Grandparent Rights in Custody Cases

When we talk about access, which includes the right to see a child, we tend to think only in terms of the rights of the child’s parents. However, as the number of families affected by divorce increases, extended family members, including grandparents, begin to worry about their relationship with their grandchildren and whether or not…

Construction Liens: The Basics for Homeowners

As a homeowner undertaking a renovation project on your property, you may or may not be aware that the title to your property could become encumbered by a construction lien. Construction liens can create serious problems when you want to sell or mortgage your property. They also can affect your credit rating. Construction liens are…

Mediation and its Benefits

When a client thinks of hiring legal counsel to work on his or her behalf, thoughts of a lawyer in court objecting with conviction to everything said by the opposing party may come to mind. Hollywood movies such as The Rainmaker, A Few Good Men and many others would lead one to believe that this…

Wills 101 Mini-Series: Part I: Choosing an Executor

This first installment of our mini-series on wills is meant to provide some basic information about the selection of an executor. The estate trustee, also known as the executor, is the person named in a will who will be responsible for administering affairs after the death of the testator (the person making the will). This…

Matrimonial Home a Trap for the Unwary: Issue #1

The “matrimonial home” is given special treatment in the Family Law Act and that special treatment can involve huge unfairness to one of the parties to a marriage following marriage breakdown. One way in which this unfairness can arise involves a provision in the Family Law Act (paragraph 4(1)(b)) which defines “net family property” –a…

Wills and Estates 101 Mini-Series Part IV: Did He Die or Did He Separate?

In Ontario there is a family property regime set out in the Family Law Act (FLA) which provides for the equal sharing of property accumulated by married parties during their marriage. Note, this provision does not apply to common-law spouses. What happens if, after the death of one married spouse, it is discovered that the…

Wills & Estates 101 Mini-Series: Part III: Attorney Compensation

In our last post we covered some of the primary responsibilities and basic legal requirements of powers of attorney for property and personal care. We now turn to some questions people often have about a person getting paid for being an attorney, questions such as: Will the person designated as attorney be paid for his…

Wills & Estates 101 Mini-Series: Part II: Powers of Attorney

As the second installment in our mini series on wills & estates, we will review some of the basic legal principles about powers of attorney in Ontario, why they are important and how they fit into your overall estate plan. A will is only effective from the date of the death of the testator. People…

Full & Honest Disclosure Integral in Family Law Disputes

Subrule 13(6) of Ontario’s Family Law Rules states that any party serving a financial statement must make “full and frank disclosure of the party’s financial situation.” Financial statements must also be fully complete and submitted with supporting documentation. Despite the fact that full and accurate disclosure from both sides is an essential component to the…

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