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Uncategorized Category - Lawyer Abbotsford

Providing expert legal services for civil, family, construction, wills and estates and business law.

How to Prepare for an Initial Consultation With a Lawyer

If you are planning to meet with a lawyer for the first time, you may be feeling a bit nervous or overwhelmed about what to expect. However, with a little preparation, you can make the most out of your first-ever consultation with a lawyer and ensure you get the answers you need. Here are seven tips from our business lawyer in Abbotsford for preparing for your initial consultation with a lawyer:

1. Research the Lawyer and Their Specialty

Before scheduling your initial consultation, take some time to research the lawyer and their specialty. Look for a lawyer with experience in the law area that your case falls under. For example, if you need a personal injury lawyer, look for someone who has handled similar cases. This will help you find a lawyer who understands the specific issues related to your case and can provide you with the best possible advice.

2. Prepare a List of Questions

When you meet with a lawyer, you will want to make sure that you ask all of the questions that you have. To ensure you don’t forget anything, prepare a list of questions beforehand. This will help you stay organized and focused during the consultation. Write down any concerns or issues and any information or evidence you want to bring to the lawyer’s attention.

3. Gather Relevant Documents and Information

Depending on the nature of your case, you may need to bring certain documents or information to your consultation. For example, if you are consulting with a divorce lawyer, you may need to bring financial documents and proof of income. If you meet with a personal injury lawyer, you may need to present medical records and bills. Ensure you have all the relevant documents and information organized and ready to go.

4. Be Honest and Forthcoming

During your consultation, being honest and forthcoming with your lawyer is important. This will help them understand the full scope of your case and provide you with the best possible advice. Don’t be afraid to share embarrassing or sensitive information with your lawyer. They are bound by confidentiality and will keep your information private.

5. Take Notes

During your consultation, take notes on the lawyer’s advice and recommendations. This will help you remember the essential details later on. You can also ask the lawyer for their contact information so you can follow up with any additional questions or concerns that you may have.

6. Understand the Lawyer’s Fees

Before hiring a lawyer, you must understand their fees and billing practices. Ask the lawyer about their hourly rate, retainer fee, and any other costs associated with your case. Ensure you fully understand the fee structure before signing any contracts or agreements.

7. Trust Your Instincts

Finally, trust your instincts when it comes to hiring a lawyer. If you feel uncomfortable or uneasy during your consultation, it may be a sign that there are better lawyers for you. On the other hand, if you feel confident and comfortable with the lawyer, it may be a good sign that they are the right fit for your case.

Conclusion

Preparing for your initial consultation with a business lawyer in Abbotsford is a big step in the legal process. By doing your research, preparing questions and documents, being honest, taking notes, understanding fees, and trusting your instincts, you can get the best possible advice from your lawyer. Good luck!

Pathfinder Law provides comprehensive legal advice and representation on various matters, ranging from civil disputes to family issues and business transactions. We work to ensure our clients receive the best possible service and representation for their individual needs, regardless of their location in British Columbia. Our business lawyers in Abbotsford are dedicated to assisting our clients in navigating the complexities of the legal system to achieve the best possible outcomes. Set your initial appointment today!

3 Common Mistakes People Make While Crafting Their Will

Having a will prepared is a critical step for anyone to take. A will allows you to specify how your assets should be divided and distributed after you pass away. While it can be tough to face one’s mortality and plan a future without you, a will can help your loved ones navigate the uncertainties of your passing and avoid legal troubles.

Unfortunately, sometimes a poorly-crafted will can cause as much trouble as having none. It’s best to craft your will with the aid of a wills and estates lawyer in Abbotsford to avoid complications. In the spirit of education, here are three of the most common mistakes people commit when making a will.

Not Naming Backup Executors

A backup executor is someone you designate to take over the role of executor if your primary executor is unable or unwilling to fulfill the role. This can be a direct or extended family member, friend, or professional such as an accountant or a wills and estates lawyer. The backup executor will have the same duties and responsibilities as your primary executor, so you must choose someone you trust to fulfill your wishes.

When naming a backup executor, you should designate someone willing and able to take on the role. You should also ensure that your choice is not legally disqualified from serving as an executor. For example, if you name your spouse as your primary executor, you may not be able to name them as your backup executor if they are not legally allowed to serve as an executor in your state.

A backup executor is essential if your first-named executor passes away or cannot take on the role. If you don’t list a backup executor in the will, family members or creditors can apply to the court to become your executor. However, this can lead to conflict if disagreements arise over who should take the role.

Not Naming Backup Beneficiaries 

When drafting a will, the writer should consider the possibility of a beneficiary passing away before them and include provisions for a substitute beneficiary. You can do this by giving the executor of the will the power to designate a substitute beneficiary or by specifying a substitute beneficiary in the will itself.

It’s essential to be aware that if the substitute beneficiary passes away before the will-maker, the inheritance or benefit would once again become part of the overall estate and be divided among the other beneficiaries.

Not Distributing Personal Possessions

A person’s items aren’t always the most valuable, but they often have sentimental value. If something you want to make sure goes to a particular beneficiary, ensure that it is specified in your will.

On the other hand, if you only have a preference but are not overly concerned with who receives the item, you can create a supplemental document that is not legally binding. This memo should provide instructions to the executor of your will regarding distributing personal items according to your wishes.

A person’s estate generally does not include bank accounts or land but may include vehicles. The executor’s job is to distribute the remaining assets. Money gained from selling these items will be included in the estate.

Conclusion 

Many people dislike drafting a will because they fear confronting mortality. However, without a will, the government may decide how to divide your assets, which may not align with your desires. A will is also vital in minimizing the potential for family disputes over your estate. Taking the time to create a will can provide peace of mind and ensure your wishes are respected.

Pathfinder Law’s wills and estates lawyers in Abbotsford are ready to provide sound legal advice. We know your situation is unique, and we are ready to listen. Contact us today to learn more. 

Spousal Support: What Are Its Calculation Guidelines?

Paying your ex-spouse money is typically a big cause of tension for divorced couples, and for good reason. This is true regardless of what you name it: spousal support, partner support, or alimony.

Some ex-partners believe they are automatically entitled to monthly payments of a substantial sum, in contrast to their counterparts, while others believe their ex-partners are being paid for doing nothing. But getting support is not always simple.

This article explains the legal ideas that define when assistance is needed and how it is calculated, plus where you can find a spousal support lawyer in Abbotsford. 

How Is Spousal Support Calculated?

Just like when unmarried partners split up, the issue of spousal support is still relevant when married couples get divorced. 

Despite the nomenclature variations, the fundamental notion and principles remain the same. We use the term “spousal support” to refer to all types of spousal and partner assistance for simplicity.

Entitlement

Before receiving spousal support, a former spouse must prove their claim to maintenance. The Canadian Supreme Court has recognized three different spousal support rights:

When one spouse is assigned to receive a written agreement, this is known as contractual support (such as a prenuptial, cohabitation, separation, etc.). You may be obligated to pay due to your contractual obligations if this is the case.

Compensatory Support 

This is typically given when one spouse has missed out on opportunities for a career, education, or money as a result of their engagement in the marriage. 

The idea behind this is that one spouse shouldn’t be forced to bear an unjust financial burden due to their involvement in the marriage.

Non-compensatory Support

This is typically needed when one spouse experiences extreme financial difficulty as a result of the breakdown of the marriage. The idea is that if a marriage ends and one person becomes independent, their standard of living shouldn’t be severely diminished.

Quantum

If a former spouse can show a right to support on one of the grounds above, the next step is determining the quantum or amount payable. 

The most popular method for calculating spousal support based on the income of each former spouse is to refer to the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines. The Court, however, has discretion and is not obligated to abide by these rules. 

Depending on a person’s income, it must be determined whether support should be at the low, middle, or high end of the range set by the guidelines. 

Numerous factors must be considered while determining quantum. We typically consider the disparity in income, the roles each ex-spouse played throughout the marriage, their earning potential, their attempts to become independent, and any other mitigating circumstances, such as their health.

Duration

The final consideration, after determining eligibility and quantity, is duration. The question “How long do I have to pay” is the one that shows up most frequently. 

The length of the link typically influences the longevity of the support. The average lifespan of a short-term relationship (less than 20 years) is 0.5 to 1.0 times that of the years it lasted. For instance, a 10-year relationship may require 5–10 years of support payments.

A long-term relationship (more than 20 years) typically has an indefinite term that can be reconsidered when particular conditions occur (i.e., the former spouse receiving support remarries).

But Do I Have To Pay Back My Ex-Spouse?

Spousal support is not legally required, in contrast to child support. Negotiating spousal support is therefore acceptable and even recommended, especially where there is shared property. 

Additionally, spousal support may be provided in a single amount if there is enough equity, eliminating the requirement for regular monthly payments. However, the payer’s monthly help is tax deductible, unlike lump sum aid. 

In other words, taxes have a significant role. A lawyer can help you comprehend the terms of any spousal support you or your ex-spouse may be entitled to receive and your eligibility for it. Support for a spouse may be challenging and confusing. Contact a knowledgeable spousal support lawyer in Calgary or Vancouver, and give them a call.

Conclusion 

Spousal support and separation agreements in Abbotsford are complex and often contentious issues in Canadian family law. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether or not spousal support should be paid or how much should be paid. A court decides whether or not to provide spousal support and how much to award in each instance, taking into account the particulars of the relationship and the parties involved.

We at Pathfinder Law offer a comprehensive range of legal services to clients in Abbotsford and the rest of British Columbia, including civil litigation, family law, builder’s liens, employment law, wills and estates, and business law services. Contact us if you need a spousal support lawyer in Abbotsford!