Author: Joni Metherell

Joni’s practice encompasses a range of civil litigation areas. She has extensive experience in wills, trust and estate litigation, as well as real property and easement disputes. She has conducted…

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In the recent decision, Boer v Mikaloff, the BC Supreme Court was faced with an interesting interpretation question under the relatively new Wills, Estate and Succession Act.

A tired Michigan BP gas station attendant who had just completed the night shift and wanted to go home put his boss on blast and lost his job as a result.

The employee was waiting for his manager to relieve him and she was an hour late because, she said later, she had slept through her alarm.

The employee locked up the store and went home, but not before taping a handwritten note to the inside of the glass doors of the gas station, where customers could see it. The note read:

Many non-lawyers (and many non-employment lawyers) will make reference to a “rule of thumb” that provides that a terminated employee is entitled to one month per year of service.

However, in two recent decisions, the British Columbia Courts have re-affirmed that there is no “formula” or rule of thumb that can be applied in determining how much notice an employee may be entitled to on the termination of their employment.

   In a recent 6 – 3 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada weighed in on a labour relations matter that has been a source of confusion for employers and unions alike for several years – mandatory and random alcohol testing for unionized employees working in safety sensitive positions.

My elderly father seems to be losing his ability to manage his financial affairs. I’m also worried that my step-sister is “borrowing” money from him. Dad doesn’t seem to be keeping records, and he’s always been really careful about keeping things equal between the kids. What can I do to protect Dad, and make sure that he’s not taken advantage of?

It’s not uncommon for a parent making a Will to want to treat his or her children unequally. Sometimes there are very good reason why one child should receive more (or less) from a parent when that parent dies. Such reasons might include special financial needs (such as if a child has a disability that affects his or her earning ability) or gifts that were made during the parent’s lifetime that are being equalized through the Will.

Employers often struggle with how employees who are on unpaid leave should be dealt with when there are significant changes occurring in the workplace. The British Columbia Court of Appeal struggled with this issue too in Lewis v. Terrace Tourism Society and the outcome of the decision is instructive to employers and employees alike.

A recently released decision of the British Columbia Supreme Court may have brought some clarity to a thorny issue faced by many estate planners: Is it possible for a person to divest themselves of all their assets prior to death if the effect of doing so is to disinherit a spouse or child?

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