Can a spouse use stored sperm, eggs or embryos after their partner dies?

Many couples assume that if they have stored sperm, ova (eggs) or embryos at a fertility clinic, if one of them died, the other could automatically use those to conceive a child. Is that true? No – Canada’s Assisted Human Reproduction Act, and the Assisted Human Reproduction (Section 8 Consent) Regulations have very specific requirements […]

What surrogates and parents can talk through before the lawyer visit

Most intended parents and surrogates talk through a lot of issues before they make the decision to embark on the surrogacy process together, and long before either goes to a lawyer about drawing up the Surrogacy Agreement. In some ways, a Surrogacy Agreement is a communication tool. Putting everyone’s intentions in black and white, in […]

Basic Estate Planning Checklist (BC)

This is a starting point for individuals in BC on documents to put in place and basic tasks to help things go smoothly for themselves and their loved ones in the event of death or incapacity. Keep in mind that everyone’s situation is different, and your lawyer may raise issues and suggest strategies that are beyond this […]

Your land and my land – Supreme Court of Canada declares Aboriginal title to Tsilhqot’in

A landmark decision has been made by the Supreme Court of Canada today granting a declaration of Aboriginal title to a portion of the traditional lands of the Tsilhqot’in Nation in BC and making that title meaningful for the Tsilhqot’in Nation – Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44. ** Why is a wills […]

Testamentary Trusts Revisited – Budget 2014

For the past several years, estate planning lawyers have touted the virtues of testamentary trusts as a tax planning tool for clients with sizeable estates. Budget 2014 will largely remove the tax benefits of testamentary trusts, and for many clients (but not all!) the simplicity of outright gifts for adult beneficiaries might now make more […]

Watching your Words – Barnes Estate v. Barnes

“Who’s the daddy?” and “Does it matter?” were two questions at the heart of the BC Supreme Court’s decision in Barnes Estate v. Barnes 2013 BCSC 1848. The court answered: We can’t be sure, and it doesn’t really matter as long as the person who made the last will intended the people whose paternity is […]

No cookie cutter: Stage of life and the marriage or cohabitation agreement

Not all marriage and cohabitation agreements are the same. The agreement that makes sense for a couple late in life who both have children from previous relationships will be different from the agreement that makes sense for a couple in their thirties who are just about to have their first child together. The legal landscape […]