The Wills, Estates and Succession Act (“WESA”) states at section 40 and 43 as follows:
40 (1) Signing witnesses to a will-maker’s signature must be 19 years of age or older;
(2) A person signing may witness a will even though he or she may receive a gift under it.
Rule 25-2 of the Supreme Court Civil Rules requires Notice to be sent to beneficiaries, next of kin, and sometimes others, “at least 21 days” before the Executor files the Probate application materials with the Court.
A Representation Agreement is a legal planning document which can be used in British Columbia to provide your named representative with the authority to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
The Wills Estates and Succession Act “WESA” is now a year old. Its sweeping changes to the law in relation to Estate Planning and Estate Administration are still being discussed. One important change is the effect that spousal relationships
When I meet with my clients and explain what happens if they lose capacity and do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place, I am frequently met with a look of terror, the colour drains from their face and they say something to the effect of
WESA introduced a shift in the onus of proof in relation to undue influence challenges to wills in some cases. Section 52 of WESA places the onus of disproving undue influence to the person who has received the gift under the will
“My Friend told me that she has a Will that doesn’t need Probate. Can I get one of those please?”
Ahhhhh the Will that doesn’t need Probate! Wouldn’t that be nice? This is something I am frequently asked about by clients
My practice involves both the planning and the administration side of Estates. This gives me a unique insight into how important it is, not only to have an excellent written estate plan (which includes a Will, Trusts, potentially an Affidavit, and the important incapacity planning documents as well, such as a Power of Attorney and […]
Trade-mark Agents offer professional services relating to the registration, maintenance and protection of trade-marks, i.e. a word, design, number, two dimensional or three-dimensional form, sound or colour, or a combination of two or more of these elements which a trader uses to distinguish his/her products or services from those of his/her competitors and serves to […]
What happens if you are appointed Executor? In British Columbia, the new Wills, Estates and Succession Act (“WESA”), which came into force on March 31, 2014, governs what happens when a person passes away. If you have been appointed Executor in the Will, there are a wide range of obligations if you accept the position […]
The substantive law is changing with regard to the presumption of survivorship. WESA contains new survivorship provisions in relation to joint tenancies. There will no longer be a presumption that when people die in circumstances in which it is not possible to determine who died first, the younger is presumed to survive the older (pursuant […]
The new Wills, Estates and Succession Act ("WESA") has given the Court a new power to “fix” or “correct” a problem where a Will does not comply with the formal rules of execution. In its broadest interpretation, the Court may consider almost any evidence of a person’s intention and give effect to it as though it is a person’s valid Will.
A question I often get asked is "Should I be using the ™ symbol or the ® symbol beside my trade-mark?" Believe it or not, there are no "marking" requirements for trade-marks under the Canadian Trade-marks Act, however, proper marking is an extremely important method of notifying consumers that a certain word or symbol is a protected trade-mark and goes a long way to preventing third party infringement as you are effectively putting third [...]
Businesses will often create marketing material for their products/services, either in print or short video segments. A very common question I get from clients is “Can I use another person’s image in my video/marketing material without their consent?” In sum, the answer is no, it is not recommended that you use another person’s image without their consent, whether or not that person is famous.
This issue is governed by both privacy [...]
An Executor/Trustee has a wide range of obligations and responsibilities to fulfill. When doing your Estate Planning and choosing an Executor/Trustee, you have a number of important considerations to keep in mind. In a nutshell, the choices available are: Corporate Trustee (like a Bank or Trust Company), a family member/friend (or more than one, named as Co-Trustees), or another willing professional you know, such as your Accountant or [...]
Your Estate Planning process is underway. You know that you want to provide for a charity in your Estate Plan, but you have no particular affiliation with any charity. You do, however, have one criteria... you want to make sure that your dollars end up with a charity that uses it in the most efficient manner, making the best use of your hard earned legacy. How do you decipher which charity gets the most dollars to its end beneficiary? [...]
I have had several clients bring me a “My Voice” pamphlet for discussion during their estate and incapacity planning appointments with me. These pamphlets were given to them during an assessment they had had with Interior Health. They are full of insightful and valuable information about how to express your wishes for future health care needs, either in the event of ‘disastrous incapacity’ due to an accident, or [...]
The BC Government's Liquor Policy Review is in its final stages, wrapping up this week. The public has been given ample opportunity to comment on how these laws should be updated. The submissions are varied and substantial. There are many different opinions on a myriad of issues as the public and various stakeholders rejoice in the opportunity to have their voices heard in the necessary modernizing of these outdated laws.
Probate fees of 1.4% of the gross value of assets located within British Columbia and passing through an estate in British Columbia are payable to the BC government at the time an estate is probated. In an effort to avoid these fees, people often transfer assets into joint tenancy with one or more of their children. Trying to avoid probate fees may seem like a good idea, but joint ownership can create a whole host of problems for people, as [...]
Whenever property is ‘co-owned’ by anyone other than a husband and wife, I always strongly recommend that a Co-Ownership Agreement be put in place. Family cabins at the lake, Big White ski condos, property inherited by estranged beneficiaries and even residential homes where parents are on title with their child/partner in a two-suite home, are all VERY common scenarios where title can potentially be held by several people. These [...]
In my initial estate planning meeting with clients, one very important question that I ask is “Do you hold your real estate as joint tenants or tenants in common?” I am often answered with “We are both on the title” which doesn’t really answer my question. The reality is, lots of spouses have owned their principal residence for many years and can’t necessarily remember how they hold title.
There are many categories of intellectual property, but the main categories are: • Patents (Inventions)• Trade-Marks (Brand Names, Trade Names, Trade Dress)• Copyright (Expressions)• Industrial Designs (Ornamentation)• Trade-Secrets (Undisclosed Ideas)• Integrated Circuit Topographies (Chip Designs)• Plant Breeder’s Rights (New Plant Varieties) Most [...]
A well-drafted and well-negotiated commercial lease is essential to the success of a Tenant’s business. Grey areas can lead to unexpected costs and even litigation down the road – this can be avoided by good drafting and making sure you think about all of the following prior to signing on the dotted line. Here are […]
What are the Motivators for Charitable Giving? Think about it, what motivates you?Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to make a difference. I have clients all the time who raise charitable giving with me as a desire for their Estate Plan. No matter how little a client has, “where there is a will there is a way”, so to speak. A client only has to raise this as a desire, and we will find a way to structure it for them [...]
What happens if you are appointed Executor?If you have been appointed Executor in a Will there are a wide range of obligations and responsibilities that you must fulfill. However, if you do not wish to act as the Executor, you may decline to do so by renouncing your Executorship and signing the appropriate documents so that the Alternate Executor may act or so that some other person may apply for ‘Letters of Administration’.What [...]
Leaving a charitable donation in your Will can be a wonderful way to benefit a charity that has meant a great deal to you during your lifetime. It gives the testator a really ‘feel good’ last word, and an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ for all the great work that charities do for our community.
Everyone should have a Will. A Will becomes even more important where you have assets (i.e. own a home, have businesses etc.), have a spouse and/or children. By not having a Will, you effectively lose control over who gets your estate, how much and when. You also give up the right to appoint an executor of your choice to administer your estate as you direct in your Will and you also give up the right to appoint a guardian of your choice for [...]
Trademarks are a fundamental piece of marketing and branding for companies in today’s market. They serve as an indication of a source and a badge of quality for their products and services. Originally published in the Sep 14, 2012 issue of the Lawyers Weekly. Read the article here: http://www.lawyersweekly.ca/index.php?section=article&articleid=1738
Over 80% of businesses around the world are family owned businesses. Specifically, Canada’s family businesses employ 4.7 million full-time employees and the total annual sales of Canadian family businesses is $1.3 trillion (Source: BDO Dunwoody/ Compass Report on Canadian Family Business; Source: Miller, D. & Le Breton-Miller, I. (2005). Managing for the long run; Boston: Harvard Business School Press.)
If you don’t already have a Will in place, or if you haven’t looked at your Will for a while, take five minutes to answer a few of these simple questions. You may be surprised how many of them apply to you……Do you have a Will?If you die without a Will, your assets may be administered by the Public Trustee and distributed in a manner contrary to your wishes.Do you have children?
Trade-marks serve as an indication of a source and a badge of quality for their products and services. Trade-marks perform a key function in the marketplace and are of enormous value to businesses as they act as a sort of shortcut to get consumers to where they want to go. So, what should you look […]
A Representation Agreement is a legal planning document which can be used in British Columbia to provide your named representative the authority to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so because of mental or physical disability. Living Will language can also be incorporated into a Representation Agreement which provides the named representative the legal right to refuse specific medical treatment or any treatment at all.
phi•lan•thro•py is defined in the English Dictionary as “altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, property, or work to needy persons, by endowment of institutions of learning and hospitals, and by generosity to other socially useful purposes.” Donations to charity via a Will are a main source of income for many Canadian charities.
Unfortunately, elder abuse occurs every day in BC. As many as one in two seniors in BC is abused. It is difficult to know when adults are being abused or neglected and often even harder to know exactly if or when to step in. Elder abuse can take many forms, both financial and non-financial. We often assume that adults can take care of themselves, but this may not always be true.
Protecting your intellectual property is extremely important. For businesses, think of it as protecting the brand and image that is conveyed to the public. You want what they see to be within your control. Copyright registration gives you this control.Copyright applies to all original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. This includes books, music, sculptures, paintings, photographs, films, plays, television programs, radio [...]
This particularly “risky” domain is, you guessed it, the adult entertainment sponsored top level domain. This domain has finally been approved by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). Unlike the .com, .ca, and .info domains, the .XXX domain cannot be registered by just anyone……it is limited to the adult entertainment industry (in a similar way to the ‘.gov’ sites being limited [...]
NEW RULES for Attorneys A number of significant changes to the Power of Attorney Act come into effect on September 1, 2011. These amendments will entrench the Enduring Power of Attorney as the document of choice for most people who wish to plan for the management of their financial affairs in the event of incapacity. […]
This is an interesting but complex area of the law. The Indian Act sets out a land holding scheme that is meant to preserve the Indian band’s ancestral land base in a communal sense. In line with the purpose of the Indian Act to protect the ancestral land base of Indian bands, only band members can acquire Certificates of Possession in reserve land. Certificates of Possession denote a transfer in rights to land on a reserve from the [...]
Unfortunately for NBC Universal (“NBC”), along with the release of the final Harry Potter movie came the filing of a $1.5milion lawsuit against NBC. The Plaintiff, P22 Type Foundry (“P22”) is a company that designs typefaces. P22 are claiming that the font used on some Harry Potter merchandise (including a “Dementor Cap”, a “Hogwarts Stationery Set” and a “Hedwig Pillow”) was [...]
A Representation Agreement is a legal planning document which can be used in British Columbia to provide your named representative with the authority to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so because of mental or physical disability. Living Will language can also be incorporated into a Representation Agreement which […]
What happens if you are appointed Executor?If you have been appointed Executor in a Will there are a wide range of obligations and responsibilities that you must fulfill. However, if you do not wish to act as the Executor, you may decline to do so by renouncing your Executorship and signing the appropriate documents so that the Alternate Executor may act or so that some other person may apply for Letters of Administration.What do Executor [...]
We would like to take this opportunity to provide you with important information about protecting your intellectual property rights. This information is designed to assist you in evaluating your needs in that area.WHAT IS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY?
Licensing or assigning your intellectual property rights (such as trade-marks, copyrights and patents) to other companies can generate lucrative license fees and royalties but it can also be a minefield. To protect yourself, it is imperative to get these licensing and/or assignment arrangements in writing so as to avoid costly litigation in the future.
As of June 13, 2009, the popular social networking site, Facebook, now allows users to reserve their usernames as URLs (the general information for this is posted at: http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=90316352130).
Pursuant to the Real Estate Services Act (the “Act”), as of January 1, 2009, individual realtors may now form personal real estate corporations. Advice from professional advisors, such as Accountants and Lawyers, is extremely important to ascertain whether incorporation is right for an individual realtor. Every realtor’s situation is different and it is important to remember that tax/legal advice may vary greatly depending [...]