Real Estate

Yes, You Need a Real Estate Lawyer!

As a lawyer, I hear the same sentiment time and time again: do I really need a lawyer for that? There are admittedly times where you don’t need to seek the advice or assistance of a lawyer.  Our services are generally voluntary, though I would always advise speaking to a lawyer if you have any doubt or worry about a business transaction or personal matter.

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Surveying Settlement – Mapping Mediation Strategies for Real Estate Disputes

Surveying Settlement — Mapping Mediation Strategies for Real Estate Disputes (January, 2018)

(An edited version of this article originally appeared in The Lawyer’s Daily.)

This is the second of a three-part series in which I share practical mediation advice, in different areas, based on my work as a mediator and mediation lawyer (or, Settlement Counsel). Previously, I discussed  wrongful dismissal cases. In this segment, I survey strategies for maximizing settlement opportunities through mediating neighbour disputes, claims arising out of purchase and sale agreements, and mortgage enforcement.

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Seven Estate Planning Tips for Spouses

7 Estate Planning Tips for Spouses

1. Make a Will

If you die without a will, the provincial government decides how your assets will be distributed under intestacy rules.

Many people incorrectly assume that if they die without a will their estate would pass to their spouse. This is not necessarily the case. In Ontario, for a spouse to inherit from your estate they must be married to you [common law spouses do not automatically inherit under intestacy rules!].

If you have children, your spouse will receive a “preferential share” up to $200,000 worth of your assets. The remainder of your estate will be divided as follows:

  • If you have one child, your child and spouse will split the remainder.
  • If you have more than one child, your spouse receives one third, and your children will split two thirds equally.

Making a valid will prevent the intestacy laws above from taking effect as well as providing additional benefits. Read more →