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The Last Word

'Handcuffed' by mutual wills

'Handcuffed' by mutual wills

May 19, 2024 / 11:00 am

Can you guard against your life savings ending up in the hands of someone else’s children? I posed that question last week, after telling a story about...

Making a will with a second spouse

Making a will with a second spouse

May 12, 2024 / 11:00 am

Till death do us part. That’s commitment. A natural corollary is, what’s yours becomes mine, and mine, yours. Often there are stepchildren. We...

How often should you review your will?

How often should you review your will?

May 5, 2024 / 11:00 am

How often should a will be reviewed? The results of a web search of law firm and financial advice pages gives a number of answers— “every few years...

Is a codicil a better way to make changes to a will?

Is a codicil a better way to make changes to a will?

Apr 28, 2024 / 11:00 am

My column last week was about changing a will that was prepared by a lawyer. A reader asked about crossing out and writing in changes directly on the will...

Advisable to get advice before changing your will

Advisable to get advice before changing your will

Apr 21, 2024 / 11:00 am

A question from a reader: “If you move, is the will invalid if it has your old address on it?” And another question from another reader: “Can...

Taking time off work to provide compassionate care

Taking time off work to provide compassionate care

Apr 14, 2024 / 11:00 am

Can you to take time away from work to be with a dying parent, grandparent or a very close friend? Someone very close to you may be diagnosed with a terminal...

Reasons you may not want to make your child your financial and care advocate

Reasons you may not want to make your child your financial and care advocate

Apr 7, 2024 / 11:00 am

Are you putting your (adult) child in a conflict of interest by appointing them as your attorney by power of attorney? Or as your representative with a...

Conflicts of interest can be found in many walks of life

Conflicts of interest can be found in many walks of life

Mar 31, 2024 / 11:00 am

Next week I plan to write about conflict of interest in the context of powers of attorney and representation agreements but this week, I will set the stage by...

Importance of representation agreements and advance directives

Importance of representation agreements and advance directives

Mar 24, 2024 / 6:00 pm

“Do I really need a representation agreement? My friend had no difficulty directing the care of her spouse when they were in the hospital with a serious...

Making health and personal care decisions for you when you can't

Making health and personal care decisions for you when you can't

Mar 17, 2024 / 6:00 pm

What is a representation agreement and do I need a lawyer’s help to have one? The Province of British Columbia has published an incredibly informative and...

Does a power of attorney have to cost a lot of money?

Does a power of attorney have to cost a lot of money?

Mar 10, 2024 / 11:00 am

I presented at an end-of-life seminar last weekend. An attendee reported at least one law firm is charging $500 for a power of attorney. That might be good...

Making sure your will is valid

Making sure your will is valid

Mar 3, 2024 / 6:00 pm

What are the magic words necessary for a will to be legal (or “valid” as we say in legal circles)? In my last column, I explained that even the most...

When is a will actually a will?

When is a will actually a will?

Feb 25, 2024 / 11:00 am

You come to terms with your mortality on your way to hospital for major surgery. You never got around to having a will prepared. Can you quickly write a will...

Fending off the greedy capital gains 'fairy'

Fending off the greedy capital gains 'fairy'

Feb 18, 2024 / 6:00 pm

I slipped it in a brief tax warning at the tail end of my last column. I know, it was unfair to those struggling to stay awake to the bitter end. So,...

The pitfalls of putting adult children on property titles

The pitfalls of putting adult children on property titles

Feb 11, 2024 / 11:00 am

Is it a good idea to hold bank accounts and property in joint names with your intended beneficiaries to avoid probate fees and expenses? My last column...

Ways to minimize the financial burden on your kids when you die

Ways to minimize the financial burden on your kids when you die

Feb 4, 2024 / 6:00 pm

How can we minimize the taxes and expenses our adult kids will face on our deaths? Thanks for the question, Brenda. This is an incredibly broad topic. I am...

Legal columnist returns after four-year break

Legal columnist returns after four-year break

Jan 28, 2024 / 11:00 am

Castanet welcomes back columnist, Kelowna lawyer Paul Hergott, who wrote a legal column here from 2014 to 2020. His new column will appear here every Sunday and...

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Jul 14, 2020 / 6:52 am

Thank you. And goodbye. At least for now. It’s another Saturday morning as I settle down for the two-four hour process of column writing. A weekly process...

Police do Charter dance

Police do Charter dance

Jul 7, 2020 / 7:24 am

Must the police be deterred from breaching our Charter rights? Are the “Charter damages” awarded by the courts a sufficient deterrent? In the recent...

Resistance is futile in arrest

Resistance is futile in arrest

Jun 30, 2020 / 6:00 am

Yes, you have the right to resist an unlawful arrest. But doing so is not an advisable way to enforce your rights! One problem is that you have no way of...

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