Why Do I Need a Will?

Why Do I Need a Will?

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:

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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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Thinking of buying a home? : First step - determine your budget.

Thinking of buying a home? : First step - determine your budget.

Buying a new home can be a very exciting prospect, however, there are also a lot of practical realities that go along with buying and owning a home. The first thing you should do before looking at any homes is determine your budget.

This means sitting down with a mortgage professional before you start your search in order to determine what you can afford. It can be a heartbreaking experience looking at homes outside of your budget, not to mention it wastes your, and your realtor's time and resources that could be better spent looking for the right house for you.

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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 to find the best mortgage broker for you.

How to find the best mortgage broker for you.

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:

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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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should I hire a realtor to help buy or sell my home?

should I hire a realtor to help buy or sell my home?

Thinking of buying or selling your home? You should enlist the services of a real estate agent to complete the transaction. Buying or selling your home is one of the largest transactions you will complete in your lifetime. Its important to get it "right".  A real estate agent can help you do this in anumber of ways.

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Looking to move out of an apartment, but may not be able to afford a mortgage? There may be a solution.

Looking to move out of an apartment, but may not be able to afford a mortgage? There may be a solution.

Are you interested in moving out of an apartment, or building equity instead of paying rent, but a traditional mortgage isn’t the best choice for you? There may be a solution out there for you that you were unaware of. Foxwood Village is a new development in Hubley that is taking what some might consider an unconventional approach to creating their development. If you buy a home in Foxwood Village, you are buying the house itself, but you will lease the land it sits on.  You pay a monthly rental fee for the land. The rental fee and collateral mortgage payments would still be less than the average traditional mortgage payment.

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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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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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To buy or not to buy? that is the question

To buy or not to buy? that is the question

Deciding where to live can seem overwhelming. There are a lot of factors that contribute to that choice. What you may not know is that it is not simply a choice between renting OR buying, there is also a third option: buying a home on leased land. This blog focuses on some pros and cons of each to help you decide.

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The End of the Road: Understanding Employment Termination

The End of the Road: Understanding Employment Termination

George Costanza, on an episode of Seinfeld, dramatically quit his job during a meeting. Regretting his impulsive decision, he decides to act like it never happened and simply shows up to work the next day. As was often the case, things went badly for George and he did not get his job back.

Employment disputes can be very tricky to deal with because our work is a fundamental part of our identity. Not to mention that jobs are how we put food on the table and a roof over our head. To make matters worse, there are plenty of myths, out of context advice, and some just plain wrong information floating around out there.

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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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Speeding in school zones: What does "When children are present" even mean?

Speeding in school zones: What does "When children are present" even mean?

Ever drive by a school zone sign and wonder what counts as ‘When Children Are Present’?  It’s even more important to know now that the speed limit in a school zone changed to only 30 km/hr where the speed limit is normally 50 km/hr.  The definition of ‘When Children Are Present’ hasn’t changed.  The School Area Regulations made under the Motor Vehicle Act states that a child is deemed ‘present’ if the child is ‘on land’ within 30 meters of the center line.  There is no time limit to this definition.  If a child is present, the reduced speed limit is in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Therefore, if a child is walking along the side of the road in a school zone at 10:00 pm at night in the middle of August, the school zone reduced speed limits still apply.  The logic is, regardless of the time of year, a school is an area where children congregate, whether it’s for academic learning or other pursuits that make use of the school facilities (sports leagues, drama camp etc.).

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What does "Accommodating" Breastfeeding Employees Really Mean?

What does "Accommodating" Breastfeeding Employees Really Mean?

One of your valued employees just announced that she is pregnant.  Undoubtedly this will have an impact on your business.  Among the other pregnancy related conversations you should have with your employee, you should also be discussing breastfeeding – specifically, that you are aware that, as an employer, you have an obligation (and are willing) to accommodate the employee’s choice to breastfeed.  Many employers don’t know what ‘accommodating’ involves or even why they should be forced to accommodate an employee who wishes to continue to breastfeed upon return to work (thinking, can’t they just give their baby some formula?) 

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