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.


How To Not Start A War When Breaking Up

Breaking up is always an emotional event but it doesn’t have to be a disaster. There are many reasons to avoid full-out warfare including reducing your legal costs, minimizing the effect on your children, speeding up resolution of the issues and reducing the toll the process takes on you.

Even where a relationship ends on the best of terms, emotions are high, feelings get hurt and people are forced to adjust to major changes in their lives. Where the breakup involves a breach of trust or harsh words said, the tension rises even more.

We may be initially inclined to react,...

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The End Is Near: Transitioning Societies

As a reminder, there is just over one year left for societies (not-for-profit corporations) incorporated prior to November 28, 2016 to transition in accordance with the new Societies Act (the “Act”) – all societies have until November 28, 2018 to do so.

The transitioning process involves online filing of a transition application, including a constitution and consolidated bylaws that meet the new requirements of the Act. Societies will be unable to amend their bylaws until they transition, and the transition process will provide a great opportunity for pre-existing societies to consider updating their bylaws, to ensure current bylaws do not...

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Can I Inherit Debt?

Can I Inherit Debt?

The short answer is, no.

It is a common misconception that when a person dies, that person’s family inherits his or her debt. Beneficiaries are relieved to hear that this is not the case; generally speaking, you do not “inherit” debt unless you previously accepted responsibility for it.

So, what does happen to debt when a person dies?

The answer to this question depends on who owes the debt, who the debt is owed to, and whether there is any money in the Estate to pay those debts.

A person’s “Estate” is all of the property that person owns, in...

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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.

“ 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 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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(250) 763-4323[email protected]