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Author Archives: Michael Good

Do spousal support obligations continue after the recipient dies?

If the Divorce Judgment or separation agreement provides for the termination of spousal support after the death of the recipient, then the spousal support may end. But where the spousal support agreement provides that payments are to a specified date, are unreviewable and enure to the benefit of one’s estate, then the payor may be […]

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I would like to add one of my children to the title of my home as a joint tenant so that she receives it when I die. Is this a good idea?

There are at least 3 things you should think about. Consider that once you’ve done that, you can longer sell the home or borrow against the home without your daughter’s consent. This limits your independence.  Further, there may be an unintended tax consequence if your daughter already owns a primary residence. Finally you may be […]

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We are taking our children to see their grandparents. I must return home to St. Albert before my wife and kids return. Do I need to sign a Travel Consent Letter?

For international travel, Canada Border Services Agency recommends that the non-travelling individual with guardianship rights, whether married or not, sign the letter in front of a notary public.  So, yes, it is recommended that you sign a Travel Consent Letter to permit your wife to re-enter Canada with your children. She may or may not […]

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I live in a condo and my toilet overflowed, causing water damage to several units below me. The condominium insurance policy paid the claims, but the Board wants me to pay the $10,000.00 deductible. Do I have to pay?

It depends on what the condo bylaws say. If the bylaws are silent regarding deductibles, it is likely that you do not have to pay. If the bylaws impose liability on the owner in all circumstances, you are likely going to have to pay. If the bylaws say you pay only if you were negligent, […]

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We want to sell our house here in St. Albert which is held jointly with my husband. My husband has lost his mental capacity but he appointed me as his attorney to act on his behalf. The power of attorney was made and signed when we lived in Newfoundland. Can we complete the sale here?

As long as the power of attorney meets the requirements of a power of attorney in Newfoundland, states that it survives mental incapacity, meets the normal registration requirements here, references the sale of real property, and a lawyer writes a letter stating that it meets the above criteria, you may sign on behalf your husband […]

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My divorce is simple. Can I do it by myself?

If you and your spouse have equal incomes, no children and no property to divide, with some time and patience you can do it yourself. If otherwise, there are most likely issues that are legally and financially complicated. There will be issues that you didn’t even know you have to resolve. As the saying goes […]

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I’m buying a home. I am talking to my lender and my lawyer about my down payment but they aren’t talking about the same thing. What’s up?

When you made your offer to purchase, you gave your Realtor a cash deposit and perhaps a second deposit when you removed your conditions.  In addition, there will be a cash shortfall requested by your lawyer. The cash shortfall is the total required to complete the purchase which will include tax and condo fee adjustments, […]

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What’s the difference between a Prenuptial Agreement and a Cohabitation Agreement?

A Prenuptial Agreement is an agreement made before marriage usually to resolve issues of support and property division if the marriage ends in divorce or death. It can be entered into in contemplation of marriage but it is unenforceable until after the marriage. A Cohabitation Agreement is an agreement outlining the property and financial arrangements […]

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What is a Real Property Report (RPR) and why do I need one?

A Real Property Report, drawn by a qualified surveyor, shows the location of all buildings and improvements on your property. You need this to get a letter or stamp of compliance from the City. And you will need to provide both of these things to the buyer if you are planning on selling your property, […]

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I have purchased a home and I will take possession next month. I drove by the house yesterday and I noticed that shingles have blown off the roof. Can I withhold money from the purchase price until the roof has been repaired?

Unless you have already negotiated a hold back in your Real Estate Contract, you cannot unilaterally withhold money from the cash required to complete the purchase. Immediately ask your lawyer to request a hold back with a specific time limit for the completion of the roof work. If the request for a hold back is […]

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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: 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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Ask an Expert: Is it a good idea to sell and buy a home on the same closing day?

While the actual moving day will be hectic, from your lawyer’s of view, it can be done. However, if for some unanticipated reason, your sale closing is delayed and the money is received late at your lawyer’s office, the money will not be available to complete your purchase. Your taking possession of the new home […]

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Ask an Expert: Why do I need a real property report and compliance when selling or buying a home?

If you are a seller, the standard real estate contract states that these are documents that you must provide to the buyer, unless set out otherwise in the standard real estate contract. These confirm that the building location warranties given by the seller in the contract are true. If you are a buyer, you will […]

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