You may have heard about a Representation Agreement before, which is a key legal document that a person in British Columbia needs to plan for their own personal health care.

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People often think discrimination applies only to racial and ethnic differences, but as DBM always advises our clients, the BC Human Rights Code covers much more than that.

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Choosing to buy strata property is becoming very popular in BC. According to the BC Government’s website, more one million British Columbians living in strata housing, although not all of these are owners. There seems to be, however, some confusion about what exactly strata housing is, and what the rights of strata owners are. At DBM, we have been providing expertise and answering questions for clients who are considering buying strata.

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I think I was let go from my job unfairly. What rights do I have?

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If you were a client at DBM, you would hear us talk about wills and estate planning a lot. That’s because, if you have any assets, children or a life partner, there is simply no more important document you can make than your will. Your will makes sure that your precise wishes are carried out after your death: where your money, property, insurance, and other assets go; who will take care of your kids should there not be a surviving parent; and who will make sure your wishes are honoured.

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It seems straightforward: you get a job and expect paid vacation to go along with it. But the rules and the law around vacation and vacation pay can be among the most confusing aspects of employment.

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No one wants to be in debt. But there are times, especially when jobs are scarce and the economy is shaky, when your income simply isn’t enough to cover all of your expenses. During tough periods, it is sometimes necessary to determine which bills must be paid now and which bills can wait. Shelter and food are clearly top priorities while other debts or bills may have to be put aside until your financial situation improves.

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The vast majority of employers in BC treat their employees with respect, and value their contribution to the success of the business. Unfortunately, there are exceptions. At DBM, we have represented clients who have faced discrimination or have had their human rights abused in the workplace.

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Congratulations on the new member of your family. Here are 4 things every employee (and employer) should know about maternity and parental Leave.

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You have probably heard repeatedly that there are few financial aspects of your life more important than having a valid, up-to-date will. The estate lawyers at DBM warn that should you die without a will – legally called dying “intestate” – than your assets could be distributed in ways you did not intend. This is especially important if you have minor children, since if you die intestate than their guardian will be chosen by the court instead of who you want. To have a say in what happens after you pass away, your intentions must be written in a document such as a will or estate plan.

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If you are injured in a car accident in British Columbia then you are entitled to certain benefits regardless of whether you were at fault for the accident or not.   These benefits, called “No-Fault Benefits” or “Part 7 Benefits”, generally cover your medical and rehabilitation costs as well as lost wages.  They are limited, however, and ICBC will not always pay what they are required to without a fight.  You should talk to a personal injury lawyer to make sure you know what is how to apply for No-Fault Benefits and what those benefits cover.

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In the British Columbia courts, a person’s last will can be contested under the Wills Variation Act. Wills variation claims arise when a child or spouse feels they have not been adequately provided for within a will or when there is another dispute over the fair dispersal of an estate.

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As the National Post has put it, stepfamilies are becoming the “new normal” in Canada. This is made evident by the fact that in 2011, the census counted stepfamilies for the first time, revealing that 12.6% of families in Canada are stepfamilies.

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Whether you’ve been named the executor of someone’s will or you are drafting your last will and testament and need to choose one for your estate, keep in mind these essential qualities of an executor. Though every will needs an executor, not every person is prepared to be one.

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Although we all recognize the need to draft a will to make sure our assets and belongings are passed along to our loved ones, it is easy to overlook the same need to prepare our “digital estates.” However, less than 30 years since the Internet became publically available, digital planning with your wills and estates lawyer has already become essential.

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Disinheritance occurs when a person legally excludes someone from their will who would normally be considered an heir. This includes spouses, children, and grandchildren.

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More than in most other regions in Canada, renting is a way of life in the Lower Mainland. Knowing your renters’ rights under tenancy law is important in making sure your living situation is a fair one, especially in Greater Vancouver’s eternally hot rental market.

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Although a will is intended to outline a person’s last wishes in full, settling an estate can nevertheless be a complicated process.

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Many residents in Metro Vancouver, including in the Tri-Cities, are renters. And many of the people they rent from are private homeowners.

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The most secure way to prepare your last will and testament is with a wills and estates lawyer. While it is possible to write your own, a do-it-yourself will is no comparison for one drafted under guidance of a legal professional. A lawyer will take into account factors about estate planning you are most likely in danger of missing, which means that your last wishes will be met as you intended.

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There are many factors to consider when estate planning in British Columbia. This is especially true if you’re a small business owner.

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Setting up a trust happens for several reasons. These include ensuring family members’ financial stability in the future, donating funding to a favourite charity, and providing security for a dependent who has disabilities.

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Litigation is the process by which two parties bring or contest a legal issue in court. Although all lawyers practice law, not all lawyers represent their clients at trial. A lawyer who does litigation, otherwise known as a litigator, is a lawyer who represents you at trial, in the courtroom.

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Ideally, an executor of a will has told their family where their will is kept. But this isn’t always the case. If you can’t find the will of your relative, things become more complicated at an already difficult time for the family.

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When you’ve just finished planning out every rustic detail of your dream wedding at Minnekhada Lodge in the beautiful forests of Coquitlam, lawyers and estate planning and even more paperwork is the furthest thing from your mind.

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After all the hard work that goes into setting up a successful business, the last thing anyone wants is for a business partner dispute to tear it all down. Managing partnership disagreements quickly and fairly is to the benefit of your company, your employees, your clients—and yourself.

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We’re often told we should never settle. And while that may be true when it comes to love, it’s certainly not the case when it comes to the law. The decision to settle a lawsuit—that is, finding a resolution without taking the case to court—can in fact be the best way to end a legal dispute.

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While there are several different scenarios that can lead to a person being disinherited by a parent, the end result is always the same: hurt and confusion. No one expects to find themselves in a disinheritance situation, and it often comes as an added shock during an already difficult time.

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Your Children Could Be Placed with the State The welfare of one’s child is the highest priority in any parent’s mind. Part of providing the best care for a child means making provisions for their happiness in any possible scenario—including one without you in it. If you don’t have a will, you don’t get any say in who looks after your children. In the absence of any appropriate relative, that could even be the state.

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It’s an unfortunate but sometimes unavoidable situation: you have a worker who isn’t working out, and they need to go.

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Effective August 2, 2016, an additional property transfer tax applies to residential property transfers to foreign entities in the Greater Vancouver Regional District.

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Along with determining the guardianship of any minors and laying out funeral arrangements, one of the major functions of a will is determining what will be done with your estate. Giving gifts in a will means that your money, stocks and bonds, possessions, and any other assets are distributed according to your wishes, rather than being divided according to British Columbia law.

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Everyone knows that playing the stock market can be a gamble: you never really know if and when your investment might take a dive, or, much more happily, soar and quickly line your pockets with gold.

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How do you know when it’s time to prepare your first will? What about updating your existing will? We often put off thinking about our last will and testament, but there are certain life events that remind us of the need to put our final wishes into a legal and binding document.

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The prospect of being forced from your home is an uncomfortable one, to say the least. While facing an eviction can be overwhelming, there are immediate steps you can take to help gain back your sense of control.

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Of course, no one likes thinking about the end. It’s morbid, it’s gloomy, and let’s face it – no fun. So when it comes to drafting a will, people often put it off far too long. But the best thing you can do is just get it over with and rest easy knowing that your estate is in order and your next of kin will not be unduly stressed down the road.

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If you are lucky enough to be an owner in Vancouver’s white-hot real estate market, you’re well ahead of the curve. If you are renting your property, then you’re probably also aware that protecting your investment while fulfilling your obligations to your tenants can be a real struggle. Landlord Tenancy Law disputes are an ever-changing area to navigate as an owner, so it’s good to know where you stand.

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Some BIG NEWS Regarding the Property Transfer Tax!

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The Canadian Cancer Society is holding their annual Coquitlam Relay for Life on Saturday June 4, 2016 at Percy Perry Stadium. The “DBM Defeaters” will be once again be supporting this great cause by entering several teams to raise funds to help find the cure. We encourage all our friends to join us in this worthy endeavour!

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On February 1, 2016 Christine Seah joined DBM as a Case Manager in our Personal Injury practice. Christine has many years of experience and brings the ability to communicate with clients in both Cantonese and Mandarin. If you would like to speak to her, please contact her by email at cseah (at) dbmlaw (dot) ca or call her at 604 937-6457.

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In 2016, DBM celebrates their 40th anniversary of practicing law in the Tri-Cities! We are very proud of our long history in the area, and would like to take this opportunity to say “Thank You” to our many clients and friends who have supported us throughout these years.

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In Vahman v Cutt et al., 2015 BCSC 298, Mr. Vahman was travelling west on 23rd Avenue in North Vancouver intending to turn left into the parking lot of Kentucky Fried Chicken. He was stopped in a designated left turn lane waiting to turn into the parking lot. Meanwhile, Mr. Smith was travelling eastbound in the curb lane of 23rd Avenue toward Mr. Vahman’s vehicle. Traffic in the center lane of 23rd Avenue had stopped due to traffic congestion, but had left a gap so as to not block access to the KFC parking lot entrance. The motorist who had left the gap gestured to Mr. Vahman to turn in front of him. Mr. Vahman, relying on that gesture, proceeded to turn left through the gap into the parking lot. The Vahman vehicle “popped out” between the vehicles lined up directly in front of Mr. Smith but he was unable to avoid the ensuing collision.

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You can probably recall a time where you were waiting to turn left, across oncoming traffic, to either enter a parking lot or another street. Sometimes, your view is obstructed and another motorist “waves” or “gestures” for you to go ahead. The Courts have been clear…MORE

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Calculate Property Transfer Tax and GST on property purchases quickly and easily with the free DBM free TaxApp. Download the app to your smartphone or launch the App directly from the website HERE.

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In the BC Provincial Budget of February 18, 2014, the amounts for the First Time Home Buyers exemption have been increased as of February 19. For more details, click here: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=BBD16E2D7C1841A7BBD420E3AC5380F1

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DBM is hosting an opening party at the new Sechelt location on Friday, May 3 from 4 – 6 pm. The address is Suite 106, 5674 Teredo St., Sechelt, BC. Please call reception at 604.939.8321 or 604.885.7779 if you are planning to attend, and then drop by and meet some of our lawyers!

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Drysdale Bacon McStravick recently teamed up with a local Vancouver developer to create the DBM TaxApp for Google Android and iPhone.

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Recently DBM partner  represented a client who was injured in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in soft tissue damage around the plaintiff’s spine and neck. The injury occurred on May 23, 2008, while the plaintiff, Mr. Jackson, was driving his work vehicle. The accident was the result of another vehicle rapidly veering from the center southbound lane and into the lane in which Jackson was traveling. The injuries suffered by the plaintiff rendered him incapable of carrying out the duties required of his profession (plumbing), forcing him to seek another vocation. In addition, Jackson’s continuing pain had resulted in insomnia, depression, and limited his ability to participate in the activities that he once enjoyed.

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In 2009, a DBM client was the victim of soft-tissue injuries to her neck and upper back following the rear-ending of a vehicle that she was riding in as a passenger. In addition to suffering considerable pain, she required accommodation at her job, was precluded from participating in sports and social events that she formerly enjoyed and is now unsuited for many occupations. A key issue in the case concerned photos posted to her Facebook page. These photos were taken during a trip to Las Vegas that she went on with friends well after the accident. ICBC’s argument was that the photos undermined her credibility on the damages issue.

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DBM is pleased to announce the third of a recent series of victories against ICBC appeals of the firm’s successes in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. While many law firms farm out their appellate work to outside counsel, DBM is content to rely on the expertise of its own litigators in handling appeals brought against it by ICBC.

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Drysdale Bacon McStravick is pleased to announce that effective March 31st, 2010, Laura Holland will be joining our team as Senior Real Estate Counsel. Laura has over 14 years of experience, focusing on residential real estate and related services including:

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Drysdale Bacon McStravick is pleased to announce that effective June 9, 2009 Harmonie Roesch-West joined the DBM team as a litigation associate focusing on personal injury and general litigation files.  Harmonie’s business background and experience interning with the New Brunswick Court of Appeal are welcome additions to our ever-growing litigation skill sets.

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DBM has launched two new blogs focussed on personal injury law in both Coquitlam and Langley. Please visit the blogs for up to date information on cases and the law applicable to these areas:

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 and  joined Gordon Hilliker, Q.C. in representing 18 year old Jeffrey Rimmer who suffered permanent irreversible brain damage when the car he was driving crashed into logs after hitting flood waters on the east side of the Salmon River Bridge in Langley Township. The case is significant because it confirms that townships and municipalities have a duty of care to motorists using the roadways and that duty extends to taking reasonable steps to prevent injury to users of roads by reason of hazardous conditions like flooding due to storm events.

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In Rimmer (Guardian ad litem of) v. Langley (Township) 2007 BCCA 350, Langley Township appealed the trial judge’€™s ruling on its liability in the Rimmer case but failed to convince BC’€™s Court of Appeal that it should disturb the trial judge’€™s findings. To read the Court of Appeal’€™s full decision click here.

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