Professional, accessible, and compassionate client-centered legal services at an affordable price.

Practice Areas

Halifax Law

Wills & Estates

A Will is a legal document that says what you want done with the things you own at the time of your death. It is important to make a Will because it lets you make the decision about how your estate will be distributed upon your death. It ensures that the things you own will go to the people that you want to have them. You can also appoint a guardian for your minor children in a Will and provide funeral and burial instructions.

A Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to appoint someone else to act on your behalf for financial matters. If it’s an Enduring Power of Attorney, that power continues if you should become incompetent to handle your own financial affairs.

If you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney and you become incompetent to make financial decisions, a person can only make such decisions for you if they have been appointed by a court to be your guardian (see Guardianship Applications).  Ultimately, it would have saved time, money and effort (and possibly avoid family conflict) if you had already chosen and appointed such a person in advance through an Enduring Power of Attorney.

A Personal Directive is a document in which you give instructions about your future personal care, and/or designate someone else to make personal care decisions for you if you are no longer capable.

If a person dies with a Will, the estate may have to be probated. Probate is the legal process of proving that the Will of the deceased person is valid. Not all Wills have to be probated. It depends largely on the types of assets in the estate. If you are an Executor of a Will for someone who has passed away, our lawyers can advise you if probate is required and can help you through the probate process if it is necessary.

If a person passes away without a Will, their estate may need to go through a court process called administration. This involves the appointment of an administrator to act as the personal representative of the estate. Our firm can help with such applications which are made to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

When a loved one passes away, this can cause turmoil and conflict within families when it comes to the distribution of the deceased’s estate. Such matters may require the involvement of a lawyer to try to resolve conflicts either through negotiation or court.

If an adult is unable to manage their own affairs, an application can be made to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia to appoint a guardian to step in and make decisions for that adult. Such an application could have been avoided in the first place if the adult, who is now incapable, had previously appointed a decision maker through an Enduring Power of Attorney and/or  Personal Directives. Our firm can assist in making guardianship applications to the Supreme Court.

Corporate

Incorporation is a legal process that creates a distinct legal entity separate from its owners (shareholders). Incorporation is generally undertaken because business owners want to limit their personal liability and/or for tax advantages.   It is always wise to speak with a lawyer and an accountant when deciding whether to incorporate a business. There is a federal incorporation process, as well as a provincial. Our firm can advise you about the process of incorporation, the implications from a legal standpoint, as well as discuss the pros and cons. Make an informed decision with our help.

An amalgamation gives two or more Companies the ability to combine assets and liabilities. This may even be done with holding corporations. However, it is important to determine that amalgamation will not have adverse tax implications to either the amalgamating corporations or their shareholders. We work with accounting professionals to determine the best course of action for your business.

Sometimes with an existing business the share structure can be rearranged to increase tax savings, income split, and plan for the future. We can assist in this process working closely with an accountant of your choosing.  If you do not have a preferred accountant, we can provide recommendations.

In the purchase or sale of a business it is possible to conduct a sale of the shares, or a sale of the assets. Each option holds different benefits, such as ability to keep the business name, and risks, such as liability. We can help you decide which option is right for you.

If a business was incorporated outside of Nova Scotia or federally incorporated, and intends to operate in Nova Scotia, it will need to be extra-provincially registered with the Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies. We can assist businesses through this process.

Shareholder agreements set out the rights, responsibilities and obligations of shareholders within a corporation. It is such an important document and can help in the avoidance of disputes, conflicts and misunderstandings because everything is clearly spelled out in writing.

Partnership agreements set out the rights, responsibilities and obligations of partners within a business. It is a very important document and can help in the avoidance of disputes, conflicts and misunderstandings because everything is clearly spelled out in writing.

Provincially incorporated companies that no longer operate and have no assets or liabilities can apply to the Registry of Joint Stock Companies to be dissolved. There is an application process that we can assist you with.

We can create contracts, as well as review such documents on behalf of clients in order to provide advice. Such contracts may include employment contracts, service agreements, independent contractor agreements, non-disclosure agreements, equipment leases, to name just a few.

We can create and also review commercial leases. Renting a commercial space is normally a two-step process: an “Offer to Lease” is signed, and then the commercial lease is signed. Landlords and tenants need to know exactly what they are getting into before signing anything. That is where legal advice is essential.

Our firm works with other businesses and non-profit organizations to create operational and human resources policies that are uniquely tailored to their needs and ensures their organization meets legislative and statutory requirements.

Notary Public & Commissioner of Oaths

A Notary Public can complete a variety of legal processes and documents including administering oaths, taking and receiving affidavits, and certifying photocopied documents to be true copies of the originals.  A Notary Public can witness and authenticate the execution of certain classes of documents for use in jurisdictions outside of Nova Scotia.

A Commissioner of Oaths may only deal with documents to be used in the Province of Nova Scotia, and is restricted to administering oaths and affirmations, and taking and receiving affidavits and declarations.

We offer a full range of notary public and commissioner services including:

  • Certifying true copies of original documents, including marriage certificates, death certificates, wills, birth certificates and passports.
  • Statutory Declarations and Affidavits – Oaths and Affirmations
  • Witnessing signatures, verification of identity and certification of signatures.
  • Witnessing Travel Consent Forms

About Us

Halifax Lawyers

The Firm

O’Keefe Law is a boutique law firm. Our primary areas of practice include Wills & Estates and Corporate Law. Our mission statement is “Professional, accessible, and compassionate client-centered legal services at an affordable price.” O’Keefe Law is conveniently located at 397 Bedford Highway in the beautiful Bedford Farmer’s Market building (next to Farmer Clem’s). We aim to keep our law firm operating costs low so the cost-savings can be passed on directly to our clients. We think it’s the legal knowledge, experience and great service that truly matter when you visit a lawyer, not expensive boardrooms and fancy furniture.

O’Keefe Law is knowledgeable and professional, while being down-to-earth, compassionate and affordable. We want to make our clients feel comfortable from the initial contact up until the closing of their file.  We will explain legal concepts and processes in a way that clients understand and seek to foster an environment in which clients feel at ease asking questions and truly engaging with their lawyer. We also use technology such as Skype to provide clients the convenience of having meetings with their lawyer while sitting in the comfort of their own office or home.  In addition to regular business hours from 9 am to 5 pm during weekdays, after-hours and weekend appointments will be accommodated where possible.  We want to be accessible for clients who may not be able to attend the office during regular office hours because of their own work commitments.

Our Team

Kristen O’Keefe B.A., M.H.E., LL.B.

Kristen O’Keefe is the founding lawyer of O’Keefe Law. She has a passion for helping people and has a down-to-earth personality which makes her a great fit for private practice. Kristen is committed to providing high quality representation for her clients. She is hardworking, dedicated, and a true “people person”. Kristen will explain legal processes and options in ways that her clients understand.

Kristen studied Sociology and Anthropology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, received a Masters of Human Ecology from Mount Saint Vincent University, and graduated with a Law degree from Dalhousie University in 1999.

Kristen worked as a Crown Prosecutor for five years in Newfoundland and Labrador. She then worked as Executive Director for Public Legal Information Association of NL for over five years, where she provided legal education to the public through presentations, workshops and publications. Upon moving to Nova Scotia in 2011, Kristen worked as a policing consultant and a project manager before joining a law firm in St. Margaret’s Bay in early 2014. Kristen’s primary areas of practice include Wills & Estates, Corporate Law, and policy development.  In addition to her legal practice, Kristen currently hosts a weekly radio show on CIOE FM 97.5 Community Radio called “Legally Speaking with Kristen O’Keefe”.

When she isn’t working, Kristen spends time with her spouse, stepson, great-niece, as well as their cat and two dogs. Kristen has volunteered with a variety of community groups over the years, and continues to volunteer her time.

Kristen can be contacted via email at [email protected] or by calling 902-457-0251.

CORINNE BOUDREAU B.B.A., M.H.S.A., LL.B.

Corinne joins O’Keefe Law as Legal Counsel.

Corinne Boudreau is a transplanted Cape Bretoner who has made Halifax her home. Corinne’s motto is work hard, have fun and give back. She has been a lawyer since 2002 and is appreciated by entrepreneurs and small business clients for her knowledge, her practical approach and her sense of humour.

Corinne is a mom to two lovely children who both love sports and music as much as she and her spouse Martin do. Corinne usually has her hockey gear and guitar in the back of the van in case a game of shinny or a jam session breaks out.

Corinne teaches a course “Legal Essentials for Business Growth” through Workplace Education in Nova Scotia and will launch the course on-line in the Fall of 2017 (www.legalessentials.ca).

Corinne can be contacted via email at [email protected] or by calling 902-431-7019

Giving Back to Our Community

A portion of our firm’s profit is donated annually to charities that support programs and services for seniors living in HRM. Seniors are particularly vulnerable – susceptible not only to increased levels of poverty but also isolation and loneliness. All three have significant impacts on health and quality of life.

We believe it is important to give back to our community and support this important segment of our population.

Fees

Halifax Law

Competitive and accessible pricing is a key feature of O’Keefe Law.

Wills & Estates

Canadian Lawyer Magazine conducts an annual National survey of Canadian lawyers regarding legal fees charged. The magazine then reports on the ranges of legal fees for various areas of law, including wills and estates. The 2015 survey results found that nationally the average fee charged by a lawyer for a simple individual Will in communities with populations less than 500,000 (e.g., Halifax) is $349 (before tax). O’Keefe Law charges $300 for the same item. That is almost $50 less than the National average.

The same survey found that the average cost of a Power of Attorney in 2015 was $155. O’Keefe Law charges only $150 if it is done as a stand-alone document. But if done as part of a wills package, we charge only $100 for a Power of Attorney. The same pricing applies for a Personal Directive (for health care decisions).

We believe in competitive and accessible pricing for legal services. The firm’s pricing for wills and associated estate planning documents, before HST, are listed below. Prices may be subject to change. For other services such as guardianship applications, probate, and contested estate issues, please contact our office and we can provide details of our competitive pricing.

Simple Will

Individual $300

Spousal Package $480*

Enduring Power of Attorney or
Personal Directive
(as standalone documents)

Individual $150

Spousal Package $240*

Simple Will &
Enduring Power of Attorney
(Package)

Individual $400

Spousal Package $640*

Full Estate Package
(including Simple Will, Enduring Power
of Attorney & Personal Directive)

Individual $500

Spousal Package $750**

* Mirror documents for a couple; This fee includes a 40% reduction for the document(s) for the 2nd spouse
** This fee includes a 50% reduction for the documents for the 2nd spouse

Corporate Services

Incorporations
Generally, the total cost to incorporate a newly formed company, inclusive of HST, will be in the range of $1600 which includes legal fees and disbursements (such as Registry filing fees, courier, etc). Prices may be subject to change.

For other corporate services we provide, please contact our office and we can provide details of our competitive corporate pricing.

Notary Public & Commissioner of Oaths

We charge $35.00 for the first document, and $10 for each additional document (if brought to the same meeting). HST is also applicable. Prices may be subject to change.

Giving Back to Our Community

A portion of our firm’s profit is donated annually to charities that support programs and services for seniors living in HRM. Seniors are particularly vulnerable – susceptible not only to increased levels of poverty but also isolation and loneliness. All three have significant impacts on health and quality of life.

We believe it is important to give back to our community and support this important segment of our population.

Contact us

Office

  • 397 Bedford Highway Suite 316
    Halifax, Nova Scotia B3M 2L3

tel 902 457 0251
fax 902 406 1055
[email protected]

HOURS:
Open today until 5:00 PM
Monday: 9 am – 5 pm
Tuesday: 9 am – 5 pm
Wednesday: 9 am – 5 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 5 pm
Friday: 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday: closed
Sunday: closed

Send us an email

If you have a general inquiry or comment to submit, you may use this email form to contact our office. Submitting a message via this form does not create a solicitor-client relationship.

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