We are pleased to report Ceylan has passed her bar exams and on May 21, 2021 she was called to the bar. Ceylan is now licensed to practice law in Ontario. Ceylan was a practicing lawyer for 10 years in Turkey. She is now free to continue her successful career in this jurisdiction. Previously, Ceylan worked with large law firms and a multinational corporation. She is looking forward to working in a small firm where she will have more interactions with clients and she can provide the type of service to her clients that she would want herself. Ceylan prides herself on being very accessible to her clients and responding in a prompt manner.
Sadly life has not returned to normal yet but hopefully it will soon. I am pleased to report that I have been vaccinated against Covid-19. I am grateful that I was able to get the vaccine. I hope that it will be available to everyone very soon. I wish you all good health and look forward to seeing you in person once again. Hang in there!
2021 has to be better than 2020! We look forward to seeing the covid-19 curve flattened and life returning to normal. In the meantime, we urge our clients to stay safe by following the public health guidelines for social distancing. Our Vineland office continues to be restricted to staff only. During the lockdown, we are conducting meetings with our clients in the Niagara area via telephone or video conference. We also offer curbside service where we bring documents out to the client's vehicle for signature and witnessing. We have a second location now in Burlington where we can conduct in-person meetings at a safe distance in a sanitized environment. Our new office is located at 1100 Burloak Drive just off the QEW. We hope to see you soon.
The Ontario Government has issued a special order giving lawyers permission to witness the signing of Wills by video conference during the pandemic. This means that clients can get their affairs in order without running afoul of the physical distancing guidelines meant to prevent the spread of the corona virus. Lawyers can take instructions from clients over the phone or by video conference, send the Will to the client and then witness their signature via a video conference.
It is important to have a Will for the following reasons:
(1) If you do not have a Will, you cannot select the executor who will administer your estate. The person to fill this role will be appointed by the court.
(2) If you do not have a Will, you cannot select the beneficiaries of your estate. Provincial intestacy legislation will dictate who inherits your property
(3) If you do not have a Will, your common law or same-sex partner may be left out of your estate because they are not considered a spouse under the intestacy legislation.
(4) If you do not have a Will and your children are under 18, their inheritance will be paid to the court, to be held until they attain age 18. The children will get their inheritance at age 18 whether or not they are mature enough at that point to manage money.
Making a basic Will is relatively easy. You simply need to: 1) select an executor; 2) select a back-up executor; 3) select your beneficiaries; 4) select back-up beneficiaries and 5) decide on an age for young beneficiaries to inherit. If you are unsure about any of these choices, remember that you can always update the Will.
Making a Will is a kind and responsible act. If you die without a Will, the administration of your estate will be more complicated and more expensive. That is why the government has created special rules to make it easier for people to complete their Wills during the pandemic. Take advantage of this new flexibility. Don't put it off any longer.
One of the perks of my job is that I get to meet a lot of interesting people. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Anne Cooke, an experienced personal trainer. Anne came in for a Will and we got talking about her work. Anne told me that she specializes in training older people. I figured I fall into that demographic now so I asked Anne if she would train me. She agreed and we began training at my office. I have been super impressed with Anne’s skills. The exercises that she gives me to do are very gentle but effective. Anne allows me to make short videos of her demonstrating the techniques so that I will remember what to do. This is very helpful when I am working out on my own. I have been incorporating the exercises into my daily routine and I find they make me feel more energized throughout the day. Anne moved to St. Catharines from Toronto about ten years ago. I can see why Anne was named one of the top ten trainers in the city by Toronto Life magazine. She has a talent for explaining things and motivating through humour. If you live in the Niagara Region and you would like to get back into shape but don’t know where to begin, I highly recommend contacting Anne; firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 905.371.3483. Check out her website at www.miraclesinmotionfitness.ca.
There have been some major changes at Hart Law recently.
My long-time assistant, Dianna Bower, decided to retire for health reasons. I am grateful to Dianna for her invaluable assistance over the years. I will miss working with her but we remain friends. I look forward to seeing Dianna relax and enjoy herself.
Laurie Arsenault, Lisa Triano’s legal assistant, has agreed to take on my secretarial work as well. Local clients of Hart Law will already be familiar with Laurie. She is the first person you see when you enter the office and she is always ready with a warm greeting. Laurie is a seasoned professional and an active member of the community. I look forward to working with her more closely.
Many clients have noticed the absence of Angie, our office dog. Angie passed away this summer at age thirteen. Angie came to the office with me regularly. She would greet clients at the door and sleep under the desk during consultations. Couriers used to bring her treats and many clients commented that she had a calming influence. She could also be a devil, barking during conference calls and stealing my lunch from my bag while I drove to work. I miss her terribly.
We adopted a new puppy at Christmas. Her name is Sasha. She is part Shih Tzu (like Angie) and part Chihuahua. If her training goes well, you will likely see her at the office too. If you are allergic or afraid of dogs, let me know and I will give her the day off.