Fatal Errors: The small mistakes that can have a big impact on your lien claim

AUTHORED BY: Matthew Turzansky and Ryan Krushelnitzky The scenario is a fairly common one: a contractor doesn’t get paid, and then proceeds to register a lien on a project, only to later discover a mistake in the Statement of Lien. It could be a typo in the name of the Owner; or it could be […] Read More

Termination Problems: when can you walk away from a contract?

AUTHORED BY: Leah McDaniel and Ryan Krushelnitzky Construction projects don’t always go as planned. Delays, add-ons, and changes to plans are common. Parties can sue when losses occur. When this happens, the contract itself is the key guide to the parties’ obligations. However, sometimes things go very wrong. There are times when matters go so […] Read More
December 21, 2017

Unilaterally amending payment terms by conduct alone…Nice try!

By: Catriona Otto-Johnston and Rob Watson As a contractor, you might find yourself in a situation where the method for calculating payment originally agreed to in the contract becomes unworkable with the actual project scope or existing work-site conditions. Perhaps it would be beneficial to you if the contract contained different payment terms. While a […] Read More

A different kind of joint problem

Parents who intend to transfer their assets into joint names with some or all of their adult children need to carefully consider that decision before implementing the transfers.  A series of recent Court cases in Western Canada highlight the need for careful legal advice when parents are considering such transfers in the context of estate […] Read More

The devil is in the drafting: is an estate entitled to spousal support payments?

The recent Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench decision in Marasse Estate (Re), 2017 ABQB 706 is yet another reminder that drafting legal documents must be done carefully and with a view to their long-term effect. The main issue in this case was whether the surviving ex-spouse was obligated to continue paying spousal support to his […] Read More

It’s your funeral, but who calls the shots?

If you have a will, you may have spelled out your detailed wishes for your funeral in the document.  Would you be surprised to know that your personal representative does not have to follow them?  You may have also heard that funeral expenses get paid out from an estate in priority to all other expenses.  […] Read More

My last will and textament

What would you look for in a document to determine if it was a legally valid will?  An Australian man’s estate recently made headlines when the Queensland Supreme Court admitted an unsent text message into probate as his valid last will. The deceased created the following text message on his cell phone shortly before he […] Read More

(Don’t) live together, love together

A frequent area of estate litigation involves claims by adult interdependent partners against the estates of their deceased partners.  An adult interdependent partner is roughly the Alberta equivalent of a common law spouse, but may include other types of relationships. To qualify as an adult interdependent partner, two people must cohabit in a relationship of […] Read More

You can ask for advice and directions

Acting as an executor or personal representative is a challenging job.  A personal representative is expected to follow the terms of a will, trust document or Court order and to do so prudently and competently.  Sometimes, the testator or the settlor of a trust adds to an already difficult job by creating an unclear will […] Read More

Time is Tickin’ — Limitation Periods and Your Lien

Contributors: Catriona Otto-Johnston & Kendra Heinz You’ve registered a lien; now what? You have to preserve (and prove) your lien. The Builders’ Lien Act (the “BLA”) is rife with limitation periods, many of which, if missed, could jeopardize your lien. However, recent case law suggests that in certain circumstances, failure to meet one or more […] Read More
September 20, 2017