Porter Ramsay Blog

Understanding Canada’s mortgage stress test

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Mar, 18, 2022 | Real Estate Law

Prospective homebuyers in British Columbia have many things to consider, from housing wish-lists to preferred locations to how to navigate an increasingly competitive market. Chief among these considerations is budget. While the budget you’re comfortable with is a largely personal matter, there are also external factors that impact the mortgage amount an individual may access. This is determined by banks, but is also governed by federal legislation through the mortgage stress test.  What is the mortgage stress test? The mortgage stress test is a tool that lenders are mandated to use to qualify applicants for mortgages. As of 2022, the... View Article

The legal risks of a home selling far below its market value

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Feb, 23, 2022 | Real Estate Law

The real estate market continues to grow in British Columbia, with houses selling for higher rates than ever before. But what happens when a house sells for below market value? While in most cases this just means a buyer got a good deal, one Vancouver property owner took legal action against her real estate agent for a property she says sold below market value.  Background The situation in question occurred in 2017 when a woman sold a house in Vancouver’s Dunbar area. The woman, who is now 94 years old, hired a realtor to sell the property, which was one... View Article

Managing digital assets in estate planning

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Feb, 08, 2022 | Wills And Estates

When they begin estate planning, many people have a traditional concept of what is involved: physical property, bank accounts and guardianship of dependents to name a few. However, a growing number of adults have valuable digital assets as well. When people think of digital assets, items like cryptocurrency or NFTs come to mind; however, anyone with a points account, an email address, cloud storage, or even social media could have a digital asset worth planning for. What is a digital asset? A digital asset is anything stored on digital hardware or online, such as in cloud storage or on a... View Article

Considerations when setting up a physical custody schedule

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Feb, 04, 2022 | Family Law

Successful co-parenting takes effort and planning. One of the issues that is extremely important to research, carefully consider and plan in detail is the child custody schedule. This is a key part of a co-parenting plan. Done correctly, a custody schedule can help to create a predictable situation for children that can help them adapt to the new circumstances and give parents the custody to which they are entitled. Here are some things to think about when allotting parenting time, working out a visitation schedule, or determining rotations in a shared custody scenario: The ages of children: Younger children may... View Article

What can you do to prevent a slip and fall in icy weather?

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Jan, 20, 2022 | Personal Injury Law

The holidays may be over, but winter still has many weeks to go. As unpredictable as British Columbia weather can be, it is best to be prepared for any possibility. This includes keeping your pantry well stocked, your vehicle in good working order and your emergency options open. However, even these proactive steps might not be enough if you encounter an icy sidewalk or untreated parking lot while you are out walking. Even if you are only taking a few steps from your vehicle to the store, it only takes a small patch of ice or a wet floor to... View Article

New laws may favor homebuyers

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Jan, 07, 2022 | Real Estate Law

If buying a home is on your list of resolutions for the new year, you probably already know what a difficult road you have ahead. Housing prices in British Columbia continue to climb, and the low number of homes on the market seems to put all the bargaining power on the side of the sellers. Additionally, you may end up dealing with a blind bidding situation, which increases your risk, not to mention your stress level.  Besides high prices and low inventory, one of the most common complaints about the homebuying process is the pressure to make a quick decision. Moving too slowly... View Article

What are the most common winter injuries?

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Dec, 30, 2021 | Personal Injury Law

Many people look forward to a range of recreational activities in the winter, from snowy sports to family visits. While these activities can bring a great deal of fun and joy, they are not without risks. Here are some of the most common ways people sustain injuries during the winter: Slip-and-fall: Snow and ice can make even the most routine walk more dangerous. The risk of a slip-and-fall accident in winter is especially high in locations that haven’t been properly maintained, such as unsalted walkways or uneven steps. Slip-and-fall injuries can include broken wrists, arms, hips or even head trauma,... View Article

Common estate planning pitfalls for blended families

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Dec, 15, 2021 | Wills And Estates

Second marriages are not uncommon in British Columbia. Despite this, blended families are often not considered in typical estate planning advice. It is important that individuals who have stepchildren, children from multiple relationships or any other blended-family arrangement take special care to make plans that work for their family structure. Here are some of the most common mistakes when it comes to estate planning for blended families: Not updating beneficiaries: Beneficiaries are named on an individual’s will, as well as possibly listed on bank accounts. Both need to be updated following a divorce and remarriage to ensure assets are passed... View Article

Succession planning steps for family businesses

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Dec, 01, 2021 | Wills And Estates

Estate planning can be difficult for any individual or family, but those with family-owned businesses can have particular challenges. It is a good idea for people with such businesses to discuss succession early and often, and to continue thinking about these issues as the business grows. For those just starting succession planning, here are some of the first steps worth taking: Set goals It’s important to have some clarity for oneself before approaching other family members about succession planning. Is the end goal to pass the business onto the next generation, or to sell it? Does the owner want to... View Article

What are the main 3 documents in an estate plan?

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Nov, 14, 2021 | Wills And Estates

When documenting an estate plan, there are three key documents that one should draft. These are a will, a personal directive, and an enduring power of attorney. British Columbia planners will benefit a great deal from being familiar with all three documents going into the estate planning process. Will A will is the most well-known estate planning document, and for good reason. Of all documents, a will is the most important, as it should contain all relevant details of what should happen after one dies. This includes naming beneficiaries for assets and guardians for minor children. A will should also... View Article