What is a Power of Attorney?

What is a Power of Attorney?

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.

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Why Should My Contracts Be in Writing?

Why Should My Contracts Be in Writing?

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:

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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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Buying a New Build?: Don't get caught with unfinished business.

Buying a New Build?: Don't get caught with unfinished business.

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.

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Who Has to Pay Child Support?

Who Has to Pay Child Support?

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.

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Copyright Tips for Small Business

Copyright Tips for Small Business

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:

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Consequences for Your Loved ones if you Die Without a Will

Consequences for Your Loved ones if you Die Without a Will

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.

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Prevent Heartache By Having a Lawyer Review Your Commercial Lease

Prevent Heartache By Having a Lawyer Review Your Commercial Lease

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 is Title Insurance, and why do you care?

What is Title Insurance, and why do you care?

What is Title Insurance?

First things first: the word "title" refers to your legal right to own, use, mortgage and sell real property. Title Insurance is there to protect your legal interest, and often that of your lender, in your property.

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Did you know - Maintenance Enforcement Program helps collect child support payments

Did you know - Maintenance Enforcement Program helps collect child support payments

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).

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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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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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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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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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Yup, you can get jail time for texting and driving.

Yup, you can get jail time for texting and driving.

A simple ‘texting and driving’ google search generates statistics that goes on for pages. It’s simple logic – if you’re looking at something other than the road when you’re driving, you are more likely to have an accident. One stat pops up repeatedly, and paints a pretty scary picture. A driver’s eyes are diverted from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds when reading or sending a text. In 4.6 seconds, with its driver not looking at the road, a car travelling 100km/hour travels the length of a football field. It doesn’t take a lot of creativity to imagine the deadly situations that might crop up on the road in that span. Not surprisingly, the US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that you are 23 times more likely to crash if texting while driving.

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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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