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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Shareholder Agreement

Shareholder Agreement

A business run by multiple partners through a corporation in which you are all shareholders should have a shareholder’s agreement. Yes, even if you are all friends or family. In fact, it is perhaps even more important in that case! Business ventures sometimes fail and even the closest of friends can fight over how a business is being run. A shareholder’s agreement allows you and your partners to agree on many contentious points in advance of any problems arising while cooler heads still prevail.

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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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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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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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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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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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Why finding the right realtor to sell your house matters (a lot!)

Why finding the right realtor to sell your house matters (a lot!)

There are a lot of real estate agents out there, and it can be overwhelming deciding which one is right for you. But the right agent can make a huge difference in your home selling experience.  The right agent can not only make the experience more pleasant, they will likely also be able to sell your house for more and in a shorter amount of time.  To make the decision-making process easier, consider the following

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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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How to Save Money during a Divorce

How to Save Money during a Divorce

Divorces and separations can be very expensive. During a separation, families may face new expenses for custody and access visits, outfitting a new apartment with furniture. Now add to that legal fees and court costs and it can be a very challenging time financially. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to reduce you expenses.

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Be King of the CASL

Be King of the CASL

Canada has some of the strongest anti-SPAM legislation in the world. Starting on July 1, 2017, it is going to get even tougher. In 2014 the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL pronounced “castle”) became law in Canada. The purpose of the law is to protect people from getting commercial messages they do not want. 

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It’s Time to Vote!

It’s Time to Vote!

The Nova Scotia general election is now in it’s last week. Polls suggest that the election is in a “dead heat”, which means that a small number of votes could determine the outcome of election. Still, some people feel that voting can be a hassle. Below is some information that will help you fulfill your civic duty in the 2017 Nova Scotia general election.

First, if you are new to Canada and you want to vote in Nova Scotia:

·         you must be 18 years of age or older;

·         you must be a Canadian citizen; and

·         you must be a resident of Nova Scotia for 6 months before the election was called.

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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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When all is not Merry & Bright

When all is not Merry & Bright

There is a stereotype in our North American Society that everyone should be happy and joyous during the Holiday Season.  Unfortunately, this is often not the case for many people. The extra stresses during this time of year can often bring negative emotions to the forefront.  If you are feeling extra stressed or depressed during this holiday season; step back and ask yourself why.  Are the stresses coming from inside you, or are they external to you and beyond your control. The Public Health Agency of Canada has published a helpful article entitled Managing Holiday Stress http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/stress-eng.php which lists signs of depression and suggestions to cope with these holiday stresses.

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Remembrance Day: Remembering the Rights We Enjoy as Canadians.

Remembrance Day: Remembering the Rights We Enjoy as Canadians.

Remembrance Day is almost upon us. The “We Remember” ads are on the radio and tv. It occurred to me that in a small way, my work as a lawyer continues to carry on the work of our veterans by standing up for and enforcing Canadian’s rights that they sacrificed so much to protect.

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