different, family law can be a unpredictable area of law. There are lots of grey areas and not very many things are carved stone. Child support proves to be the exception to this uncertainty because it tends to be clear cut by comparison.Read More
One of the items on my ever growing “To-Do” list was to write a blog post outlining the copyrighting issues that the average small business owner should be aware of. And like a gift, sent directly to my inbox, came this exceptionally well written guest blog post by my colleague Corinne Boudreau of Legal Essentials Inc. via my subscription to Linda Daley’s blog ‘Work better, not harder’. As the saying goes, there’s no point trying to re-invent the wheel so instead of attempting to write basically the same thing, I decided to share her post instead: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
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.Read More
One of the most frustrating experiences in family law is when a parent does not pay child support they owe their children. We have all heard of deadbeat parents who try to find a way out of paying, or who simply refuse to pay. To deal with this issue and help ensure parents are paying court ordered child and spousal support, Nova Scotia created the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP).Read More
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.Read More
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.
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.Read More
It can be hard to decide who is best to help you find the right mortgage. What makes one broker a better fit for you than another? While the search can seem overwhelming, it is worth taking the time to find the right broker for you. A few tips to help you make this choice:Read More
We've all heard the term "closing costs", have you been provided with an explanation of what that really means. I've outlined below things that constitute closing costs for both a sale, and a purchase. It is important to understand closing costs for a purchase do not come out of your mortgage funds. You will have to come up with this amount before the transaction closes. For a sale the closing costs would come off of the top of the sale price.Read More