Journals of a Mobile Lawyer

I know many people who have to commute to get to work, or have to travel because their job needs them to, so when I travel from my main office in Whitby to my satellite office in Apsley, I know I’m not alone.  My Apsley office serves clients within a radius of 60 kilometres of beautiful Ontario landscapes and communities.  I drive forty minutes north, and then reach Bancroft, can cross over to Denbigh, and then jaunt on to Ottawa.  Yes, this is possible! I’ve done it, and so have my clients.  After seeing and travelling to several small towns, I have come to the conclusion that there are no “small” towns, only “Home Towns”.  My clients live, work and play in these communities.  Getting to know them is one of the most rewarding parts of being a Mobile Lawyer.

My main office is in the heart of Whitby. Durham Region is seeing record-breaking expansion and growth and has everything you need.  My office works with families and individuals that are moving in from the GTA and other areas.  We enjoy welcoming many of them as they start their new lives in our communities.  Existing clients know that they can reach out to my office for Real Estate, Corporate, Wills and Estate matters, and Litigation.  In that way, they can count on me to be there for many of their life milestones.

As a sole practitioner, I have the freedom to choose to be flexible and show my dedication to my clients and files differently than other lawyers.  For some of you, with demanding work hours and family obligations that means making time for your matter perhaps on a weekend or in the evenings, or while you’re up at the cottage! This is why I choose to practice more than just from Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Don’t get me wrong, I have regular office hours.   However, what I do is not just a job to me.  My clients are purchasing or selling a home, starting a new business, preparing their Wills and Powers of Attorney, dealing with the estate of a loved one that has passed.   I want to be there to help.



On the wall in my Whitby office, there is a little sign that reads “Is Your Will up to date?”  It’s small, unassuming, and sometimes you may even miss it.


This little sign holds a big and important message.   DO NOT DIE WITH AN OUT OF DATE WILL OR WORSE, WITHOUT A WILL AT ALL.

I have had several clients attend at my office lately to prepare their Applications for Certificates of Estate Trustee after the death of a loved one.  That loved one, however, has gone without a will.  An estate is difficult enough to manage with a Will- imagine having to start with nothing to go on.  You don’t know what they own; or you do, but you don’t know where the deed is; or you have no idea whom they bank with; government agencies will not speak with you; or you are the only next of kin, but no one will believe you!

No matter how small or large an Estate is, I cannot stress how important a Will is to that Estate.

Here’s my cautionary tale about Aunt June’s Car.

Aunt June died last year. She lived in a rental apartment and didn’t have very much except for an old generic label car.  Her nephew drove it a couple of times and she told him and his mom (her sister Anne), that he could have it, if anything happened to her.

When June passed, Anne had the ownership in her hand and attended at the MTO kiosk nearby.  She was asked for a copy of the will.

“There is none”, she replied.

“You cannot transfer the car without a will or proof that you have the right to do this.”

“What do you mean?” she asked, “What can I do?”

“Go to a lawyer.  You need to provide notarized proof that no member of her family wants this car or objects to the transfer of it in to Little Bobby’s name by you as Estate Trustee.”

“But there must be 18 of us!”

During the next month or two I had about 18 of Aunt June’s family members walking in to my office in order to have their letters to the MTO notarized.  Letters confirming that they didn’t want the car, didn’t object to the car being transferred to Little Bobby, and didn’t object to having Anne complete the transfer on behalf of the Estate of Aunt June.  In other words, they needed to name an estate trustee and give her the right to administer the estate.

And that was just a car!  They say that in the next ten years 750 million dollars are about to be passed down as inheritances here in Canada.  Make sure that your share of that is properly set aside for your beneficiaries in a will prepared by a lawyer.

Imagine a bank, a credit card company, the municipality, and all of the service providers for your loved one’s house or cottage, refusing to speak with you because you cannot prove that you are the named Estate Trustee.

Save your loved ones the time and the decision making and have your Wills prepared or updated.  You know your life better than any one else.

At the very least, a Will says to your Estate Trustee (and everyone else), “I trust you to do this for me”.

Call my office to set up an appointment for your Wills and Powers of Attorney.


New Provincial Tax for Non-Residents

In an effort to curb the enthusiasm of foreign investors that are incredibly attracted to our market, this new tax will impose a mandatory 15% on top of the purchase price of all residential properties within the Golden Horseshoe area by non-citizens or non-residents starting April 24, 2017- yes it started already!  This new Tax must be paid together with the current Land Transfer Tax on or before closing.

As a real estate lawyer in the Golden Horseshoe Area our non-citizen, non-resident clients may be affected by this tax.  For those wondering what area encompasses the Golden Horseshoe, according to one of the maps provided by the Ministry of Finance ( )  Simcoe County, Dufferin County, Wellington County, Region of Waterloo, Halton County, Hamilton-Wentworth,  County of Brant, Haldimand County, Kawartha Lakes, Niagara, Peel County, Toronto, York County, Durham Region, Peterborough County, and Northumberland County.

Of course, as with many taxes, there are rebates and limited exemptions available for qualifying parties.  If you are looking to find the right real estate lawyer for you, make sure they are up to date with their information and understanding of these developments.

If you have questions about whether this new tax will affect your upcoming transaction, feel free to contact our Real Estate Law Offices in Whitby or Apsley.