Andrew Gaucher Appointed to Community Services Village Board of Directors

Andrew Gaucher has been appointed to the board of directors of the Community Sevices Village (CSV) in Saskatoon. Housing only non-profit organizations, CSV’s mission is to enhance the quality of life and services for the community. Its tenants work in all facets of the community, and offer diverse perspectives accompanied with a compassionate approach.

For more information about CSV click here.

Call for feedback on behalf of the CBA

James Steele is Legislation and Law Reform Director of CBA Saskatchewan.

Comments are invited on the SK Government’s ongoing development of Regulations to support The Financial Planners and Financial Advisors Act.

CBA Members are welcomed to review the Ontario draft regulations and offer any comments on said Regulations (insofar as such Ontario Regulations will form the basis of the Saskatchewan regulations). The Ontario draft regulations may be found HERE. Any comments on the above Regulations can be submitted to James Steele at j.steele@rslaw.com by Oct 31, 2020.

Effect of Marriage or 24 Months of Cohabitation on Your Will – Changes to the Wills Act

The law in Saskatchewan used to be that an existing will would be revoked when the will maker married or upon the will maker cohabiting in a spousal relationship continuously for two years, unless there was a declaration in the will that it was made in contemplation of marriage or cohabitation in a spousal relationship.

This meant that if an existing will of a person made prior to getting legally married or cohabiting in a spousal relationship did not have the required declaration stating that it was being made “in contemplation of marriage” or “in contemplation of cohabitation in a spousal relationship” their will would become invalid upon their marriage or cohabitation of 24 months.

This law has now changed. Effective March 16, 2020 these sections of The Wills Act were repealed. This means a will made prior to a marriage or cohabitation of 24 months that occurs on or after March 16, 2020 will remain valid until a new will is created. A declaration in the will that it is made in contemplation of marriage or cohabiting in a spousal relationship is no longer required for it to remain valid upon a marriage or cohabitation of 24 months occurring on or after March 16, 2020.

To be clear, this change is not retroactive. A will that was revoked because of a marriage or cohabitation of 24 months occurring prior to March 16, 2020 will remain revoked.

These changes were enacted concurrently with changes to The Marriage Act which allows family members of a person to apply to court to nullify a marriage if a person did not have the capacity to provide valid consent.

It is important to have a legally valid will and to review it periodically to ensure its provisions are appropriate having regard to your life circumstances at any given point in time. When a person dies without a legally valid will in place they will be found to have died “intestate” and the beneficiaries of their estate will be determined in accordance with The Intestate Succession Act.

It is especially important to have your estate planning documents reviewed when there has been a significant change in your life such as marriage or cohabitation of 24 months so you can make necessary updates. Starting a family, acquiring significant property with your spouse or others, and dealing with added complexities of succession planning if you are an owner of a business are other examples of significant changes in your life warranting a review and update your will.

The lawyers at Robertson Stromberg would be pleased to guide you through these changes and provide you with practical advice for your estate planning. For more information please contact Darlene N. Wingerak at d.wingerak@rslaw.com

This post is for information purposes only and should not be relied on for legal advice. Please contact Robertson Stromberg LLP for legal advice concerning your case.

 

Saskatchewan Introduces Binding Pre-Trial Conferences

The Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench has amended its Rules of Court to provide for Binding Pre-Trial conferences. Typically, pre-trial conferences provide an informal setting for all parties to a civil or family law matter and a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench to:

  • identify the facts that are agreed upon or are in dispute;
  • clarify the issues between the parties; and
  • attempt to reach a resolution by way of a voluntary agreement.

With the recent amendment to Saskatchewan’s Rules of Court, parties can now request a binding pre-trial conference at the close of pleadings and when all parties consent.

According to Rule 4-21.2 (2) binding pre-trial conferences are not intended to replace normal negotiations between the parties. The goals of binding pre-trial conferences are to allow the parties to participate in the problem-solving process; to allow settlement options to be presented; and if settlement fails to obtain a biding decision on one or more of the claims or issues in the dispute so as to improve the efficiency of the court system and to save time and costs for all parties.

Following a binding pre-trial conference, the Justice will render a final and binding decision after hearing from both sides if the parties cannot reach their own agreement. The decision cannot be appealed.

The written agreement to participate in a binding pre-trial conference requires the parties to acknowledge and confirm that they have entered into the agreement voluntarily, that they understand the nature and affect of the agreement, that they understand and consent to participating in the binding pre-trial conference process including that, if the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the presiding judge may make a binding decision that may include costs. The agreement will further specify that the parties understand and agree that a binding decision will be deemed a consent order or judgment of the court and cannot be appealed without leave of the presiding judge pursuant to section 38 of the Queen’s Bench Act.

Another difference between binding pre-trial conferences and regular procedure relates to timing of material filing. Binding pre-trial conferences require each party to file pre-trial briefs and expert reports not later than 15 days before the date scheduled for the binding pre-trial conference.

A party may withdraw consent from participating in a binding pre-trial conference up to 10 days before the scheduled meeting.

The introduction of binding pre-trial conferences in Saskatchewan offers litigants an additional tool to resolve disputes without the necessity of trial. Although Saskatchewan is not the first jurisdiction in Canada to offer binding pre-trial conferences, it is certainly at the forefront of this alternative dispute resolution mechanism.

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