The Estate & Elder Mediation Guide for BC https://estate-mediation.ca - a resource for mediators, lawyers and families.
At Heritage Law, we offer wills and estates, family law and mediation services to clients in BC.
The Estate & Elder Mediation Guide for BC https://estate-mediation.ca - a resource for mediators, lawyers and families.
Dear British Columbia Wills and Estates Colleagues,
We are excited to invite you to a new community portal: https://bit.ly/3WvV1cq
WEC is intended to be a digital community gathering space of BC wills and estates professionals, established to promote estate planning and administration in BC by:
- encouraging dialogue;
- facilitating the exchange of knowledge and practice points;
- building professional relationships; and
- sharing practice resources.
The hope is that we can participate in what will be a rich, evolving and growing practice resource we all can share.
The first step is to sign up here: https://bit.ly/42Y7Xdu
I have been consulted to mediate the distribution of personal effects in a large home for three estate beneficiaries. What are the main methods of distribution of estate personal effects?
1. Family Distribution
Many families choose to distribute property privately within the family. When this is done, distribution may take place item by item, or items may be placed in groups of approximately equal monetary value and then selected as a group. Some methods which have been used by families to determine the order of selection are:
- Shake dice: Family members shake dice with the high roller receiving first choice, and so on. After the first round the selection order is reversed. After two rounds, family members shake again to determine a new order.
- Draw numbers, straws, or playing cards.
- Birth order preference: Selection goes from the oldest to youngest, or vice versa.
- Gender preference: Selection begins with males before females, or vice versa. Birth order may also be integrated into this method.
- Generation preference: Priority is given to parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, or blood kin.
2. Private Auctions
Family members buy items in open bidding. Families who choose this method may use real money or “funny money" such as marbles, poker chips or play money. If real money is used, the money generated will usually form part of the residue of the estate and may be subject to probate fees or income taxes. If funny money is used, each qualified bidder receives an equal number of units for bidding.
3. Silent Auctions/ Sealed Bids with Family
Family members place written bids on items and the highest bidder receives the item. Money goes to the estate and may be subject to taxes.
4. Public Auctions
Family members and the public bid for items. Proceeds from the auction will go to the estate. Proceeds may be subject to taxes.
5. Garage/Yard Sales
A public sale of this type works well to distribute items of little emotional or financial value. Proceeds go to the estate and may be subject to taxes.
6. Estate Sales
Property is sold by a liquidator and the money goes to the estate. Proceeds may be subject to taxes.
The term “disability” refers not to a single state but rather to a wide spectrum of conditions. These include physical limitations, such as mobility, visual and hearing impairment. Various invisible disabilities, including cognitive limitations and mood disorders, are less readily identifiable but can be equally difficult.
Many individuals are born with a disability while others acquire a disability at some point in their lifetime due to an illness, accident or injury at work, play or home. Still others face functional limitations involving hearing, sight, cognitive and mobility impairment as a result of aging.
There are more than 926,100 British Columbians over the age of 15 with some form of disability. This represents 24.7% of the population. As the population ages, the number of people with disabilities and the severity of their disabilities are likely to increase.
Many family members fear for the future financial well-being of their disabled relative. In addition to federal and provincial disability benefits which may be available, there here are various advance planning options available to provide financially for a disabled beneficiary, such as:
1. Direct ownership of an asset;
4. RRSP Rollovers;
5. Other vehicles with designated beneficiaries; and
6. a combination of the above, depending on the particular cirumstances of the family, the disabled family member and nature of the disability.
BC lawyers can learn more, including a comprehensive listing of current available benefits and a package of editable precedents, by registering for the upcoming conference here: https://www.cbabc.org/Wills-and-Estates/Home
This one-day conference in Richmond on June 3 brings engaging conversations on undue influence, elder mediation, the new disclosure era and more.
Join us at the upcoming CBABC Wills and Estates Conference! You can register here: https://www.cbabc.org/Wills-and-Estates/Program.
The Five Step Mediation Preparation Model - Free Download!
A critical task in advance of any mediation is to prepare yourself to negotiate in the face of uncertainty. Download our preparation guide with worksheets in advance of your mediation here: https://bit.ly/3YZzIRd
Received my Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch 25 Year Milestone pin today - half my life! I'm proud to be a CBA member and to serve on Provincial Council, protecting the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the Bar and improving laws, the justice system & A2J.
To the mystery secret santa who dropped off this phenomenal wine to our office, thank you and we love you too! 🍷
We are proud to support the West Vancouver Foundation!
Did you know that many Canadians do not have an up-to-date will?
Whether you are 40, 60 or 80 one of the most vital areas of personal planning is thinking about how to take care of your family or those special to you after you are gone.
June 14th, West Vancouver Foundation is holding a free Will Power seminar, presented by lawyer Nicole Garton (Heritage Law).
REGISTER NOW. Space is limited. https://bit.ly/3a3qbn7
Date: June 14, Tuesday, 2-3:30pm
More information: westvanfoundation.ca/events/
Meet new office mascot King! 🐶
The Current State of the Law of Family Property in BC: When Will a Judge Order Unequal Division? https://bit.ly/33dsFMk
STEP Vancouver members, don't forget to join us today for the branch bundle seminar https://bit.ly/3pmDOSr 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM PT: So Your Client Has Died, Now What?
Moderator: Farzin Remtulla, CPA, CA, CFP, TEP, Vancouver: ZLC Financial
What practical advice should be given to the executors/trustees to manage the various legal and tax issues and deadlines that need to be addressed?
Nicole Garton, BA, LLB, LLM, FEA, TEP, West Vancouver: Heritage Trust
Ryan Gill, CPA, CA, CPA (NH), Vancouver: KPMG LLP
Emma McArthur, BA, LLB, TEP, Victoria: Johns Southward LLP
We will focus on the particular issues and challenges that arise with respect to personal effects. I will be expanding on this post: https://bit.ly/3p7WSoT
STEP Vancouver, Branch Bundle
I am looking forward to presenting a webinar on behalf of the West Vancouver Foundation tomorrow on many of the common questions that face individuals and families regarding Wills and Estate planning. The webinar is designed to provide information to help you navigate the process and empower you to proceed with clarity and confidence. Having a valid, up-to-date Will, Health Care Directive, and Power of Attorney ensures that your wishes will be met after your death. It also provides a great opportunity to consider a legacy gift to a charity or cause important to your family.
Moderated by Elaine McHarg, VP Philanthropy & Partnerships, West Vancouver Foundation.
This year the WVF is working in concert with other charities and the Canadian Association of Gift Planners on a national campaign which includes information about the impact of Legacy giving more information can be found at https://bit.ly/3DovEil
Date: November 17, 1:00-2:00 pm
Excited to discuss estate planning on behalf of the West Vancouver Foundation!
Settling an Estate in British Columbia: Town Hall Edition (Webinar) - hosted by the People's Law School.
Join us tomorrow at noon for your questions answered on all topics estate administration related. Link to register here: http://ow.ly/OKxC50CmbQC
I'm looking forward to presenting "Remote Estate Practice: Assessing Competence, Potential Undue Influence & Executing Estate Planning Documents" to the Access Pro Bono Wills Clinic lawyer volunteers on Wednesday, October 21 from 1:00 - 3:00 PM (approved for 2 CPD credits).
Presentation to Access Pro Bono Wills Clinic Lawyer Volunteers on Wednesday, October 21 from 1:00 - 3:00 PM
Thank you Life in Law for inviting me to be a guest blogger!
We are pleased to welcome Nicole Garton, of Heritage Law, as the first Guest Blogger to Life and Law’s Dear LiL blog! In her blog post, Nicole shares strategies to help establish and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Read it on the Dear LiL blog here https://lifeinlaw.ca/blog/guest-blogger-nicole-garton-of-heritage-law-shares-tips-and-strategies-on-successfully-maintaining-a-law-practice-while-juggling-motherhood-family-and-community-commitments/
We couldn't be more happy for our new Legal Administrative Assistant Mehak Anand. A recent graduate of the Capilano University Legal Administrative Assistant program, Mehak will be awarded the prestigious Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal at the upcoming spring convocation ceremony.
Established in 1979 by the Ministry of Advanced Education, the Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal is awarded to a student in a vocational or career program of less than two years duration who has excelled in his or her studies and who has contributed in a positive way to the life of their post-secondary institution or their community. Nominees are chosen by the post-secondary institution they attend. The medal is presented by the Lieutenant Governor, when possible, at either spring or fall convocation, with up to 25 students a year receiving the award.
Congratulations Mehak! We are so proud to have you as part of our team.
Photo: Heritage Law Paralegal (and part-time Capilano University instructor) Stacie Ayukawa, left and Mehak Anand, right.
Check out this free recorded webinar on "Settling an Estate in British Columbia: Probate from Three Perspectives," hosted by the People's Law School: https://www.peopleslawschool.ca/settling-estate-british-columbia-probate-three-perspectives-recorded-webinar
Do you have questions about settling an estate in British Columbia? In this webinar, lawyer Nicole Garton talks about probate — what it is, when it’s required and when you need a lawyer. Paralegal Stacie Ayukawa offers tips on completing common forms, and Laura Hill explains the role of the probate registry and steps you can take for a successful probate application.
We're excited to participate in this free public information webinar on probate. Info below.
Do you have questions about probate? Maybe you’ve studied the forms and have questions about how to complete them. Maybe you wonder if you need a lawyer. In this free 1-hour webinar, learn answers to common questions about dealing with probate. Lawyer Nicole Garton will explain the process, parale...
I had the opportunity to review Prof. MacFarlane's seminal book "The New Lawyer, 2nd ed" in the latest issue of the Collaborative Review journal.
Also don't miss Jennifer Woodruff’s excellent article in this issue. Woodruff discusses key features of an amended federal Divorce Act to come into effect in July, 2020, including a recommendation for the use of family dispute resolution processes and specifically names Collaborative Law among these processes. Woodruff also provides a detailed description of the innovative “Early Dispute Resolution Process” project being piloted in Victoria, BC, where parties are required to undergo a pre-action protocol by engaging in at least one Consensual Dispute Resolution process prior to commencing an action.
Check the issue out here:https://www.collaborativepractice.com/sites/default/files/Collaborative_Review_Vol19_Issu1_Web.pdf
Exciting News! The BC government has issued ministerial orders regarding virtual ex*****on of Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Representation Agreements. The ministerial orders apply as of May 19, 2020 and remain in effect until the date on which the last extension of the state of emergency expires or is cancelled. Further information on the process and requirements for remote ex*****on of wills are set out in Ministerial Order M161 http://ow.ly/eJFG50zKYQH, while the process and requirements for remote ex*****on of POAs and representation agreements are set out in Ministerial Order M162 http://ow.ly/5vQV50zKYQx.
I'm excited to be co-presenting a free webinar on behalf of the People's Law School on "Settling an Estate in British Columbia: Probate from Three Perspectives" on Wednesday, June 3rd at noon. You can sign up here: http://ow.ly/KNRD50zHLVR
During this time of social distancing, there are methods to validly sign estate planning documents to enable clients to finalize their personal planning, while still remaining safe.
During this time of social distancing, there are methods to validly sign estate planning documents to enable clients to finalize their personal planning while still remaining safe. In BC, a Will must be signed at the end in the presence of two adult, independent witnesses. For Powers of Attorney i...
Distance mediation is effective and and flexible. I worked today as mediator with excellent counsel to resolve a family matter with parties located in Spain, Vancouver and Victoria.
The New Lawyer, Collaborative Law, Access to Justice and COVID-19: Some Thoughts
After years of intransient and pernicious access to justice challenges, including unaffordability, delays and undue complexity, and increasing numbers of litigants representing themselves by necessity and choice, there is a growing consensus that the justice system requires fundamental reform. As ...
“After tragedies, one has to invent a new world, knit it or embroider, make it up. It’s not gonna be given to you because you deserve it; it doesn’t work that way. You have to imagine something that doesn’t exist and dig a cave into the future and demand space. It’s a territorial hope affair. At the time, that digging is utopian, but in the future, it will become your reality.”
"COVID-19 is highlighting for us what we already knew — that the justice system needs to be revamped and reformed. The system has been running on the edge of viability for years, struggling to maintain backlogs and reasonable hearing times. Now, with courts shutting down, things will only get worse. People will have even less opportunity to find support for their life challenges and cases will either be foregone or pile up. If we care about accessible justice, we must stop living on the edge and make our procedures and hearings more efficient." - Beverley McLachlin
"The crisis is the greatest blessing for people and nations, because the crisis brings progress. Creativity comes from anxiety as the day comes from the dark night." - Albert Einstein
Maybe a silver lining to this crisis the chance to finally innovate and transform a legal system that no longer works for most users.
Yesterday evening, the Ontario Cabinet passed an emergency order to allow virtual witnessing of Wills and Powers of Attorney for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. http://ow.ly/Tmo850z94pk Let's do the same in BC.
Probate and Estate Administration During Social Distancing
Heritage Law continues to assist clients with probates and estate administration matters during social distancing.
Despite the British Columbia Supreme Court suspending all regular operations on March 19, 2020 until further notice, the Probate Registry is still open for processing paper applications received by mail. As probate applications may be delayed due to limited staff at the Probate Registry, we can assist executors and administrators to expedite those the parts of the estate administration process within their control.
Heritage Law continues to assist clients with probates and estate administration matters during social distancing. Despite the British Columbia Supreme Court suspending all regular operations on March 19, 2020 until further notice, the Probate Registry is still open for processing paper applications...
New Transparency Register Requirements for BC Companies
There are important upcoming changes to corporate law in BC, specifically the requirement of private companies to create and maintain a Transparency Register, which is a register of individuals having significant control over a company.
More info here: http://ow.ly/npiI50yX7Rc
There are important upcoming changes to corporate law in BC, specifically the requirement of private companies to create and maintain a Transparency Register, which is a register of individuals having significant control over a company. A new required Transparency Register must list: any individual....
Estate Planning During Social Distancing
Heritage Law is still working with clients to get their estate plans organized during social distancing. To proceed, the steps are:
1. Fill out our online questionnaire: https://www.bcheritagelaw.com/new-clients/estate-planning-file/ and scan to [email protected] or fax us two pieces of ID to 778-786-0616
2. Review various estate planning options which may apply to your family, including pricing: https://www.bcheritagelaw.com/about-us/value-priced-law/
3. Make a phone or ZOOM appointment to provide instructions - online: https://www.bcheritagelaw.com/book-an-appointment/ or you can call the office at 778-786-0615 to book.
4. We email you documents for review, and then we finalize them over the phone.
5. We email you final documents, with detailed ex*****on instructions.
You can call us with any questions at 778-786-0615.
Heritage Law Offers Remote Dispute Resolution
Social distancing does not need to be an impediment to resolving a dispute. We are currently conducting mediation and mediation/arbitration via our secure conference line and also via ZOOM.
Mediation via ZOOM allow parties and lawyers to have a mediation in real time where people are in different locations. Everyone can see and hear each other online, conduct private caucuses in virtual private rooms, present and share documents, and collaborate on settlement agreements. All you need is a computer with a simple we**am, smartphone or tablet. We take care of the rest. You can watch videos on how ZOOM works on their youtube channel http://ow.ly/2aPC50yThz1
There are no additional fees associated with this service. Remote mediation via conference call or ZOOM is available for all Heritage Law mediations and mediation/arbitrations.
During this unprecedented time, Heritage Law continues to be open for business. We are conducting client meetings by phone and are offering wills, powers of attorney and representation agreements on a sliding scale, according to income and circumstances. You can book here: http://ow.ly/68gY50yPBuj
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” ― Maya Angelou
Ways to Practice Law to Facilitate Retaining Women in the Legal Profession – Some Strategies that Worked for Me
Try to think like a race car driver and focus on the road ahead, not the wall, to avoid driving right into it. This is probably the most important thing I have learned as a lawyer that has kept me in private practice. Yes we are risk managers and must think about all the things that could go wrong to help our clients avoid it. Think carefully, do your research and due diligence, manage risk, act prudently, obtain advice from practice advisors or senior lawyers as required, and then be done with it.
Focus on where you are going rather than on what you hope to avoid.
Ways to Practice Law to Facilitate Retaining Women in the Legal Profession – Some Strategies that Worked for Me
Try to think like a race car driver and focus on the road ahead, not the wall, to avoid driving right into it. This is probably the most important thing I have learned as a lawyer that has kept me in private practice. Yes we are risk managers and must think about all the things that could go wrong to help our clients avoid it. Think carefully, do your research and due diligence, manage risk, act prudently, obtain advice from practice advisors or senior lawyers as required, and then be done with it. Keep your eye on the road ahead – success for your client and yourself long term as a professional. Focus on where you are going rather than on what you hope to avoid.
Successful Settlement of a Wills Variation Claim
I’m looking forward to appearing in the Supreme Court of BC tomorrow to obtain court approval of a comprehensive Settlement Agreement reached between parties to a wills variation claim, pursuant to s. 60 of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act. Although a complete and final settlement of the claim has been reached among all parties, pursuant to Rule 20-2(17) of the Supreme Court Civil Rules, a settlement is not binding without the approval of this Court if a party is under a legal disability.
As referenced above, the jurisdiction of the Court to vary a will is derived from Division 6 of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act. Section 60 of the Act states:
Despite any law or enactment to the contrary, if a will-maker dies leaving a will that does not, in the court’s opinion, make adequate provision of the proper maintenance and support of the will-maker’s spouse or children, the court may, in a proceeding by or on behalf of the spouse or children, order that the provision that it thinks adequate, just and equitable in the circumstances be made out of the will-maker’s estate for the spouse or children.
In the leading Supreme Court of Canada decision Tataryn v. Tataryn, the court concluded that the objective is to allow for judicial interference, at its discretion, with testamentary freedom where a spouse or child has not been left with adequate, just and equitable provision. The basic approach in Tataryn was to assess, objectively, the legal norms and moral norms owed by the deceased to his or her spouse and/or children. The Court held that the test is that of a judicious parent, assessed in view of current societal legal norms and moral norms. Tataryn also held that all legal and moral claims against an Estate should be satisfied if the size of the Estate permits.
In this case, counsel and the parties were able to work together collaboratively to arrive at a resolution of this estate matter that met the needs and objectives of all the parties. The Public Guardian and Trustee had no objection to the proposed variation of the Will. Thinking positively that we will be successful in obtaining court approva
I’m looking forward to appearing in the Supreme Court of BC tomorrow to obtain court approval of a comprehensive Settlement Agreement reached between parties to a wills variation claim, pursuant to s. 60 of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act: http://ow.ly/LjlB50xQPpg
I’m looking forward to appearing in the Supreme Court of BC tomorrow to obtain court approval of a comprehensive Settlement Agreement reached between parties to a wills variation claim, pursuant to s. 60 of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act. Although a complete and final settlement of the cl...
Happy clients, happy life!🍾
220 – 545 Clyde Avenue # 220
West Vancouver, BC
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