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Making a will: not just for senior citizens

Category // Blog, News, Estate Planning, 2015 Events, 2015-April Events

Government of BC:

VICTORIA - As part of Make a Will Week 2015, the Province is zeroing in on the younger generation, and calling for people under the age of 40 to get busy and make their wills now, said Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

A provincewide poll conducted for the Society of Notaries Public of B.C. found that 80% of people age 18 to 34 do not have a current and legal will. While people in this age range may think they don’t need a will, the fact is many important life events generally occur during those years. People may build a career, open a business, and purchase major assets such as real estate or property. Many individuals in this age range embark on adventures abroad, get married and start a family. All these events should signal the need for a will.



Category // Blog, Estate Administration, Estate Planning, Estate Planning, 2015 Events, 2015-April Events

Make-a-Will Week

Click image to download poster Click image to download poster

April 6 to 12, 2015, is Make-a-Will Week in British Columbia. Its purpose is to encourage the public to write their will or bring an existing will up-to-date.

If you don’t have a will, you’re not alone. According to a 2014 report for BC Notaries, just 55 per cent of British Columbians have a signed, legally valid and up-to-date will.

A will is the best way to ensure that the people, charities and organizations you cherish most receive the benefit of your estate.

If you die without a will, your estate may not be distributed in the way you would have wished and the costs of administering your estate may also be higher.

Having a will helps ensure that important questions for parents – like who will raise your young children if both you and your spouse die – are answered.

Per Ministry of Justice: http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/make-a-will/



Category // Blog, Estate Administration, Estate Planning, Estate Planning, Estate Litigation, 2015 Events, 2015-April Events, 2015-May Events

Recent developments in the law affecting end-of-life decisions by adults or their substitute decision-making have far reaching effects for many. And after death, the new Wills, Estates and Succession Act (“WESA”) which came into force on March 31, 2014 in British Columbia has made significant changes to succession laws, including survivorship rules, distribution of an estate where there is no will, the powers of a court to cure deficiencies in or rectify a will, and much more.


A “Breakfast to Remember” for Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Category // Blog, Estate Planning, 2015 Events, 2015-February Events

On February 24, 2015, Horne Coupar sponsored a table at the “Breakfast to Remember” special event held at the Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria, in support of the Alzheimer’s Society of British Columbia.

Speakers included Doug Pearce, former CEO/CIO of British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCIMC), and Dr. Stuart MacDonald, Associate Professor, University of Victoria.


Solicitor-Client Privilege a Principle of Fundamental Justice : 2015 SCC 6

Category // Blog, News, 2015 Events, 2015-February Events

The Federation of Law Societies was largely successful in its constitutional challenge to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, as issued by oral judgement of the Supreme Court of Canada this morning.

On appeal from a B.C. Supreme Court trial decision, our highest Court stated that solicitor-client privilege, as a constitutional norm, was breached by the offending legislation as it relates to lawyers and their clients. The offending legislation infringed Section 7 of our Constitution: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”

Five of our SCC judge went so far as to state “The lawyer’s duty of commitment to the client’s cause is essential to maintaining confidence in the integrity of the administration of justice.” The remaining two judges (including our Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin) agreed with the ruling, but stated that the “lawyer’s commitment does not provide a workable constitutional standard because it will vary with the nature of the retainer and other circumstances.”

To read the decision in its entirety, click on…



Carter v. Canada

Category // Blog, News, 2015 Events, 2015-February Events

The landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision of Carter v. Canada was released today, overturning a BC Court of Appeal decision banning doctor-assisted death.  Our BC trial court decision was quoted largely with approval.

The long-awaited decision was unanimous.  Brought in 2009 by a woman with a fatal neurodegenerative disease, the appeal was a constitutional challenge to the criminal code provisions which prohibited her from seeking assistance in dying. The BC Civil Liberties Association joined the action.  The court held that the appellant fell into a class of persons who was mentally competent, but enduring intolerable suffering as a result of a grievous and irremediable medical conditions.

The 148 paragraph decision was rendered by “the Court”, and unsigned to indicate the institutional weight of the unanimous decision.  The Court suspended the offending provisions of the criminal code on the basis that the prohibition on physician-assisted dying infringes the right to life, liberty and security of the person in a manner that is not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice, and as such the provisions are “invalid.” The court reasoned that a blanket prohibition on physician assistance to die is overbroad, and not necessary to meet the government’s objective of protecting vulnerable individuals.

The Parliament must now, in an election year, grapple with the invalid provisions and has stated that it will take its time in considering its response.

To read the decision in its entirety, click on…