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Ask an Expert: What happens to my online accounts upon my death?

The new Estate Administration Act requires an executor, also called a personal representative, to manage online accounts and to identify and manage digital assets. When creating an estate plan, care should be given to creating a list of all online accounts (like eBay or PayPal) and virtual property (communications like Gmail or MSN; media like […]

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Ask an Expert: My wife and I are separating and we have come to an agreement dividing all of our property. Why do we need to provide so much financial information to our lawyers to get a legal Separation Agreement drawn and signed?

Your lawyer and your wife’s lawyer must certify that they have given their clients, separate and apart from the other, independent legal advice. To do that properly, the lawyers must assess your financial situation thoroughly, much like a surgeon will not operate at your request without a complete examination prior to surgery. Like a surgeon, a lawyer can then […]

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Ask an Expert: What really are the differences between using the collaborative process rather than going to court?

There are a lot of reasons why so many people are choosing to resolve matters arising on separation outside of the court system. Some of the big ones include: 1. Confidentiality. Many personal and financial details can otherwise become part of the filed documents. 2. Creativity. Working together offers many more options regarding how to […]

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Ask an Expert: I’m getting divorced. Can I move to another province?

There are no restrictions on moving to another province. However, if you have not finalized matters and if you expect that you will need to resolve matters in court rather than through negotiation, you need to consider the residency requirements in the Divorce Act. To start a divorce action, you or your ex-spouse need to […]

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Ask an Expert: Can I be evicted from my condominium even though I own it?

Yes. The Condominium Property Act gives the Court the power to make “any other order appropriate in the circumstances,” which would an include an eviction order when an owner’s conduct has been found to be improper. However, the conduct would have to be serious and the eviction might only be ordered after the condominium corporation […]

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Ask an Expert: I’ve been separated for years. Why do I need my ex-spouse’s consent to sell the house I bought after our separation?

Dower rights give a non-owning spouse the right to live in the house following the owner’s death. Alberta law requires any landowner who is selling land in his or her own name to swear an affidavit setting out that: (a) he or she is not married; (b) an ex-spouse has released his or her dower […]

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Ask an Expert: How can I not win and still be successful in my divorce?

Ending a marriage is one of the most difficult things someone can face. It can throw a couple into turmoil, often bringing the whole family into chaos—at least for a time. Divorcing couples can be defensive, protective, and feel pressure to “best” the other spouse in negotiations, especially if entering into our adversarial court system, […]

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Ask an Expert: I think my marriage is over. I’m worried about all the debt we have together. What can I do?

Identify joint debts such as mortgages, personal loans, lines of credit, and credit cards. Joint debts will remain your responsibility even though your spouse may be willing to take them over. Your lender does not care about an agreement between you and your spouse when it comes to joint debt. The only way to get […]

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Ask an Expert: I’m getting divorced. How can I prepare myself to move forward more positively?

Research shows there are three preconditions for positive change. First, something must motivate an individual to want to change. Second, a different relationship that provides psychological safety, empathy, and attunement must exist (like with a divorce coach). Third, there must be optimal anxiety—just the right amount of discomfort in the present to want to move […]

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Ask an Expert: Focus on children at Christmas.

Recently, when discussing plans for Christmas with my family, we talked about how kids may experience the holidays when their parents have recently separated or are having relationship difficulties, which can be heightened over the holidays. With so much focus on the “business” of Christmas and on the problems parents are facing themselves, the fact […]

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