Skip to content

Posts from the ‘For Lawyers’ Category

Doing the Perm / Term Squirm Part 2: An Introduction to Permanent Life Insurance

If you’ve read my first article in this series, you probably know more than you really want to know about term life insurance. It’s now time to talk about the other side of the equation: permanent coverage. To recap, while term insurance is a simple tool with a few add-on features, permanent life insurance is like a swiss army knife that can do pretty much everything except make your bed and laugh at your jokes. Of course, whether this is worth the extra costs that can go along with these features and whether it is the best tool for your situation is an entirely different question. Sometimes, permanent life insurance can be a game changer. Sometimes, it can do a pretty good job but there might be other products or solutions that do an even better one. Sometimes, the wrong permanent policy can even leave you worse off than when you started. This article (and my ensuing) articles are designed to help you make informed insurance choices.

Read more

What To Do When You Do It Yourself

One of the great questions in life (other than why someone first decided to taste coffee beans sourced from monkey excrement) is deciding what we can do ourselves and when it is time to ask for a helping hand. In most areas, it depends on the issue and the person. Financial planning is no different; some of us have the time, knowledge and experience to handle many of our own financial affairs while others are probably better off bringing in hired help, especially if it’s not something we enjoy in the first place. In reality, I suspect that most of us are somewhere in the middle; we can carry part of the load ourselves but like to bring in help for some of the heavy lifting.

On the other hand, even if you have a cadre of crackerjack trained professionals on your team keeping you on the straight and narrow, I still a strong advocate of self-empowerment. In my view, taking the time to learn at least some of the ropes is almost always a good idea. My reasons are as follows:

Read more

Who Gets the Airmiles? Changes to Who Gets What When a Relationship Fails in B.C.

Although most marriages commence with a ceremony where both partners solemnly vow, “until death do we part,” life sometimes has other ideas. As a lawyer, financial planner and divorce survivor, I know far more about the law in British Columbia on how assets are divided when love is replaced by other far less pleasant emotions . . . or at least I did until the rules changed a few months ago.

Fortunately, I’ve been able to bone up a bit since then, although no one really knows what some of the new rules really mean until they have been given a good test drive by the courts. With this giant caveat firmly established, here is a hopefully brief summary of some of the new rules that apply to financial matters and how they will affect spouses and common law partners who are no longer quite so fond of the sight of each other.

Read more

Steps Business Owners, People in Risky Professions and the Average Joe Can Take to Keep Their Assets Safe

In my last article, I (hopefully) explained how incorporating may not provide the liability protection people expect. In this one, I will explore some of the steps we can take to keep family assets safe, most of which don’t involve forming a company.

(a) Planning Ahead

The key factor in any of the steps mentioned in this article is when you take action; if you only start planning to secure your assets after the wolves are already sniffing at your door, then it is likely too late. Our legal system has some scary sounding terms like “fraudulent conveyance” and “fraudulent preference.” These terms apply to transactions like gifting or transferring assets to a family member for less than market value or paying out certain creditors and stiffing others. If a court determines that you have taken steps to thwart those aforementioned creditors after you are already insolvent or have creditors coming after you, then it can set aside the transactions.

Read more