Canadian Lawyer

May 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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www.canadianlawyermag.com 29 Hull&Hull_CL_Jan_15.indd 1 Hull&Hull_CL_Jan_15.indd 1 2014-12-10 3:41 PM 2014-12-10 3:41 PM "Based on how the legislation is drafted, you can't do anything unless you've been diagnosed." Risa Awerbuck, Torkin Manes LLP preparation of wills, powers of attorney and trusts and estate administration. Bruce Hallsor, managing partner at Crease Harman LLP in Vancouver, says many of his clients are concerned with their ability to prevent an end-of-life scenario in which they languish in an institution, suffering for a long period of time with no quality of life and no hope for recovery. "They want to be able to have control over that," he says. "Obviously, as lawyers, we're always cognizant of people with disabilities, especially mental disabilities and how much capacity they have to make those choices. I think most estate lawyers will have encoun- tered situations where grandma's got a lot of money, and the next generation wants the money more than they want grandma." Estates lawyers always need to be vigi- lant against undue influence, says Trotta. The new legislation brings in the concept of an "independent witness" — which can be the person's health-care or personal worker, he says. "There's always a risk and whether you're looking at something like medical assistance in dying or you're looking at estate planning generally, there's a lot of things that can happen behind the scenes that people don't see. And it's very difficult and it's always something that we have to be vigilant about," Trotta says.

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