Blog Articles

How Can a Civil Litigation Lawyer Help? | Bernard Lau and Co. Law Office

Civil litigation refers to instances where two or more people are involved in a non-criminal legal dispute, and generally speaking, one or both parties believe they are entitled to money or a specific relief that can be granted by the Court.

It can cover a wide variety of different cases, including everything from disputes involving the purchase and sale of real estate or other goods or services, debt collections and even human rights discrimination.

If you wish to file a lawsuit, you should consult a civil litigation lawyer first. A civil litigation lawyer will evaluate your case to determine whether it has a good chance of being successful, the benefits and risks of proceeding with the lawsuit, as well as propose creative, out-of-court solutions that may not require a full trial or even Court attendance.

Among the types of litigation cases that Bernard Lau and Co. primarily handle are:

Real estate disputes

Real estate disputes can include breaches of contract by buyers or sellers, co-ownership of property disputes, beneficial ownership disputes, liens and freezing of real estate assets and deposit forfeiture cases. A related subcategory can include realtor negligence or breach of fiduciary duties whereupon realtors may not have acted in the best interests of their clients and have resulted in monetary loss for their clients. Real estate disputes can be complex and the stakes can be quite high. Time is often of the essence and aggrieved parties are often best served if they are aware of their legal rights and remedies as early as possible so that they can immediately take action to preserve their rights against the subject property, often by deploying tactical tools such as a certificate of pending litigation or a caveat.

Defamation

Defamation involves the damaging of one’s reputation through false words either published in writing such as through internet postings, blogs or online reviews, or through traditional media. It can even occur via the spoken word if a 3rd party were present to overhear the defamation in question. Although monetary damages are typically sought, alternative solutions may involve issuing a cease-and-desist letter to limit the further dissemination of the defamatory message, the publishing of a formal retraction as well as the issuance of an apology by the offending party.

Choosing the right civil litigation lawyer

Although civil litigation lawyers can handle a range of matters, you may be best served to retain a lawyer who practices in exclusive practice areas. This is something you should consider when seeking to hire a lawyer for your particular case. The law office at Bernard Lau and Co. has extensive experience handling litigation matters particularly involving real estate disputes and defamation, including amassing years of trial and court experience from helping clients with problems such as yours. Our litigation cases have also attracted local and national media attention for their monetary and public interest significance. If you have a case matter and would like to see if our law office can assist you, please contact us at 604-285-5240.

The content on this website is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this website are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of Bernard Lau and Co. (or their own legal counsel) regarding any specific legal issues. Bernard Lau and Co. does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this website and should not be relied upon as being proper, accurate, timely or fit for any particular individual’s own circumstances other than for educational purposes.
Accessing or using this website does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Although your use of the website may facilitate access to or communications with members of Bernard Lau and Co. via e-mail transmissions or otherwise via the website, receipt of any such communications or transmissions by any member of Bernard Lau and Co. does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Bernard Lau and Co. does not guarantee the security or confidentiality of any communications made by e-mail or otherwise through this website.

Ordinary and Enduring Powers of Attorney | Bernard Lau and Co. Law

A power of attorney is a legal document that gives one or more persons (referred to as attorneys) the authority to manage your financial and legal matters, including your real estate properties on your behalf.

Having a power of attorney arrangement in place makes it clear who will be responsible for your money and property if you are unable to manage them on your own, even temporarily. This document is a critical part of personal planning because if you lose your mental capacity and do not have a valid power of attorney in place, another person may need to obtain authority from the Supreme Court to manage your affairs, which can be tedious and costly process.

A power of attorney also provides you with peace of mind as your attorney is mandated to manage your money and property for your benefit and can be required by law to account for how he or she has been handling your assets to ensure that your best interests are being looked after.

There are two commonly-seen types of powers of attorney: an ordinary power of attorney and the enduring power of attorney.

An ordinary powers of attorney

An ordinary power of attorney gives your attorney the authority to manage all or some of your finances and property only while you are still mentally capable of managing your affairs. It ends if you become mentally incapacitated.

It can be specific, meaning it gives your attorney authority for a definite period, or it can be limited, meaning it gives authority for only a particular task, for example, to sell a particular piece of real estate. This power of attorney can start as soon as you sign it or on a date specified in the document, and you can be flexible in regards to whatever restrictions you wish to place in the power of attorney.

Enduring or continuing powers of attorney

Unlike an ordinary power of attorney, an enduring or continuing power of attorney enables your attorney to continue acting on your behalf even if you become mentally incapable of handling your affairs. This continued authority gives obvious advantages over an ordinary power of attorney and greater peace of mind to the donor making the power of attorney.

An enduring power of attorney can take effect as soon as you sign it, or you may specify that it takes effect only if you become mentally incapacitated, usually with at least one doctor’s confirmation of incapacity. You may also set restrictions on the scope of the attorney’s authority in the enduring power of attorney.

Termination of powers of attorney

There are various grounds under which an enduring power of attorney can end. These include termination or revocation of the power of attorney, the resignation of the attorney, or the death of the donor or attorney. If the power of attorney was registered at the land title office to deal with real properties, then you will need to file a notice terminating the power of attorney at the land title office in addition to providing notice to your attorney. There are specific service requirements to give the notice to terminate the power of attorney, so do consult with a legal professional.

Do you need help drafting a power of attorney?

When preparing a power of attorney, it is wise to seek legal guidance, especially if your situation is complicated.

If you are searching for a lawyer in Richmond to help prepare a power of attorney, contact us today at Bernard Lau and Co. by calling 604-285-5240 to schedule an appointment with our estate and personal planning lawyer.

When Should You Hire a Probate Lawyer?

Probate Lawyer | Bernard Lau

Probate is the process of validating a will and settling an estate after someone dies. In Canada, a family member, a friend or another person can be appointed as the executor of an estate. The executor of the estate has the power to gather and secure the assets laid out in the will and has the task of distributing these assets as per the instructions set forth in the will, as well as pay off any liabilities of the estate.

Estate matters involve complex legal processes that can drag on if not handled correctly. Utilizing the services of a probate lawyer can help resolve estate matters more smoothly.

Here are some instances in which you should consider hiring an estates and probate lawyer:

Writing a will

A will provides instructions on how an estate is to be distributed upon death. Since many complex legal issues may arise in your decision to draft a will, it is recommended that you consult an estates and probate lawyer when writing a will. Doing so can help reduce the risk of unintended consequences or errors, which will, in turn, make the probate process much easier for those involved.

Being named as executor in a will

If you are named as executor in a will, it is advisable to hire a probate lawyer to provide guidance throughout the process before you begin your executor duties. A probate lawyer can help ensure that the wishes of the deceased are followed in accordance with the law. Hiring a probate lawyer also helps to safeguard executors from assuming personal legal liabilities in the course of their duties.

When there are delays in the probate process

While probate may not be required in every instance, the aim of many estates is to probate a will as soon as possible. In BC, it may takes anywhere from two to six months on average for a probate application to be processed by the court. There will then be waiting periods to allow interested parties to make claims if they wish. The entire probate process can last up to a year, sometimes longer. The process may be delayed if the executor has little or no probate experience. If this is the case, a probate lawyer can help speed up the process by providing guidance during the probate application so that the grant of probate can be obtained as quickly as possible.

Richmond probate lawyer

Are you searching for an estates and probate lawyer in Richmond, BC? Contact us at Bernard Lau and Co. Law Corporation.

We would be happy to help you prepare a will that contains your wishes for your estate or, if you are an executor of a will, we can help you apply for the grant of probate and assist you in carrying out your duties as executor afterwards.

Call us today at 604-285-5240 to schedule an appointment with our probate lawyer.

The content on this website is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this website are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of Bernard Lau and Co. (or their own legal counsel) regarding any specific legal issues. Bernard Lau and Co. does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this web site and should not be relied upon as being proper, accurate, timely or fit for any particular individual’s own circumstances other than for educational purposes.

Accessing or using this website does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Although your use of the web site may facilitate access to or communications with members of Bernard Lau and Co. via e-mail transmissions or otherwise via the web site, receipt of any such communications or transmissions by any member of Bernard Lau and Co. does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Bernard Lau and Co. does not guarantee the security or confidentiality of any communications made by e-mail or otherwise through this website.

Notary Public Richmond BC | Bernard Lau

In British Columbia, a notary public is a legal professional to serve the public typically in non-contentious legal matters. While notaries are not necessarily lawyers, all lawyers are also notaries public and can provide the same services that a notary public does.

Here are some examples of services a lawyer/notary public can provide:

Notarization and authentication

Notaries public provide notarization and authentication of legal documents such as government documents, travel consent, and guardianship forms. When a document requires a notary public or a commissioner for oaths to witness a signature, a lawyer/notary public can be that witness.

Estate planning

A notary public can review your will to ensure that directives are clear and compliant with provincial law. Notaries can also provide assistance with preparing a power of attorney, which is a legal document that authorizes someone to handle your legal and financial affairs in the event of incapacitation. The notary public performs a key role in the execution of a power of attorney by not only confirming the identity of the person signing but also ensuring that at the time of signing, the person was of sound mind.

Affidavit and statutory declarations

Notaries can assist with legal procedures requiring an oath, affirmation or declaration, such as witnessing an affidavit for use in Court or statutory declarations.

Health planning

Health care planning is another area in which notaries can be helpful.

You can authorize a third party to make important health care decisions. These decisions can include end-of-life care. End of life care covers life support and termination of medical. This agreement is known as a Representation Agreement. In such an arrangement, the individual who is granted control is known as the representative or agent, and the individual for whom decisions will be made is the donor or the adult. Before authorizing this individual, make sure you fully trust your representative, as this agent can be making important decisions about your health and well-being.

A lawyer/notary public can draft a Representation Agreement to prepare for various medical treatments to reduce the risk in the event that you ever face a situation where you are unable to make important decisions due to medical reasons, but this has to be done before you are ever incapacitated.

Richmond notary public

If you are searching for notarial services in Richmond, BC, contact Bernard Lau and Co. Law Corporation.

We are a boutique law firm with a strong concentration on real estate, wills, and estate matters. We also offer notary services, including notarization of legal documents such as travel consent forms, government documents, bank documents, ICBC and insurance documents, or personal documents that require legal and formal witnessing.

Our team boasts over 10 years of experience delivering efficient legal services to clients, and we would be pleased to help you. Call us at 604-285-5240 or visit our website today.

The content on this website is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this website are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of Bernard Lau and Co. (or their own legal counsel) regarding any specific legal issues. Bernard Lau and Co. does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this web site and should not be relied upon as being proper, accurate, timely or fit for any particular individual’s own circumstances other than for educational purposes.

Accessing or using this website does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Although your use of the web site may facilitate access to or communications with members of Bernard Lau and Co. via e-mail transmissions or otherwise via the web site, receipt of any such communications or transmissions by any member of Bernard Lau and Co. does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Bernard Lau and Co. does not guarantee the security or confidentiality of any communications made by e-mail or otherwise through this website.

TOP
Bernard Lau & Co. remains fully operational during the COVID-19 health emergency. Our commitment to providing excellent client service is still a priority. While you may be used to coming in to our office to drop off your information and to meet with us in person, we are recommending the following alternatives: phone calls or video conferences may be scheduled in lieu of face-to-face meetings, and your personal information can be emailed to us at your convenience. We are providing remote signing for conveyancing.Learn More