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Wills and estates: Transparent communication with an executor

One of the most important things when writing an estate plan, is the naming of an executor. British Columbia residents who are planning their wills and estates will need to do some serious thinking about who that individual should be for them since the job is often not for the faint or heart. It can be time-consuming and stressful and takes a person who is honest and trustworthy.

Estates can take on a complexity that some people may have a hard time dealing with. An executor of an estate should have some know-how in dealing with finances and also have some knowledge of estate law. So, when choosing an executor, it is important to discuss these things with the person the testator has earmarked for the job. It doesn't have to be an adult child or a spouse, and in some cases, it's better to get someone who might not stand to benefit from the estate directly, like a lawyer.

High asset divorce: Splitting the pie fairly

Some married professionals, like athletes, singers, actors and others with amassed wealth, believe they deserve more of the pie should they get divorced. Some of these individuals reside in British Columbia, and when they become embroiled in a high asset divorce, many try to pay as little as possible in spousal support. The law lays out the ground rules for what is acceptable.

Canada has what is known as the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAG). It was put into place in 2008 with a $350,000 ceiling in an effort to provide consistency regarding spousal support payments. But that figure is just a guideline and judges can look at those figures on a case-by-case basis.

High asset divorce: Divorce Act caters to the middle class

Couples who have more assets may have a more difficult time financially when it comes to ending their marriages. Couples in British Columbia who are in the middle of a high asset divorce may have the government to blame seeing that the federal Divorce Act was basically designed for middle income earners. Many wealthier people own businesses and the division of assets in the divorce process isn't all that straightforward.

These cases often need the help of not only lawyers but also of forensic accountants, mediators and financial analysts. Someone may also be called in to assess the value of any businesses involved. The law in British Columbia allows divorcing parties to have one appraiser to assess the value of a business as opposed to each party having an independent appraiser.

Family law and business growth during a marriage

When a person owns a business in which a spouse is not actively involved, the owner may wrongly assume that the business is not shared property. In fact, under British Columbia family law, some business owners can find that their hard-built businesses are considered community property. It is a good idea to consider these legalities and to protect a business from such consequences in advance.

Those who start businesses prior to their marriage should consider including this asset as part of a prenuptial agreement. It is important to remember that even if a business begins prior to marriage, any growth in that enterprise after a couple ties the knot can be considered marital property. A prenuptial agreement can protect this growth by designating that assets tied up in the business should belong solely to one party in the case of a divorce.

How to prepare for a consultation in a high asset divorce

Finding the right legal counsel is critical when ending a marriage. For this reason, many British Columbia individuals going through a high asset divorce will have consultations with multiple different potential lawyers in order to find the right fit. In order to do this effectively, it is a good idea for people to come prepared and ask the right questions in order to really understand how the lawyer might be able to help them.

Getting documents in order and bringing them to a consultation is ideal to get the most value out of the initial meeting. For example, if there is a restraining order or a divorce filing, these documents should be provided upfront for the lawyer to peruse. Additionally, a bird's eye view of the finances involved in the separation will help to clarify the main assets that will be involved in the breakup.

How will the courts handle custody order non-compliance?

Like you, a Vancouver family law court's primary concern during a custody dispute is the well-being of the child. Decisions a judge makes focus on the best interests of the child even when those interests may conflict with the desires of a parent. Once a court order for custody, parenting time or visitation is in place, it is not optional, and both parents must adhere to the terms of the order.

If you are struggling because your child's other parent refuses to comply with custody orders, you may feel frustrated and even angry. Whether is it because the other parent regularly fails to uphold his or her scheduled custody appointments or the other parent refuses to allow you court-ordered access to the children, you would be wise to seek legal advice about how best to proceed.

Planning can help people avoid mistakes in high asset divorce

When it comes to a divorce, seemingly everything is on the line: custody of children, property, investments and even future earnings. For British Columbia individuals undergoing a high asset divorce, a mistake can have serious consequences. Here are a few things people should know to avoid missteps when ending a marriage.

Today, many soon-to-be exes take a collaborative approach to separation agreements. This can help to save on costs and prevent lengthy court battles. Collaborative divorce is a good idea when possible, but if the break up is particularly contentious people should prioritize finding the right lawyers to lead each party through the legal system.

Prenuptial agreements an increasing family law trend

In the excitement of a new engagement, the topic of a prenuptial agreement can be difficult to raise. But the people who are willing to discuss this critical family law issue can find it lead to helpful conversations and important planning. While it may seem counterintuitive to discuss divorce when planning a marriage, British Columbia couples who choose to do so may find that it opens the door to better understanding and more security.

A recent survey found that 62 percent of lawyers had seen an uptick in the total number of clients seeking prenuptial agreements in the past three years. Specifically, those surveyed noted that millennials in particular were seeking these agreements at a higher rate. This may be driven by debt as much as by protecting assets, with many engaged millennials concerned about liability for a partner's student loans.

Are grounds for divorce required under B.C. family law?

One of the common misconceptions about divorce in Canada is that a person needs "grounds" to file for divorce. The majority of British Columbia divorces are no-fault, meaning that no reasoning is required to get the separation and subsequent divorce under family law. Understanding how separation and divorce work from a legal perspective is critical for anyone seeking to end their marriage in the province.

In British Columbia, divorce is governed primarily by Canada's Divorce Act. Under this legislation, a divorce can be granted one year from the date of separation. The way in which the costs associated with filing for separation are handled is typically referred to in the separation agreement.

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