FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What should I expect the first time I meet with my lawyer?
In general the first meeting with your lawyer is simply to allow your lawyer to meet you and gain a better understanding of your legal situation. The first meeting will probably last approximately 30 minutes and will consist of a conversation where you do most of the talking. Do not be surprised if your lawyer asks you questions while you are talking and try your best to answer them the best you can even if you do not understand why they are being asked. There are probably legal issues your lawyer is exploring that may not even be aware of. At the end of the meeting your lawyer may suggest some course of action or if need be will tell you he or she needs some time to explore your various options. Your lawyer will not require you to decide on a particular course of action after the first meeting and in fact will likely insist that you think about your options first and then decide.
How can I keep my legal costs down?
Depending on the legal service you are receiving a lawyer will bill your either on a flat fee basis or according to the actual time a lawyer spends on the file.
If you are being billed according to the actual time spent the best way to keep your costs down is to be organized. Prepare your own written summary of the events leading up to and surrounding your legal situation and provide this to your lawyer. Send your questions about your file via email as opposed to phone calls. Phone calls tend to be twice the work as the lawyer has to then spend an equal amount of time documenting what was said. If there is information or documents that you can easily obtain yourself then offer to do so.
While these things may seem small it will actually assist your lawyer in doing his or her job and save you some money in the end.
Do I need a Will?
If you own anything or have a bank account or have children then you absolutely need a Will.
Without one you are described as having died intestate. To die intestate means that legislation, not you, decides where your estate goes.
A will is a cost effective and responsible way to take care of those you may leave behind.
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney and/or a Personal Directive?
Should you become mentally incapacitated you will need someone to deal with both your financial affairs and health care decisions. That is what these two documents do for you.
People often mistakenly believe that their spouse or parents will be able to make these decisions for them. This is not true. Without these documents your parent or spouse would have to first obtain a court order, Obtaining a court order is both a costly and time consuming endeavor.
If you have an Enduring Power of Attorney and Personal Directive you eliminate the need for a court order. This way, your financial affairs and health care decisions can be dealt with immediately.
Should I incorporate my business?
There are many advantages to incorporating your business. In general most people incorporate to take advantage of the tax breaks, shield from personal liability and various monetary grants offered by the government.
Incorporation does require some upkeep however in the form of record keeping and annual returns.
Should you wish to incorporate it is a good idea to first talk to your lawyer or accountant to obtain some advice on what is best suited for your business.
2000 Pegasus Road NE
Fort McMurray Office
Suite 210, 289 Powder Drive
Fort McMurray, Alberta
(Above the BMO in Timberlea)