Call us:  403.265.7777

Mon – Fri: 8am – 4:30 pm MDT

   Call us:  403.265.7777  |  Mon – Fri: 8am – 4:30 pm MDT

Mon – Fri: 8am – 4:30 pm MDT
Call us:  403.265.7777

Remote Signing of Estate Planning Documents During the Pandemic

June 10, 2020 by Admin DBB in Wills & Estates

Remote Signing of Estate Planning Documents During the Pandemic

With the involvement of such critically important documents for estate planning, it is to no one’s surprise that the formalities as required by the Wills and Succession Act, Personal Directives Act and Powers of Attorney Act, surrounding the signing and witnessing of these documents are particularly stringent.

Normally a Will, a Personal Directive and a Power of Attorney, the three standard estate planning documents, must be signed in the immediate presence of a witness, and in the case of a Will, multiple witnesses. There are also some rules about who is eligible to act as witness in order for these estate planning documents to be valid.

Some of the strict requirements remain, but temporarily, according to Ministerial Order 39/2020 issued by Alberta’s Minister of Justice, individuals and their lawyers can now execute Wills, Personal Directives and Powers of Attorney via video conferencing such as Zoom or Skype, to account for circumstances where it is not possible or medically safe for a maker, donor or testator to physically attend before a lawyer and sign a Personal Directive or Power of Attorney in the presence of a witness or a Will in the presence of two witnesses.

This Ministerial Order is temporary and could be revoked at any time. So, if you’re thinking about getting your estate planning done but have put your Will on “hold” until the pandemic has passed, it can now be completed without ever having to meet with a lawyer in person.

Now is as good as time as any to allow us to help you put together all the estate planning documents you should need. Contact any one of our very experienced estate planning lawyers now for help with your Will, Personal Directive or Enduring Power of Attorney.

Fulvio M. Durante

Mark R. D. Sawyer

Catherine E. Gerrits
Mike D. Anderson

Paul D. Kurceba

Co-Parenting During the Pandemic

March 27, 2020 by Admin DBB in Family Law

By:  Sandy Vander Ziel

 Co-parenting can be challenging in the best of times but with the new circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 Pandemic (“Pandemic”), we need to learn to adjust as our “new normal” continues to shift daily.  As family law lawyers, we are being asked about what rules apply with a Pandemic and what can be expected when people are being asked to self-isolate and socially/physically distance while balancing an obligation to abide by the terms of a Parenting Agreement or Court Order. 

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Prudent Basic Legal Emergency Planning in Pandemic Times

March 19, 2020 by Admin DBB in Uncategorized, Wills & Estates

By: Catherine Gerrits

Albertans have quickly responded to the recommendations of the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services over the past days to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in order to protect our community and our most vulnerable citizens. Many feel anxious regarding business and school closures, self-quarantines and social distancing measures. An important message to help all in these pandemic times is to take prudent steps to be prepared for further changes as they present.

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Top 10 Myths (ok, 17) In Family Law

November 18, 2019 by Admin DBB in Family Law, News

By: Wendy Best


After practicing family law for almost 40 years, it is clear that there are many “myths” or misunderstandings that people have about various family law issues. I attempted to identify the 10 most common issues, but ultimately could only reduce them to 17, as briefly outlined below.

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6 Dunphy Best Blocksom LLP Lawyers Named to 2020 Best Lawyers list

September 12, 2019 by Admin DBB in News

Calgary, August 30, 2019 — Dunphy Best Blocksom LLP is pleased to announce that 6 lawyers have been included in the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.
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Suitcase? Check. Passport? Check. Travel Consent Letter?

January 14, 2019 by Admin DBB in Family Law, News

By: Sarah Nasser

Travel is a fun and exciting time for children. It exposes them to new environments, new people and different cultures. But before you pack their bags and take them to the airport, you might need to take care of a little extra paperwork.

Travel consent letters are generally prepared for a parent who intends to travel internationally with their child(ren) absent the other parent. While not a legal requirement when travelling, a travel consent letter is highly recommended by the Government of Canada and family lawyers alike, especially on international trips where it may be requested by immigration authorities and/or Canadian officials. Failure to produce a letter upon request may result in delays and/or refusal to enter or exit a country.

It is not just separated and/or divorced spouses that may need a travel consent letter. If a minor child is travelling without their custodial guardians, whether that is their grandparents or their basketball coach across the Canadian border, it will also be necessary to obtain and carry a travel consent letter.

What if you have sole custody of your child(ren)? Despite having sole or final decision making rights for your child(ren), it is strongly recommended that the travel consent letter is signed both by parents with custodial rights and by parents with access rights to the child(ren).

Do I have to sign a travel consent letter? Generally most parties get travel consent orders signed by the other party without issue, however, if the other parent does not consent to the travel letter, a court application will be necessary to ensure you are able to travel.  Best practice is to ask for consent early to ensure there is time to bring an application if required.

Please note that we always suggest getting the travel consent letter notarized by a Notary Public to ensure that you will be able to travel. If you need a Notary Public please contact our office.


January 3, 2019 by Admin DBB in News

By: Sarah Nasser

Currently there is no legislation in Alberta that indicates how to divide property when an unmarried couple breaks up. This is soon set to change.  In slightly more than a year, Alberta will join British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan in providing people in Adult Interdependent Partnerships (“AIP”) with property rights equivalent to those enjoyed by married spouses.

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5 Dunphy Best Blocksom LLP lawyers named to 2019 Best Lawyers list

August 22, 2018 by Admin DBB in News

Calgary, August 21, 2018 — Dunphy Best Blocksom LLP is pleased to announce that 5 lawyers have been included in the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.
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The Double-Edged Sword that is Social Media

June 28, 2018 by Admin DBB in Family Law, News

By Sarah Nasser
For better or for worse, social media is here to stay. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Skype, and Snap Chat – the platforms are endless. In the family law context social media has undoubtedly been a useful tool for separated families, when used responsibly. These platforms have allowed parents and children to remain connected and share moments in real time. In fact, this type of communication is now frequently included in Parenting Orders to ensure that children have regular communication with both of their parents when they are not physically with them.
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“Sexting” and the Law

March 1, 2018 by Admin DBB in News

New research from the University of Calgary reveals that sexting is on the rise amongst teenagers aged 12 – 17 years old.

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