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Author Archives: Michael Good

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: 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 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: My spouse and I have separated, and I have placed an offer on a new home. Do I need a separation agreement to get financing to make the purchase?

Yes. Your banker/lender will want to see a legally enforceable separation agreement so as to determine your financial obligations to your spouse or your spouse’s financial obligations to you. This may include child and spousal support payments. You will need to be patient as it may take some time for you and your spouse to […]

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Ask an Expert: I would like to make a few minor changes to my will. Do I need to redo the current will? Can I do a codicil instead?

The answer to the first question is no, and to the second is yes. However, I would recommend the opposite! A codicil is a short document to which the same rules of execution apply as for wills and which must be attached to your original will setting out the changes. Codicils can create more problems […]

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Ask an Expert: I am separating from my wife, and we have one 12-year-old child. I have heard that he can decide with which parent to live. Is this true?

There is no magic age before 18. The wishes of children should be heard, but one must be extremely careful of creating a popularity contest between two parents. However, if there is no evidence of one parent trying to exclude the other, the older the child, the more likely the court will follow the wishes […]

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Ask an Expert: What does probating an estate mean?

When someone dies, we often hear people referring to “getting probate.” An application for letters probate from the court refers to the process of formally proving a deceased person’s will is valid. An executor is then authorized to act on behalf of a deceased person’s estate, including distributing the net assets to beneficiaries. Once done, […]

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Ask an Expert: I am buying a house in August. Who pays property taxes this year?

Taxes are levied  for the calendar year and are due June 30 in St. Albert. If paid in one lump sum by the seller, you will pay the seller your share of the year’s taxes though the lawyer’s Statement of Adjustments. If the sellers paid the taxes in monthly payments to the City, you will […]

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Ask an Expert: What is a Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative Divorce is a respectful process for resolving conflict, with the help of specially trained lawyers and other professionals, without going to court. Each spouse is represented by his or her own lawyer from start to finish, with the additional support of helping and financial professionals as required. The spouses and professionals work cooperatively to […]

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Ask an Expert: I am separating from my common-law spouse after living together for 10 years. Do I get half of the house that we bought in his name?

In Alberta, the Matrimonial Property Act applies only to married people. There is a presumption of an equal division of all property acquired during the marriage (with certain exemptions). Some provinces and territories have legislation that governs unmarried people who live together in a conjugal relationship. Alberta has chosen against that so far. There is […]

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