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Our Kelowna lawyers represent clients throughout the Okanagan Valley and the rest of BC. We have a diverse practice, from personal injury representation or wills and estate planning to commercial business law or real estate transactions.

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Put The Phone Away – We Mean It!

How many times have you gone to reach for your phone while driving? Waiting for that text or email with your phone right beside you and being more concerned about what it says rather than what’s in front of you. It’s time to stop and put the phone down and start paying attention.

The BC Coalition to End Distracted Driving and its members have launched the ‘Not Worth It’ campaign. This initiative is to encourage British Columbians to commit to being present while driving and to put the phone down. No matter how funny that text might be...

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The Certainties Of Life: Death And Taxes And Probate Fees In B.C.

“...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

We can thank Benjamin Franklin for popularising this rather depressing quip. It is hard to argue with though.

In British Columbia, these certainties occur together through a type of estate tax known as a probate fee. This probate fee is effectively about 1.4% of the value of your estate. That’s not much until you consider the value in real estate some elderly British Columbians own, which will pass through their estate. You pass away, and this probate fee of 1.4% on...

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Okanagan Rail Trail Builds A Legacy In The Okanagan

The Okanagan Rail Trail is an incredible display of the Okanagan community, the Province of B.C. and multiple local governments coming together to create a lasting legacy for generations to come. Stretching from Coldstream to Kelowna, the initiative seeks to transform the former CN Rail line into a multi-use transportation corridor, connecting communities throughout the Central Okanagan in a unique way.

The CN Rail line was built to help transport Okanagan lumber and produce to markets across Canada. Kelowna Pacific Railway operated the line serving the communities of...

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Bad Blood: How To Prevent A Family Feud After You Die

It is sad but true: disagreements between family members can and often do arise. They typically fester, simmering just beneath the surface, for years. All it takes is the right trigger to make them rise to the surface with vigor. As an estate lawyer, I’ve seen it time and again and a family member getting sick or dying frequently acts as that trigger. There are ways to reduce this risk, but a surprising number of people fail to take them.

Estate fights are emotional and difficult to resolve for one simple reason; The most important person...

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Strata Property: Why ‘Special Levy’ Is A Dirty Word(s)

If you live in a condo, townhouse, or other strata property, or if you’re thinking of buying one, you may want to get familiar with the term ‘special levy’. A special levy is money collected from strata lot owners for a specific purpose and for a common expense.  They are often collected when a large or unexpected repair is required and there isn’t enough money in the contingency reserve fund (the ‘savings account’) to pay for it.

A special levy must be approved by a 3/4 vote resolution of the strata corporation as owners.  

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Shannon Christensen & Mamas For Mamas | In Focus Spotlight

Doak Shirreff is the sponsor of a community featured called "In Focus" on KelownaNow.com. Each weekday, a new person is featured in a Q&A profile, giving the community an opportunity to learn more about the great people who make Kelowna a wonderful place to live and work. As part of our partnership with KelownaNow, Doak Shirreff is now sponsoring the In Focus Spotlight too! With new questions and a special video interview, this an opportunity for our team to personally nominate some of the incredible people who inspire us.

Shannon Christensen In Focus Spotlight...
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Giving Blood: A Truly Special Way To Give Back

One of the values that our firm prides itself on is giving back to the community, something we do in a number of different ways. One example of our community commitment is our participation in the Partners for Life program at Canadian Blood Services, a voluntary program for organizations and businesses to donate blood. By getting together by organization, we rally each other to donate, thus increasing our overall contribution to the shortage of blood donors in Canada.

In early March, I attended an appreciation luncheon for the participants of this program. While I am one...

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Top 10 Do’s And Don’ts Of High-Net-Worth Divorce

High-net-worth divorce is expensive.

A quick skim of celebrity divorces serves as a cautionary tale for all, but particularly for wealthy individuals who enjoy the lifestyle of the rich, and sometimes famous. One of the world’s most expensive divorces was between Bernie Ecclestone, the CEO of Formula One Group, and Slavica Ecclestone in 2009. That parting of the ways was settled amicably, but she still walked away with a cool $11.5 billion settlement. Of course, these things go both ways and when Madonna and Guy Ritchie called it quits, Ritchie received an...

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Kelowna Lawyer Proud To Work With Mamas For Mamas Charity

This February, I had the honour of being named “Mama of the Month” by the non-profit organization Mamas for Mamas. Mamas for Mamas is a local organization dedicated to providing ongoing support to low income mothers who are struggling with poverty and marginalization, including the often overlooked “working poor”.

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So, what did I do to have been bestowed this great honour? I am the Mamas for Mamas lawyer, and do so on a pro bono basis. I,...

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Leaving Your Estate To A Pet

An Estate plan will usually involve leaving your assets to family members, friends, and/or charities. However, what about those furry members of your family?

Although not common, an increasing number of Canadians are writing provisions for their pets in their Wills, to ensure that their “fur-babies” are well taken care of after they pass.

A recent Ipsos Public Affair research paper on pet ownership indicates that 50 per cent of Canadians own a pet. A pet owner’s love seems to have few financial bounds, as the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada calculated that in 2013 pet owners...

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