Communication is Key When Creating a Will

The thought of discussing your affairs is an important part of preparing your estate. Planning for the future should include events and things you want to do in the very near future, however, it should also include things that need to take place should something happen to you in the far and distant future.


So, where should you start? Keeping the lines of communication open with family is crucial to ensuring that your wishes are carried out the way you want, when need be. This means having an open and honest discussion with family members, beneficiaries and intended executors during every step of the process, to avoid blindsiding them later. During the grieving process especially, things like planning a funeral, and what to do with your possessions, are the last things you would want your family to have to worry about.


What to do when buying a property with someone else

Thinking of buying a piece of property with a spouse, a family member or a friend? The idea of sharing the cost of purchasing a new home is very attractive right now, especially with home prices still at an all time high, but there are a few things you should consider before signing on the dotted line.


Home ownership comes with a mortgage, yes, but one thing that tends to get forgotten about is title and ownership of the new property. Did you know that every purchaser of a new property holds legal title to it as well? More specifically, title means you are the registered owner of a property. In most cases, land ownership is registered through provincial and territorial laws and government agencies, while land titles are registered through a parcel-based land registry system.


Can what you post on social media be used against you?

In a child custody case, the answer is yes, everything you post online and make available, can be proven useful in family law cases. You should never assume that just because your profile is private, incriminating vacation selfies or negative posts can’t be used against you. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, constantly invite us to share photos, opinions and feelings with our networking groups. This proves particularly complicated when embroiled in a child custody or divorce case, where social media content can be used to discredit a person’s character.


Why you should review agreements for purchase and sale before completing a transaction

The real estate market in Ontario, and in Canada for that matter doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The bubble has yet to burst, which means that you may be next to sell or buy a property, or do both. Protecting yourself in the real estate process is crucial to ensuring that the transaction goes smoothly. What I have seen time and time again is that agreements are not cut and dry; they are full of legal language that someone without experience might not understand.


An Agreement of Purchase and Sale is a written contract between a seller and a buyer for the purchase and sale of a particular piece of property. Items such as price, length of closing and conditions are all things included in the agreement. Since the agreement is legally binding, it is important to get advice before signing on the dotted line. Once signed, and the offer accepted, the agreement cannot be cancelled unless both parties agree.


Does Having a Cohabitation Agreement Make Sense?

More and more couples are choosing to live together before marriage. In fact, between 2006 and 2011, the number of common-law couples rose 13.9%, more than four times the 3.1% increase for married couples. Still, married couples still remain most common family structure despite the decrease in numbers over the years. There are a lot of misconceptions about cohabitating couples when it comes to the law and their rights, and even more when it comes to them separating.


Here are the most common misconceptions and factors to consider when deciding whether or not having a cohabitation agreement in place makes sense.


5 Things You Should Consider Before Filing for Divorce

It’s one of the most special and important moments of your life – saying “I do” in front of your closest family and friends. No one thinks that their own marriage could end in divorce, but the sad reality is that many do. Each year approximately 70 000 married coupes divorce. One silver lining? 95-99% of divorces settle outside court. Far more often than not, the dissolution of a marriage can be handled outside a courtroom and only the most extreme cases end up going to court.


If you do plan on moving ahead with divorce proceedings, keep these five factors in mind.


Do You Have a Will? If Not, Here Are 7 Reasons Why You Should

Something I see all too often as a family lawyer are people fighting over the estate of a loved one that has recently passed because there is no will left behind with instructions. Emotions and hurt can still occur even when there is one because family members sometimes feel the division of assets and such is unfair or disagree with the instructions. Still, having a last will and testament will minimize family disputes.


When you don’t have a will in place, your estate is tied up in the courts and eventually they end up deciding how to divide your estate without your direction.


While there are more reasons than not, here are seven reasons why having one is a good idea.