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Calgary Real Estate, Wills and Estates, and Business Law Blog

New business law illegalizes ticket scalping "bots"

Technology companies often raise new questions for regulators, especially if they present a tool where no laws seem to exist. Lack of regulation has been an ongoing controversy when it comes to bots that act as online ticket "scalpers," which are programmed to buy up tickets to popular events and sell them at inflated prices. Lawmakers in Alberta have passed a new business law to put a stop to these often contested programs.

The new law is in response to complaints from the public. According to the Alberta government, many people told their representatives not attend popular shows and sports events due to tickets being snatched up by these automated programs. While ticket reselling will still be legal in the province, resellers will need to take steps to avoid selling any ticket purchased by a bot.

Alberta real estate has lowest land-transfer taxes in Canada

There are many hidden costs involved in purchasing a property. One of these is land-transfer taxes, which can be extremely high in hot real estate markets like Toronto and Vancouver. A recent nationwide comparison of 25 major Canadian real estate markets found that the Alberta cities of Calgary and Edmonton had the lowest land-transfer taxes from sea to sea.

Besides high-priced homes, those purchasing a home in Toronto or Vancouver can expect land-transfer taxes between 1.8 and 2.1 percent on top of their purchase price. These fees, which can bloat to nearly $20,000 in these hot markets, are not eligible to be part of a mortgage. Calgary and Edmonton, meanwhile, boasted land-transfer taxes that amounted to 10 percent of the cost in those cities. 

Employment contract disputes a problem for many Alberta workers

One of the biggest grievances between employers and former employees relates to unpaid wages. In Alberta, the government has cracked down on such employment contract disputes. Despite these efforts, claims of unpaid continue to flow in, totalling $19 million last year alone.

The number of complaints to the province's labour ministry has been fairly consistent in recent years. In the fiscal year of 2014-2015, prior to the current government taking power, the ministry received 4,728. Last year, a similar number of 4,679 was reported. This year, nearly 4,900 complaints are expected to come in.

Handling wills and estates after a terminal diagnosis

A terminal diagnosis can bring many stresses to individuals and their families. For those who have not yet addressed issues related to their wills and estates, the need to quickly plan for their family's future can be overwhelming. There are a few steps Alberta adults can take when faced with difficult decisions such as beneficiaries or powers of attorney in the wake of a chronic disease or disability.

New business law will mandate trucker training and certifications

The transportation and truck driving industries employ many people across Canada. A recent fatal collision between a truck and a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos team has influenced Alberta lawmakers to pass a new business law mandating driver training for new commercial drivers. The province's Transportation Minister says the new regulation will be in place as early as Jan. 2019.

The legislative changes come as the result of charges being laid following the bus accident that left 16 people dead and 13 injured in rural Saskatchewan. The driver of a semi-truck coming from a Calgary-based shipper. He faces 29 criminal charges as a result, but the Transportation Minister acknowledges that business laws also have to be considered in the wake of this tragedy.

The Importance Of Wills In Blended Families

A will allows a people to clearly articulate how they would like to distribute their estate in the event of their passing. Ideally, this would include specific instructions on who is selected to receive certain assets, and the value or exact details of the assets being distributed. Not having a will can be complicated for spouses and adult children.

These issues can become further complicated within blended families.

What Needs To Be Done After The Passing Of A Loved One?

In many cases, it’s the probate process and administering the will that requires the most attention. It’s also the process that may create disputes over validity, mental capacity or how the estate is administered.

In addition to the probate process and administering a will, there are other tasks that need to be completed after someone passes that could affect the assets of the estate. Items such as closing the accounts after a will has been distributed, or cancelling pension and EI benefits, should all be looked after by the estate trustee. Failure to do so may result in issues for the estate trustee, such as the costs of overpayment to an estate.

Considerations To Keep In Mind When Drafting A Will

Estate planning involves more than just choosing who will inherit your possessions when you pass away. Proper estate planning requires the selection of estate trustee, a power of attorney, legal guardians for minors and creating trusts.

We’ll examine some tips on what to keep in mind when organizing your estate. To start us off, here are some helpful points from national insurer Sun Life Financial to consider when drafting a will.

Choosing A Guardian For Your Children

Drafting a will involves considering our own mortality. Asking yourself what would happen if you passed away. It may be unsettling to think about what you leave behind - especially if you have children.

It’s best to make sure children are properly looked after in the event you and your spouse pass away before they become legal adults. You can do this by naming a guardian in your will to look after them.

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