When​ ​moving,​ ​when​ ​do​ ​you​ ​legally​ ​have​ ​to​ ​give​ ​notice​ ​to​ ​your​ ​landlord?

Tenants​ ​must​ ​give​ ​proper​ ​notice​ ​when​ ​they​ ​want​ ​to​ ​move.​ ​This​ ​means​ ​that​ ​you​ ​must​ ​tell your​ ​landlord​ ​in​ ​writing​ ​that​ ​you​ ​are​ ​moving.​ ​The​ ​right​ ​termination​ ​date​ ​and​ ​when​ ​to​ ​give notice​ ​both​ ​depend​ ​on​ ​what​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​tenancy​ ​you​ ​have.​ ​For​ ​your​ ​notice​ ​to​ ​be​ ​legal,​ ​you must​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​that:

● you​ ​choose​ ​the​ ​right​ ​date​ ​to​ ​end​ ​your​ ​tenancy,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​called​ ​the​ ​termination date,​ ​and

● you​ ​give​ ​the​ ​notice​ ​to​ ​your​ ​landlord​ ​on​ ​time.

In​ ​Nova​ ​Scotia,​ ​If​ ​you​ ​are​ ​on​ ​a​ ​month​ ​to​ ​month​ ​lease,​ ​the​ ​Residential​ ​Tenancies​ ​Act applies​ ​where​ ​premises​ ​are​ ​let​ ​from​ ​year​ ​to​ ​year​ ​the​ ​tenant​ ​shall​ ​provide​ ​3​ ​months before​ ​the​ ​expiration​ ​of​ ​any​ ​such​ ​year;​ ​if​ ​the​ ​residential​ ​premises​ ​are​ ​let​ ​from​ ​month​ ​to month,​ ​notice​ ​is​ ​to​ ​be​ ​given​ ​by​ ​the​ ​tenant​ ​at​ ​least​ ​one​ ​month​ ​in​ ​advance.​ ​If​ ​the residential​ ​premises​ ​are​ ​let​ ​from​ ​week​ ​to​ ​week,​ ​notice​ ​is​ ​to​ ​be​ ​given​ ​by​ ​the​ ​tenant​ ​at least​ ​one​ ​week.

If​ ​you​ ​are​ ​unsure​ ​of​ ​any​ ​of​ ​your​ ​rights​ ​or​ ​obligations,​ ​we’d​ ​be​ ​happy​ ​to​ ​speak​ ​with you​ ​anytime​ ​902-539-2425.

At​ ​what​ ​point​ ​in​ ​my​ ​life​ ​do​ ​I​ ​need​ ​a​ ​Will?

In​ ​the​ ​simplest​ ​form​ ​the​ ​​ ​principal​ ​purpose​ ​of​ ​a​ ​Will​ ​is​ ​to​ ​allow​ ​you​ ​to​ ​direct​ ​how​ ​any assets​ ​you​ ​have​ ​accumulated​ ​will​ ​be​ ​distributed​ ​upon​ ​death.​ ​It​ ​also​ ​allows​ ​you​ ​to​ ​name the​ ​person(s)​ ​(your​ ​executor)​ ​who​ ​will​ ​have​ ​the​ ​authority​ ​and​ ​responsibility​ ​to​ ​carry​ ​out your​ ​wishes.​ ​Clearly​ ​if​ ​you​ ​have​ ​young​ ​children​ ​it​ ​is​ ​critical​ ​that​ ​you​ ​make​ ​provision​ ​for such​ ​items​ ​as​ ​naming​ ​a​ ​guardian,​ ​setting​ ​up​ ​a​ ​trust​ ​so​ ​estate​ ​funds​ ​can​ ​be​ ​used​ ​for their​ ​maintenance​ ​and​ ​care​ ​and​ ​so​ ​forth.​ ​Many​ ​people​ ​,​ ​based​ ​on​ ​the​ ​balance​ ​in​ ​their bank​ ​account,​ ​feel​ ​they​ ​don’t​ ​have​ ​enough​ ​assets​ ​to​ ​bother​ ​making​ ​a​ ​Will..​ ​From​ ​our experience,​ ​​ ​regardless​ ​of​ ​your​ ​age​ ​if​ ​you​ ​have​ ​entered​ ​the​ ​workforce​ ​the​ ​old​ ​saying often​ ​applies​ ​“you​ ​are​ ​worth​ ​more​ ​dead​ ​than​ ​alive”……​ ​by​ ​that​ ​we​ ​mean​ ​most​ ​younger persons​ ​can​ ​secure​ ​a​ ​relatively​ ​cheap​ ​term​ ​life​ ​insurance;​ ​most​ ​often​ ​associated​ ​with company​ ​health​ ​plans​ ​there​ ​is​ ​a​ ​mandatory​ ​life​ ​ins​ ​component,​ ​many​ ​people​ ​have​ ​their Mortgages​ ​insured​ ​so​ ​upon​ ​death​ ​what​ ​may​ ​have​ ​been​ ​considered​ ​a​ ​burden​ ​(monthly Mortgage​ ​payments)​ ​immediately​ ​becomes​ ​a​ ​high​ ​valued​ ​asset​ ​which​ ​should​ ​be​ ​dealt with​ ​through​ ​your​ ​Will.

 

Sampson McPhee has prepared this publication to provide legal information of a general nature. It is not intended to provide legal advice. If you have any questions or concerns one of our lawyers will be happy to assist you. You can reach us by calling 902 539 2425.

I’ve Been Injured, What Kind of Compensation am I Entitled to?

We’ve all seen headlines proclaiming “Judge Awards So-and-So X Amount of Dollars in Suit Against So-and-So”. Naturally, the media always zeroes in on the big number, the total amount the injured party will receive. However, these amounts are not pulled out of thin air. In personal injury cases, damages are assessed in categories, which are then added together to arrive at the total award.

So, what exactly are these categories? Personal injury damages are divided into three main categories, special damages, pecuniary damages and non-pecuniary damages. Within each of these main categories, there are subcategories, each of which is analyzed individually to determine the amount of money to which the injured party is entitled.

In the headings below, we will explain what is included in each of these categories:

Special Damages: expenses the injured party has actually incurred prior to the date of the settlement or trial. Since these expenses have already been incurred, the injured party will be expected to provide receipts, and it is fairly easy to calculate the appropriate award. In most cases special damages will include items such as loss of income for time off work that has already occurred, medical expenses, loss of or damage to property (ex. a vehicle).

Pecuniary Damages: expenses the injured party is expected to incur in the future. Pecuniary damages can also be calculated in money, however there is less certainty, since they haven’t actually arisen yet. In most cases pecuniary damages include items such as cost of future care, loss of future earnings, loss of future valuable services (ex. housekeeping abilities),

In calculating pecuniary damages, lawyers and courts are forced, to the best of their ability, to determine what is going to happen in the future. In order to do so, lawyers and courts rely on expert reports and prior case law for guidance in determining what the future holds for the injured party. Regardless, this can be a daunting task, particularly so where there are serious uncertainties, such as whether or not the injured party will be able to return to work, or the injured party is a seriously injured young child and it is

impossible to determine what career path they would have taken had they not suffered the injury.

Non-Pecuniary Damages: are not expenses at all, but are meant to compensate the injured party for their loss and suffering. Although non-pecuniary damages cannot be easily translated into monetary terms, the courts have set out methods for calculating them in order to ensure injured parties receive some compensation for their loss and suffering. Non-pecuniary damages include items such as pain and suffering, loss of expectation of life and loss of life’s amenities. In 1978, the Supreme Court of Canada imposed a cap on non-pecuniary damages, finding that at that time $100,000 was an appropriate upper limit on non-pecuniary damages, and that the upper limit should only be awarded in the most serious cases. This upper limit is adjusted to reflect inflation, and as such in 2017 the upper limit is approximately $351,500.

Sampson McPhee has prepared this publication to provide legal information of a general nature. It is not intended to provide legal advice. If you have any questions or concerns one of our lawyers will be happy to assist you. You can reach us by calling 902 539 2425.

Nova Scotia’s New Parenting and Support Act

On May 26, 2017, Nova Scotia’s new Parenting and Support Act (the “Act“) came into effect, replacing the former Maintenance and Enforcement Act. In addition to the new name, the Act brings sweeping changes to family law in Nova Scotia. Some of the most notable changes include: a list of consequences for failing to comply with an order or agreement, new guidelines for courts dealing with cases where one parent wants to relocate with their child, the use of a parenting plan, new rules regarding the calculation of maintenance, and modernized language.

Failure to Comply with Parenting Arrangements

The Act features a new list of actions that may be taken when a parent fails to comply with orders or agreements for parenting or contact time, or interaction with the child. Under the Act wrongful denial of time and failure to exercise time will have the same outcomes. These outcomes include:

Issue Outcome
Denial, but not wrongful denial, of parenting time, contact time or interaction. A court may order compensatory parenting time, contact time or interaction with the child.
Wrongful denial of parenting time, contact time, or interaction; OR

Failure to exercise parenting time, contact time, or interaction.
A court may order that:
any of the parties or the child attend counselling and that one party pay for the counselling;
the applicant have or exercise compensatory parenting time, contact time, or interaction;
the respondent reimburse the applicant for expenses incurred as a result of the respondent's denial of / failure to exercise the parenting time, contact time or interaction;
the transfer of the child for parenting time or contact time be supervised, and that one party pay for the costs associated with the supervision;
the parenting time, contact time or interaction be supervised, and that one party pay for the costs associated with the supervision;
the costs of the application be paid by one or more of the parties;
the parties appear for the making of an additional order; and
the respondent pay up to $5,000 to the applicant or to the applicant in trust for the child.

Relocation

Further, the Act includes specific guidelines requiring that parents who wish to move outside Nova Scotia with their child give advance notice and establish, depending on their parenting arrangement, whether or not the relocation will benefit the child. The Act creates the following presumptions to guide the courts in determining whether a relocation is in the best interests of the child:

Parenting ArrangementPresumption
A primary caregiver requests an order for relocation, any person opposing the relocation is not "substantially involved" in the care of the child.The relocation of the child is in the best interests of the child unless the person opposing the relocation can show that the relocation would not be in the best interests of the child.
The person requesting the relocation order and any person opposing the relocation have a "substantially shared" parenting arrangement.The relocation of the child is not in the best interests of the child, unless the person seeking to relocate can show that the relocation would be in the best interests of the child.
All other situations. All parties to the application have the burden of showing what is in the best interests of the child.

Parenting Plan

The Act also provides guidance for creating a parenting plan, a written agreement regarding custody and parenting arrangements for a child. The use of parenting plans is intended to help parents clarify their respective responsibilities and the child’s living arrangement. Parenting plans can outline arrangements including who the child will live and associate with, plans for medical care, education, extracurricular activities, religion, spirituality, travel, sharing of information, communication and dispute resolution.

Calculation of Maintenance

Additionally, factors such as a spouse’s conduct which prolongs the needs or period of time for which maintenance is required, a spouse persistently engaging in conduct that constitutes a repudiation of the marriage, remarriage, and cohabitation with a different person, will no longer be considered as factors reducing or eliminating spousal support.

Language

Finally, there are numerous semantic changes in the Act, including updates to the language and terminology used to describe custody and parenting arrangements. The new language is intended to modernize Nova Scotia’s approach to family law, reflecting pivotal societal changes concerning family situations. For example, words such as “access” and “visiting privileges” have been replaced by the terms “parenting time”, “contact time” and “interaction”.

 

Sampson McPhee has prepared this publication to provide legal information of a general nature. It is not intended to provide legal advice. If you have any questions or concerns one of our lawyers will be happy to assist you. You can reach us by calling 902 539 2425.

Bill C-46: How could the Government’s proposed crackdown on impaired driving affect your rights if you get pulled over?

On April 13, 2017, in a highly anticipated move, the federal Government

introduced Bill C-45 in the House of Commons. Bill C-45 is better recognized as

the “Cannabis Act”. The introduction of the Cannabis Act received immense

attention across the country. Concurrently, but receiving significantly less

attention, the Government introduced Bill C-46, creating new rules and changing

some existing ones dealing with impaired driving.

 

Bill C-46 proposes various changes, including enabling police officers to

demand a breath sample from any driver they lawfully stop, without the need for

a reasonable suspicion of intoxication as the law currently requires. 1 This would

mean drivers stopped at regular spot checks could be required to provide a

breath sample at random.

 

Lawyers across the country are already questioning the constitutionality of

this provision, with many speculating it will be promptly challenged in court. In

any event, Canadians should be aware of the proposed change, as there is no

guarantee a constitutional challenge would be successful. For their part, the

federal Department of Justice has released a Charter Statement outlining the

rationale behind the Government’s belief that the proposed legislation is

constitutionally valid. In the statement, the Justice Minister, Jody Wilson-

Raybould, suggests that information obtained from a breath sample is no

different than information obtained from a driver’s licence, describing it as

“information about whether a driver is complying with one of the conditions

imposed in the highly regulated context of driving”.

 

Another proposed change included in Bill C-46 makes it an offence to

have a blood alcohol and/or blood drug concentration over the legal limits within

two hours of driving. 2 This would put an end to the ability of those charged with

impaired driving offences to avoid conviction by claiming they consumed alcohol

and/or drugs immediately before or while driving and therefore would not have

been over the legal limits at the time they were driving since there was not time

for the alcohol to be fully absorbed into their blood stream. This provision does

provide a necessary exception to avoid capturing people who consume alcohol

or drugs after they stop driving, but not where they should have reasonably

expected to be required to provide a sample of a bodily substance.

 

Speaking about Bill C-46, the Justice Minister said, “This bill, if its

passes, will be one of the strongest impaired-driving pieces of legislation in the

world and I’m very proud of that”. 3 MADD Canada has released a statement

expressing their support of the proposed changes, estimating that they will save

200 lives and prevent 12,000 injuries each year. However, in a recent survey of

Canadians, conducted by Nanos Research, the majority of respondents (55 per

cent) were opposed or at least somewhat opposed to the proposed changes.

Ultimately, the most important opinion on the proposed changes will be

that of the courts, and it will be many months, or more likely years, before the

issue is settled.

 

Sampson McPhee has prepared this publication to provide legal information of a

general nature. It is not intended to provide legal advice. If you have any questions or

require legal advice one of our lawyers will be happy to assist you. You can reach us by

calling 902 539 2425.

 

 

 

1 Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46, s 320.‍27(2)

2 Ibid s 253(3).

3 http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-impaired- driving-changes- 1.4069889

What are digital assets and why is it important to consider them in estate planning?

When we think about estate planning it is natural to consider what we want to happen to our homes, money, and children when we are gone. It is less common to consider what we want to happen to our digital assets. However, the importance of planning our digital legacies continues to increase as we accumulate more and more digital assets.

The term “digital asset” refers to any content a person owns in digital form. Examples of digital assets include accounts such as Facebook, Instagram and email; photos; entertainment files such as music, TV shows, games, eBooks and apps; financial records; and point reward programs such as Air Miles and Aeroplan.

A 2013 survey conducted by McAfee found that globally almost 90 per cent of us own multiple digital devices, with more than half spending at least 15 hours every week using a digital device for personal use. The same survey found that on average we have over $35,000 US (currently equivalent to $48,000 CAD) worth of digital assets stored on our digital devices.

Accessing digital assets can be challenging, or even impossible for executors and beneficiaries who are left without passwords to their loved ones’ digital accounts. For example, last year Apple demanded that a widow in British Columbia obtain a court order to gain access to her late husband’s Apple ID password. However, ensuring up-to-date usernames and passwords are securely stored for your executors and beneficiaries to receive after your death is not a simple task. Including your login information in the will itself exposes you to the risk of having your passwords made public if your will is probated and becomes a public document.

Even where passwords have been provided, there may be repercussions both practical and legal when executors and beneficiaries access a deceased person’s digital accounts, especially where the deceased person did not set out a plan for their digital assets. An executor or beneficiary who receives passwords for a deceased person’s digital accounts without instructions may discover personal information about the deceased that the deceased had no intention of the executor or beneficiary discovering. Furthermore, accessing a deceased person’s digital accounts may be inhibited by legislation including the Criminal Code, the Privacy Act, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

In Canada, we currently do not have laws dealing with the handling of digital assets by executors and beneficiaries. Therefore, if a person does not provide instructions for dealing with their digital assets in their will, there is no legislation to step in and set out how their digital assets should be handled like the Intestate Succession Act does for most other real and personal property.

For example, you may or may not want your Facebook account to be deleted after your death. As the law stands, if you do not express your preference in your will, there is no legal presumption that your failure to state your intention indicates that you intended for the account to be deleted or not to be deleted. While initially this may seem frivolous, many Facebook accounts contain irreplaceable assets such as family photos that may not have been stored elsewhere. This can result in additional confusion or conflicts amongst your survivors.

Many digital service providers have their own testamentary policies dealing with the disposition of digital assets after death. These policies can vary greatly, and some digital service providers don’t have one at all. For example, Facebook’s policy is to secure and memorialize profiles after Facebook is made aware that the person has died, and a profile may be deleted at the request of an immediate family member. Facebook will not provide the deceased’s login information to anyone under any circumstance. Facebook users do have the option to designate a “legacy contact”. A legacy contact can pin a final post on the deceased person’s Timeline, respond to new friend requests and update the account’s profile picture. A legacy contact cannot post as the account holder or view their messages. Meanwhile, Apple’s terms and conditions are silent regarding what happens to the account on the death of the account holder.

In 2016, the Uniform Law Commission adopted the Uniform Access to Digital Assets by Fiduciaries Act as model legislation. The stated goal of the model legislation is to facilitate fiduciary access to digital assets while respecting the privacy and intentions of the account holder. Nevertheless, until some form of legislation is enacted, access to digital assets by executors and beneficiaries will continue to be managed solely by estate planning and the varying testamentary policies of digital service providers.

Sampson McPhee has prepared this publication to provide legal information of a general nature. It is not intended to provide legal advice. If you have any questions or concerns about estate planning and digital assets, one of our lawyers will be happy to assist you. You can reach us by calling 902 539 2425.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/apple-wants-court-order-to-give-access-to-appleid-1.3405652
cardinalpointwealth.com/2015/04/17/estate-planning-and-digital-assets/
https://www.facebook.com/help/150486848354038
https://www.apple.com/legal/internet-services/itunes/hk/terms.html