Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ page). This page is currently, and will forever be, under construction as new questions are posed. Below, we have tried to answer some of the most common questions clients have asked over the years regarding Real Estate, Powers of Attorney, Representation Agreements, Wills and Child Travel Information. If you find that your question is not answered on this page, please contact us.
As a Joint Tenant, there is a right of survivorship: on your death, your interest in the property immediately reverts to the surviving Joint Tenant(s). This is generally how we would register property in the case of a husband and wife.
The first $300,000.00 goes to the spouse, if there is one and if they have children in common and $150,000 if they do not. The balance of the money is split equally between the spouse and the children. If the children are minors, then the money is held by the Public Guardian and Trustee until the children reach the age of nineteen (19) when it is paid to them. There is no opportunity to set up a trust, or have the spouse or parent of the child administer the money. If there are no children, or spouse, then your estate is generally distributed to family members in the following priority:
(a) your parents;
(b) your brothers and sisters;
(c) your nieces and nephews;
If there are no nieces and nephews, then the estate will go to the government. Dying without a Will does not mean your estate goes to the government, but it does mean you do not choose who your beneficiaries are. It can also mean delays, extra expenses, and considerable inconvenience and even hardship for your survivors.
Foreign officials and transportation companies are vigilant concerning documentation for children crossing international borders. Make sure you carry the proper identification for yourself and any children travelling with you, including any documents that might be required by the authorities of the country you intend to visit, and by Canadian authorities on your return to Canada with the child. Generally, persons younger than 18 years of age could be considered children. Proper identification includes, but is not limited to, a valid passport for the child when traveling outside Canada. In addition, we recommend that a consent document or letter be carried to prove that the child has the permission of the absent lawful parent(s) or guardian to travel. This document should be specific to each trip and should include contact information for the parent(s) or guardian. A sample is provided for parents to use as a model to draft their own consent letter.
This consent document could be required even if the separation or divorce documents award custody of the child to the accompanying parent, but the non-custodial parent has legal access or visiting rights to the child. In addition to the certified consent document from the absent parent, a copy of any separation, divorce or custody decree might be requested.
A child of divorced or separated parents who is traveling without either parent could use either one consent document signed by both parents or two separate documents.
If a legal guardian is accompanying the child, then a copy of the court order granting guardianship might also be requested.
If only one parent’s name appears on the birth certificate, and the child is traveling with the other parent, then we also recommend that a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate be carried.
If one parent has died, a certified copy of the death certificate could also be carried.
Remember that customs officers, as well as other authorities, inside and outside Canada are looking for missing children and may ask questions. Make sure you carry the proper identification for yourself and any children traveling with you. In addition to passports, proper identification could include, but is not limited to, birth certificates, citizenship cards, landed immigrant records and certificates of Indian status.