by Darcie Papsdorf, Paralegal
Happy New Year! I want to start off this month to say thank you. Our little blog is brand new and we are still ironing out the kinks, but we are so grateful that you take time out of your busy day to spend with us.
We are kicking off 2020 with a two-part series about starting a business in Alberta. Part one will explain the different types of businesses in Alberta and part two will go into types of corporations and the pros and cons of incorporating your business.
Types of Businesses in Alberta
There are three types of businesses in Alberta:
Money and Taxes
In the eyes of the tax authorities, a sole proprietor or partnership and the company are the same. Therefore, all financial gains and losses are detailed in a schedule attached to the owner(s) personal income taxes. Profits are included in the owner(s) personal income and losses can be used to offset income.
A corporation, being a separate legal entity files income tax and financial statements separately from its shareholders. There are many tax benefits that go along with incorporating your business, but also many time consuming and costly responsibilities.
Regardless of whether you choose to start a business as a sole proprietorship/partnership or incorporate, there will be both legal and financial pros and cons. It is strongly advised that in addition to speaking with a lawyer, you also speak with an accountant.
Need more information?For more information about starting or maintaining a small business in Alberta, please check out these Alberta Small Business Resources.
In part two of our series, we’ll dive deeper into incorporation – the types of corporate entities and the benefits and disadvantages. In the meantime, please feel free to contact Gleb Malinovsky or Shelley Germann to arrange a consultation to discuss your unique situation and options in more detail.
The contents of this post are for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice. It is advisable that you speak with a lawyer prior to making any significant decisions.
by Kelsey Morrison, B.A., J.D.
Have you ever been standing in line at the Registry office waiting to renew your driver’s licence or vehicle registration, and found yourself glancing over at the rack of do-it-yourself legal kits?
Then you think to yourself, “Self, you should really have a will done up.”
Then you start to question why you would spend potentially hundreds of dollars on a lawyer when you could simply buy one of these kits for $34.99. Good question. We’re so glad you asked.
There are several advantages to having a lawyer draft your will. We’ll go into a few of them here.
Rules of Execution
The Courts are able to validate wills which have not strictly adhered to the Wills and Succession Act, but do you really want your beneficiaries to incur the costs of that application? Having a lawyer draft and witness the signing of your will greatly reduce the chances that its validity will be challenged after you pass.
Witnessing the Execution of a Will
When you attend at your lawyer’s office for the drafting and signing of your will, he or she will take detailed notes regarding not only your wishes and intentions, but also your capacity and understanding of the process or if there has been any undue influence. Having your lawyer’s notes, or to have him or her appear as a witness in Court, will protect your estate and the interests of your beneficiaries in the event a challenge is made in the future.
Clarity of Intent
Your will should leave no question to your executor as to what your intentions are. Lawyers have the skills and knowledge necessary to draft a will that is clear as to your wishes. Also, the wording used by most lawyers has been through judicial interpretation, which means it has been interpreted by a judge to clear up any vagueness as to the meaning.
Disputes amongst beneficiaries of an estate often arise as a result of failing to consider how the terms of distribution will be affected by events that may happen down the road – birth, marriage, divorce, death, loss of assets and the fluctuations in value of an estate are all things that can have a significant impact if not taken into consideration when a will is drafted.
Obligations to Dependents
A lawyer will be able to assist you to ensure you have properly provided for your dependents by structuring your estate in order to minimize the risk or impact of a maintenance or support claim.
Marriage, Divorce and Blended Families
If any of the following apply to you, then you need actual legal advice and assistance with the planning of your estate: If you have a blended family, or children from different mothers or fathers, or a child with a disability who may require extra care during his or her lifetime, or a business, or joint property held with an adult child, or for numerous other reasons.
Legal and Financial Assets
How to properly address jointly owned property, tax deferred investments and insurance policies are legal principles that a lawyer has the specific skills and knowledge to address in the drafting of your will. These things and the consequences of not properly addressing them are often not fully understood or explained in a do-it-yourself kit.
As you can see, the benefits of hiring a lawyer to draft your will far outweigh the savings of purchasing a do-it-yourself kit. Do your future beneficiaries a favour and have these important documents prepared properly by an expert.
If you have specific questions about wills, enduring powers of attorney or personal directives, please contact us and we’d be more than happy to sit down with you.
Welcome to the Southern Alberta Law Blog. We’re glad you joined us today and hope you'll return as we grow our online presence.
Who are we and why should you take time from your busy day to read our little blog?
Southern Alberta Law Offices is made up of the largest, most experienced team of legal professionals in the Foothills region. We are a full service firm which means we practice in all areas of law such as general litigation, family and divorce, wills and estates, corporate and commercial, residential and commercial real estate, and criminal law. Of course, this is just an example of the services we provide, so if you have questions about us and how we can help you, give us a call or stop into the office to say hi. You can read more about other services we offer here.
Southern Alberta Law Offices was founded in 2011 by lawyer, Shelley Germann. Together with lawyers, Gleb Malinovsky and Kelsey Morrison, our Student-At-Law, Cody Melnyk and a full staff of experienced paralegals, we are proud to provide Southern Alberta with exceptional legal services.
Why take time from your day to follow our blog? Good question!
The law is constantly changing. Our job is to keep on top of those changes and to ensure that our clients, both current and future, are informed and educated. Here, you’ll find information about the law that is relevant to you, explained in a way that you don’t need a law degree to understand. We’ll talk about upcoming events in the community and how we’re getting involved.
The best part is that we’re going to keep these articles short and to the point. Something you can read while enjoying your morning coffee.
We hope to see you soon! In the meantime, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Welcome to the Southern Alberta Law Blog! Check in with us at the beginning of each month for all the latest news coming out of the legal community.