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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Use a legal Separation Agreement to Re-finance Your Matrimonial Home for More

Use a legal Separation Agreement to Re-finance Your Matrimonial Home for More

For most families, the matrimonial home is the most significant asset they own. Deciding how to deal with it after the breakdown of the relationship is an important decision with long term consequences. Did you know, when refinancing as part of a separation, the spouse keeping the home may qualify to refinance at a higher percentage of the value of the home than the standard maximum. The standard maximum is 80%, but the maximum for a spousal buyout can be as high as 95%.

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Wondering If You Can Legally Separate Without a Messy Court Battle? Consider Collaborative Family Law

Wondering If You Can Legally Separate Without a Messy Court Battle? Consider Collaborative Family Law

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.

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Police, cameras and public accountability

Police, cameras and public accountability

There is no question police have a difficult and at times dangerous job. I think police do their best and try hard to be reasonable and helpful. But police do have a tremendous amount of power and that is why there is so much news coverage when things go wrong and they don’t act responsibly. Cameras worn by police as well as CCTV cameras seem to be working to make police more accountable.

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Thinking about buying a vacation home? What you should know first:

Thinking about buying a vacation home? What you should know first:

We are lucky to live in a place with a wealth of cottages and vacation homes. Many Nova Scotians are able to make the dream of having a cottage come true. This blog reviews some of the things to look out for to avoid your dream becoming a nightmare.

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Should I Adopt my Step Child?

Should I Adopt my Step Child?

Non-traditional or “blended” families are becoming more and more common in Canadian society. One aspect of this movement is step-child adoption. Before deciding to adopt, it is a good idea to consider meeting with a therapist or a counsellor. In the rush of happiness about your new family it may appear there is no downside to adoption, but this is a big step to take with permanent effects. A counsellor can help you decide if adoption is right for you and the child.

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Severance Pay: What am I entitled to after being let go from my job?

Severance Pay: What am I entitled to after being let go from my job?

An unfortunate reality of today’s corporate world is restructuring, outsourcing and downsizing.  For many hard-working employees, the result is lay-offs.  One day you go to the job you’ve devoted yourself to for years and the next you find yourself unemployed with a standardized letter letting you go, along with a request to sign a ‘Release’ in exchange for a severance package.  You are reeling and have no idea if the package they are offering you is what you are entitled to.  This is where an employment lawyer comes in.  Many lawyers, including myself, are happy to meet with people in your shoes to review your situation and give some basic advice as to whether or not the severance package offered is within the acceptable range.

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Making it worse – why you shouldn’t use social media to complain about your ex

Making it worse – why you shouldn’t use social media to complain about your ex

During a meeting last week, a senior family lawyer with over 25 years of experience told me that he tells clients involved in high conflict cases to delete all their social media accounts.  There can be a strong temptation to let the world know just how awful your ex is. This same senior lawyer also said, “people think if they post negative comments about their ex that everyone will agree and take their side.” It is a good idea not to post  anything to social media when you are upset. There is plenty of good research that says we do not make good decisions when we are emotionally charged, and once a post has been sent, there is no taking it back.

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To Incorporate or Not to Incorporate, That Is the Question.

To Incorporate or Not to Incorporate, That Is the Question.

Whether it is time to incorporate is a question often pondered by business people. There are two primary reasons to incorporate a business:

1.       Your business can realize tax savings through utilizing a corporate structure; and

2.       Your business activities are risky and you would like to place this risk on the corporation’s shoulders instead of your own.

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Having Problems Collecting From Clients?

Having Problems Collecting From Clients?

One of the biggest challenges for small business owners is managing cash flow. Running a business is expensive, and while none of your creditors want to wait to be paid, sometimes collecting from your customers can be a real challenge. So what can a business owner do when they are having a problem collecting the money owed by their clients?

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What You Wish You Knew Before Letting the Customer Keep YOUR money.

What You Wish You Knew Before Letting the Customer Keep YOUR money.

Why do you allow customers to keep your hard earned money?  CBC News recently reported ‘Industry estimates put the cost of unpaid wages and materials for the construction trades at $300 million a year in Canada’.  I quote this statistic because a common answer is the contractor is essentially embarrassed that they aren’t getting paid.  In my experience, it isn’t typically the contractor who’s at fault – the customer has ‘invented’ reasons why they won’t pay.  So, what can you do about it?

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Allow us to Introduce Ourselves

Allow us to Introduce Ourselves

Allow us to Introduce Ourselves 

We are Highlander Law Group, your new friendly yet knowledgeable neighbour, in Upper Tantallon.

Why start up a Law Firm in Tantallon?

Because this is home. Our goal is to support the community we live in while offering our neighbours effective legal services without having the hassle of travelling downtown. We know you want to get in, get it done and get out, spending as little of your valuable time and money as possible.

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