Author Archives: ggslaw987

GREEN GERMANN SAKRAN CANADA DAY RUN 2016

GREEN GERMANN SAKRAN CANADA DAY RUN 2016

Thanks to all the runners, donors and volunteers, we raised $2,500 for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign!

It was a fun way to start Canada Day and everyone had a blast.  The kids did the 1km run first with all adults waiting for the 5km start.

Here is a short video of the action.

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Green Germann Sakran (GGS) is a law firm with a long tradition of excellence in serving its clients with a combined experience of more than 70 years. GGS Lawyers specialize in the areas of Real Estate, Wills, Trusts and EstatesCorporate and CommercialFamily LawCivil Litigation and Personal Injury. We are a law firm with a long tradition of excellence in serving its clients. Its core founders were two brothers, Donald Green and Blair Green along with… Read more

Burlington, Hamilton, Milton, Mississauga, Guelph

 

 

Spirituality on the Go Train

In the end, to work spiritually is to remember that we journey together – Lawyer Karmel Sakran

On Monday morning, I walked into my office and found a cover letter and article addressed to me from a long-time dear acquaintance and client, Rev. Maureen (“Moe”) Anderson.  Moe’s letter captivated me – she describes her role as a Spiritual Care giver and how she recently had the experience of saving a man’s life on the Go Train.  With Moe’s consent, I have posted her letter to me and her fascinating article – I will let them speak for themselves.  Enjoy!

CASC/ACSS

Canadian Association for Spiritual Care / Associationcanadienne de soins spirituels

June 4,2016

Dear Karmel,

I hope that this letter finds you well!

As you know, I’m always crazy busy and into a variety of projects. I’m writing to you in my capacity as Co-chair for the National Convention of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care to be held at Deerhurst Resort in April of 2018.

The Canadian Association for Spiritual Care is the National multi-faith organization committed to the professional education, certification and support of people involved in spiritual care, counselling, education and research. We provide education programs for people who are preparing to become professional providers of Spiritual Care in a variety of institutional and community settings.

I agreed to co-chair this committee because I know that this annual convention is a lifeline for the people who work across the country, many of whom work as the sole person in their institution facing traumatic situations every day. I am one of the lucky ones. While I attend to several deaths a day and many distraught family members, I have a team of spiritual care professionals at the University Health Network. The vast majority of my colleagues do not have that kind of support within their workplaces and so it is my passion to try and make this convention as accessible as I can by soliciting support from generous community donors.

Rev. Moe Anderson Spiritual Care Professional Co-Chair
Canadian Association for Spiritual Care National Conference

P.S. I thought that you might enjoy reading one of my blogs where I helped save a man’s life!

Spirituality on the Go Train

You would think that someone from Spiritual Care would not have trouble answering the questions, “How do you work spiritually at work?” when the Wellness Coordinator asks, however, I was stumped until the Friday night GO train ride home.

For those of you that regularly ride the GO train, you know that it is a bit of a strange environment. You can ride with the same people for many years and never actually meet them. At the end of the day, the cultural norm on the top deck of the train is quiet and silence but the alarm went for “Code 1033,” the code for a medical emergency and this time the emergency was in my car. I went down to investigate and a man had collapsed on the floor, not breathing, rapidly turning blue. Someone had started CPR and I took over compression as she tired. Others arrived as well. I heard the GO train personnel inquire who everyone was and it turns out we had someone from palliative care, someone who delivers babies, a dermatologist and me, a spiritual care provider.

I thought of all those family meetings where it was unknown what time the patient collapsed and how long he had been down for, so I looked at my watch. The time was 4:23. A minute into compressions and I was tiring already. How did I not know how tiring CPR was? I had watched the ICU team do CPR for hours, switching off every few minutes, never realizing how hard the work was and being reminded in the moment how important teamwork is. We began to switch off between trying to find a pulse and doing chest compressions. He was turning that awful colour between life and death. Someone found a defibrillator and the baby doctor prepared to deliver a shock as she ripped open his shirt at 4:26. We heard her say “clear” and then he jumped underneath us. I heard the palliative doctor ask someone to find his name in his wallet and she began to talk to the patient. Talking to a dying patient is usually my job, but today, I heard someone else giving the spiritual care while we continued chest compressions stopping periodically so the palliative doctor could see if his heart was beating. Suddenly he began to breathe. A cheer went up and we turned him on his side but the victory was only short lived. He stopped breathing again and we rolled him back to continue CPR. At 4:29 we gave him a second shock. In that second moment when we called “clear,” I looked up and I saw the faces of the people that I normally speak to- scared, overwhelmed by what they were seeing, panicked but I couldn’t provide the spiritual care it was someone else’s job to offer comfort and support. I placed my hands on his chest taking my turn at compressions from the dermatologist and this time I felt his heart punch back at my hands and beat to life again, like when I was pregnant and I felt the baby kick from within. It was like his soul was letting me know he was still there. The doctors confirmed he had pulses, stronger pulses this time. Rolling him onto his side again it was 4:34. His colour returned, his eyes fluttered open. Oxygen arrived from somewhere and paramedics arrived on scene just as he was waking up. There was a sense of exhilaration that together we had saved this man’s life- the woman who went running through the train looking for doctors and found the strange collection of people to help, the person who donated her scissors to cut open his shirt, those of us that pounded on his chest and shouted in his ear to keep breathing, those that held elevators and doorways, went running for the defibrillator or just silently prayed- together- a crazy team that journeyed together differently today.

As I reflected on the events, I realized that in many ways the hospital is a strange collection of strangers, a collection of people journeying together, never knowing what the day will bring.

I realized that being in rounds and family meetings had made me the accidental student as I heard over and over again what made the different at the beginning of a cardiac arrest to the final outcome. We must all be accidental students in our journey together, always learning from one another. Today, I reflected on all the people that I watch day in and day out use their hands to work to save a patient. How differently it felt to put my hands on a patient for medical treatment than to hold a hand to comfort. How lost for words I am to describe the feeling of seeing another human being shocked and pounded back to life and to have been a small part of that.

Today as we journey together, I’m reminded once again of the precious commodity of time that is given to each one of us to make each moment count. After he was taken away by EMS a woman, in tears, explained, that the man collapsed after seeing her struggling up the stairs with her suitcase feeling panicked at being caught in rush hour. Seeing her struggle, he carried her suitcase up to the platform. She worried that the act of kindness may have cost him his life- perhaps it saved him because it put him in just the right place. I am more.deeply aware that we are strange strangers on a journey but we don’t have to be estranged from one another, especially in crisis.

So today as I think about what Monday will bring I hope that I can live in deeper spiritual appreciation and with deeper reverence and awe for all those who place their hands onto their fellow sojourners in care. I hope that I can live with heightened awareness and hope for the strangers and companions that are all around. I hope that I can see with more compassion the struggles that each person carries in their work. In the end, to work spiritually is to remember that we journey together.

Burlington, Hamilton, Milton, Mississauga, Guelph

What everyone should do AFTER having signed their new Wills and Powers of Attorney?

Congratulations to those of you that have up-to-date Wills and Powers of Attorney.

But, it doesn’t end there.

last will and testament

When you rely on an Executor or Power of Attorney that is not your spouse, like a child or friend, they probably won’t know where to begin in uncovering and gathering all your assets.  They will have to start rummaging through your home to locate bank statements, life insurance policies, and anything else they can locate to manage or probate your Estate.  But, even if they go through every scrap of paper, they can never be truly sure that this is the entirety of your estate.

In fact, you may also forget with time what assets and liabilities you have.  That is why I always recommend that clients prepare a simple checklist having key pieces of information, like:

  • Name and location of where they do their banking;
  • Account details – ie. chequing/savings and estimated balances;
  • List address of real estate you own – ie. home/cottage (keeping an old tax bill with the checklist is great because it has key details about the property) & estimated balance of any outstanding mortgage and name and contact information of lender;
  • Name and contact details of Insurance Agent & policy number of any life or home insurance;
  • Name and contact details of Financial Adviser/Planner & account/portfolio number with estimated balance;
  • Name and contact details of Lawyer;
  • List of credit cards
  • List details of any corporate holdings you may have including any business or partnership interests;
  • Anything else you thing is necessary for the Executor or Power of Attorney to know.

Make sure to put the date at the top of the page & sign your name on the bottom.

Estate Planning

At our firm, we keep the original Wills and Powers of Attorney stored in a fireproof vault with a unique client number for easy retrieval when required.   We advise the clients to provide us with a copy of the checklist to store with their Wills/Powers of Attorney.

Our clients are provided with a signed copy of their Wills and Powers of Attorney and we advise them to keep those documents along with a copy of their checklist stored together.  The signed copies don’t need to be in a vault since the original is already in our vault.  We simply advise clients to keep them in a file wherever they keep important documents at home but to also inform their named Executors and Powers of Attorney of their whereabouts

This saves everyone a lot of grief and stress when the time comes to rely on those documents.

Article written by Karmel Sakran

Readers may contact Karmel Sakran at 905-639-1222 ext. 224

Learn more about Wills, Executors and Power of Attorney »

Burlington, Hamilton, Milton, Mississauga, Guelph

If you are selling your home privately…

Selling your home privately?
Resources from a Real Estate Lawyers

Then you should know that there are resources out there that can help you get your home ready and in tip top shape to get the best possible selling price.

Realtors typically know all kinds of people and businesses from roofers, home inspectors to home stagers to prepare your home for sale.  But do you?

I was at a Realtor’s event recently and met some incredible people who can help you prepare your home when trying to sell it privately.  Buyers may also be interested in some of these services like the home inspectors, moving boxes and environmental remediation people.

PICTURES & FLOOR PLAN LAYOUT – Brian Brown from Snapd iGuide has a remarkable business that comes into your home and takes professional photos – but the remarkable part is that his photo technology actually measures the dimensions of each room and maps out a floor plan layout of your home.  The floor plan layout can be posted on the internet and viewers can click on every room and they will get a virtual view of the entire area.  It looks amazing and professionally done for a very low cost.  Only $250 for homes up to 2500 sq ft.   To me that is a remarkable price for what you are getting.  Check out their website at www.snapdiguide.com or just contact Brian at brian@snapdiguide.com / 519-831-7322. www.snapdiguide.com.

HOME STAGING – And you must meet Jill Ackerman and Shardie Stevenson from Stage Right. Jill and Shardie are remarkable individuals.  Jill reminds me of the famous actress Maude.  Strong, bright and that golden white main is stunning.   Jill will come to your home and, regardless of whether you have moved out or not, she will stage your home for viewings so that it makes the best possible impression on potential buyers.  How can you go wrong with that kind of assistance?  Just call Jill at 289-880-0500 / jill@stageright2sell.ca or check out her website at www.stageright2sell.ca.

 

Jill & Shardie of Stage RightLeft to Right:  Jill Ackerman, Karmel Sakran and Shardie Stevenson

SIGN POST & PACKING BOXES – And then there is Jim Osborne who thought he had retired and ended up buying a couple of businesses.  One is Smartposts which manufactures lawn signs that advertise your home for sale.  They look professional like any other realtor sign.  Smartboxes is Jim’s other business which provides a variety of eco-friendly green moving boxes you can rent for packing your belongings.  They are strong and easily stackable.  You can call Jim at 905-960-1021 or sales@postinstallers.com – or check out his 2 websites:  www.smartboxes.ca and www.postinstallers.com.

UNWANTED STUFF – Of course, there may be stuff you don’t want to take with you and that is when you want to call my friend, Chris Wade of Goodwill Amity to donate those items.  If memory serves me correct, Chris’ team will come out to your home to pick up those generously donated items.  You can reach Chris at 905-526-8482 or cwade@goodwillonline.ca.

MOULD REMOVAL – I had a great time chatting with two wonderful people, Richard Hughes and Kerry MacMullin.  Richard is a bright and engaging fellow who owns and operates HIP (“Home Improvement Professionals”) Mould Pros.  Richard’s business is to remove mould from your home.  Kerry makes Richard look good by providing him with all the back end support while he`s is on the road.  Richard explained that there are a variety of ways to remove mould from homes and he swears by his technique which he says is fully insured, fully guaranteed and certified by a professional engineer.  Richard took the time to explain the various methods used and why his method is second to none.  Check him out at www.H-I-P.ca or call him at 519-766-2042 or richard@H-I-P.ca.

richard and Kerry of HIPLeft to Right:  Kerry MacMullin, Karmel Sakran and Richard Hughes

HOME INSPECTION & ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION – There were several other professionals with whom I did not really get a chance to chat with for very long….but here they are:

  1. Henry Kwasniak of Healthy Environmental.ca seems to focus more on Commercial/Industrial buildings.  His information shows that he is an MOL certified trained technician for Abatement and MOE licenced disposal for mould and asbestos.  You can reach Henry at 1-855-666-6853 or henry@healthyenvironments.ca / www.healthyenvironmental.ca;
  2. John Hansen of HouseMaster serves Hamilton, Burlington & Surrounding Areas and he can provide a WETT Certificate for fireplaces. John provides 20% discount for all veterans and can be reached at 905-966-7378 or hansen@housemaster.ca / www.housemaster.ca;
  3. Ed Iwanchuk and Dan Davies of TeamOne are certified in the use of Infrared Camera technology. A realtor was at their booth and swore by them.  Ed and Dan can be reached at 905-745-9250 or teamonehomeinspections@gmail.com / teamonehomeinspections.com; and,
  4. Dan Kern of HomeWorks Inspection Services Ltd. is a registered home inspector who also serves the Burlington, Hamilton & Brantford areas. Dan can be reached at 905-630-8775 or dan@homeworksinspections.ca / homeworksinspections.ca.

CMHC – Cathy Aquilina, Account Manager with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provided me with some very helpful information for homebuyers who are putting down less than 20% towards the purchase of a home.  Keep in mind that CMHC does not deal directly with homebuyers.   CMHC deals directly with the mortgage brokers and lenders.  Lending institutions submit the application for CMHC coverage on behalf of the buyers.  However, Cathy told me that she regularly speaks at homebuyer seminars and there is great information on the CMHC website.  And best of all, there is an APP that can be downloaded by homebuyers called “Ready Set Home”!   Visit their website at www.cmhc.ca.

 NOTICE TO READER:  GGS does not assume any liability of having introduced readers to the individuals and/or businesses referenced above.  The individuals and/or businesses referenced above are presented for the readers reading pleasure and the reader is solely responsible for exercising their own due diligence and good judgment on whether to engage their services or not.

Article written by Karmel Sakran

Readers may contact Karmel Sakran at 905-639-1222 ext. 224

Selling your home?  Talk to a Real Estate Lawyer »

Burlington, Hamilton, Milton, Mississauga, Guelph

The real estate market is going crazy and it is frightening because…

Buying Selling in the Real Estate Market from a lawyers perspective

Homes are selling incredibly fast and often selling above list price. The reason seems clear…low inventory of homes for sale and many more buyers. Bidding wars are now the norm.

I have heard from many realtors that the strategy is to list the home on Friday, schedule a Sunday open house and accept offers on Monday.

People knowingly present an offer they feel will beat other offers. I have one client that is frustrated for being out bid on 4 different homes. Yet, I have a seller client that received 18 offers on her home and accepted an offer $70,000.00 over list price with offers still coming in.

And because of the bidding wars, banks are now insisting on obtaining an appraisal of the property where in the past they relied on the Purchase and Sale Agreement as satisfactory proof of the fair market price. After all, banks want to verify the fair market value of the property as part of their due diligence and determining what they perceive as the true loan to value ratio.

If the lender bank determines that the property requires insurance from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the lender bank will submit the lending application to CMHC who, in turn, will review the application for approval.  If CMHC has any concern, CMHC will request their own appraisal to satisfy themselves as to the overall risk.  CMHC performs this on a case by case basis and their underwriter will ultimately decide whether to extend CMHC insurance coverage.

I have two simple questions. Are the current bidding wars a self-correcting mechanism to adjust home prices up to their true fair market value? Or, are home buyers going to regret overpaying for their new homes?

Home ownership is great, but at what cost?

Article written by Karmel Sakran

Readers may contact Karmel Sakran at 905-639-1222 ext. 224

Buying or selling a home? Talk to a Real Estate Lawyer »

Burlington, Hamilton, Milton, Mississauga, Guelph

Home Buyer and Home Seller Closing precautions

Ensure a smooth closing and avoid issues –  a Real Estate Lawyer advises.

It is unfortunate, but it does happen on rare occasions…

That a buyer pulls up to their newly purchased home and the seller has not cleared out of the home!  And worst of all, it is obvious that it will be a few hours before the seller completely vacates the home.

Even the best real estate lawyer can’t anticipate this issue occurring when closing a deal.  Neither the buyer’s lawyer nor the seller’s lawyer go to visit the property, so there is no way for either lawyer to visually assess the likelihood that delivery of vacant possession will be delayed.  When this happens, the buyer is inconvenienced and frustrated and often out of pocket because the movers are waiting to move furniture into the home.

For our buyer clients, we advise them to arrange a visit the day before closing to assess how much or how little has been packed and/or removed by the sellers.  This visual observation is usually a good indicator whether vacant possession will be delayed.  We also ask our clients to report any concern to us and their realtor so that communication can be sent to the seller’s lawyer and realtor to address the issue with their respective clients.

And, if a buyer wants to be extra careful, there is no harm in driving by the morning of closing to have an outside visual of the property and determine whether things are being moved or whether it appears the home has already been vacated or whether any debris has been left about the property.  After all, the goal is to avoid any issue BEFORE money is paid over to the seller’s lawyer.

At our firm, we always ask our seller clients “when do they expect to be completely out of the property”.  This is particularly important where the parties are selling because of a separation and one has remained in the home.  Regardless of why people are selling, we aim to avoid any misunderstandings on the part of our clients.

Our advice is to be out no later than 1pm but preferably by 11am the day of closing.  This is what we tell our clients to ensure there are no surprises that create animosity and discontent between the sellers and the buyers; and of course, potential litigation.

We also advise our clients to ensure they leave their home in a broom swept condition free of any debris, such as old furniture, unwanted lawn furniture, and other things a seller may presume buyers would appreciate having.  This approach has always worked well for our clients.

At GGS, we are proactive in trying to avoid problems and ensure a smooth and happy real estate closing.

Article written by Karmel Sakran

Readers may contact Karmel Sakran at 905-639-1222 ext. 224

Home Buyer or Home Seller real estate closing? Talk to a Real Estate Lawyer »

Burlington, Hamilton, Milton, Mississauga, Guelph

What to do if you have a car accident

Personal Injury Lawyer – how to protect yourself.

If you have had a car accident, even if you don’t think you have been injured, there are certain things you need to do to protect your own rights and to protect yourself from claims from other people involved in the accident.

Always call the police even if it is just a “fender bender”. A police report is essential to making any sort of insurance claim yourself for damage to your vehicle or for accident benefits which are available regardless of fault to all insured motorists. A police report is also essential if you want your insurance company to defend you against a claim from another person involved in the accident.

Your next call, after the police investigation is completed, should be to your insurance agent if you have one or to your insurance company directly.

Late reporting of an accident may allow your insurance company to deny you coverage if you are sued as a result of a car accident or create skepticism if you are making an accident benefits claim.

If there is even a hint of you being injured and you haven’t gone to the hospital from the scene, go and see your family doctor for assessment and appropriate treatment as soon as you can. If you can’t get an appointment right away, go to a walk-in clinic for initial treatment. Car accident injuries, such as whiplash injuries, can take days or weeks to develop, and documenting the initial complaint as soon as possible after the accident creates a good foundation for a damages claim.

Then, feel free to call Earl Taylor at Green Germann Sakran at 905-639-1222 x245 for a free consultation about your rights after an accident. There are no upfront legal fees and no legal fees at all unless you recover a settlement or judgment.

Learn more about Personal Injury Lawyer Earl Taylor »

Don’t let a family crisis paralyze you!

A family crisis can benefit from our best lawyers help in the family law Court system.

If you break up with your spouse or partner, the natural tendency will be to do nothing at least until the initial shock wears off.

Doing nothing could be the worst thing you do especially if you have children.

Regardless of the impact of the separation on you, you and hopefully your spouse or partner will want to do everything possible to minimize the impact on your kids and promote a sense of stability and security for them. Create a plan for their care and try to get an agreement on it.

If your plan means the children will live with you, be aware that allowing them to stay for any significant overnight time with the other spouse or partner could create a status quo regarding custody in that person’s favour which you may have trouble overcoming later.

If you are going to need financial support from your spouse or partner after a separation, don’t procrastinate in trying to get it voluntarily from the other spouse or partner. If you do in the hope of an agreement and nothing is forthcoming, the family law Court system is structured in such a way that, once you start a Court case, you must wait several months at a minimum to be able to go into Court to ask for a temporary support order. Don’t wait to get started.

Once a separation has taken place, try to accumulate for negotiation with your spouse or partner or for a Court case, if one is required, financial documents such as your last three years’ income tax returns and notices of assessment, pay statements, statements reinvestments and RRSPs, loan statements, credit card statements, etc. to make your lawyer’s job easier.

Need help? Contact our Best Family Law Lawyer »

Don’t panic if you get fired – know your rights and insist on them!

Speak with an Employment Lawyer – know your rights.

Unless your employer has fired you for just cause, such as serious misconduct, or unless you have signed an employment contract limiting your rights, every employee in Ontario is entitled to some compensation when dismissed as long as you have had at least three months on the job.

Every employee in Ontario has minimum rights under the Employment Standards Act, including the right to one weeks’ notice or one weeks’ pay in place of notice for each year of service when dismissed.

Most people are aware of this and the right to make a complaint to the government-run Labour Board if you don’t get this minimum entitlement.

What a lot of people don’t know is that most employees who are dismissed have the right to additional compensation at common law over and above the minimum required by the Employment Standards Act.

Please feel free to contact us to make sure you know your rights.

Learn more from a Top Rated Employment lawyer »