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.
Professional, accessible, and compassionate client-centered legal services at an affordable price.
Wills & Estates
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.
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 representative 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 such applications to the Supreme Court.
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.
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.
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.
We offer legal services in relation to residential real estate- including home purchases, sales and refinances. The sale and/or purchase of a home can be very exciting, but also very stressful. We take a very detail-orientated approach to ensure our clients are well-informed each step of the way.
O’Keefe Law is a boutique law firm. Our areas of practice include Wills & Estates, Corporate Law and Real Estate. Our mission statement is “Professional, accessible, and compassionate client-centered legal services at an affordable price.” We serve clients in two locations in Nova Scotia- Bridgewater on the beautiful south shore of the province, and also Halifax in the beautiful Bedford Farmer’s Market building located on the Bedford Highway. 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, weekend and evening 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 Founding Lawyer
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.
Kristen has volunteered with a variety of community groups over the years, and continues to volunteer her time in the community.
Kristen can be contacted via email at [email protected] or by calling 902-457-0251.
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.
Spousal Package $480*
Enduring Power of Attorney or
(as standalone documents)
Spousal Package $240*
Simple Will &
Enduring Power of Attorney
Spousal Package $640*
Full Estate Package
(including Simple Will, Enduring Power
of Attorney & Personal Directive)
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
Generally, the total cost to incorporate a newly formed company will be in the range of $1350 for provincial incorporation in Nova Scotia and $1600 for a federal incorporation, taxes included. These prices include 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.
Residential Real Estate
We charge $750 in legal fees+ disbursements (plus tax) for a standard home purchase.
We charge $650 in legal fees+ disbursements (plus tax) for a standard home sale.
Home Sale & Purchase
If you would like to retain our firm for the sale of your home, as well as your purchase of a home, we charge $1250 in legal fees + disbursements (plus tax), for standard transactions.
Giving Back to Our Community
A portion of our firm’s profit is donated annually to a charity (or charities) that supports programs and services in our community.
397 Bedford Highway, 3rd Floor
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Mahone Bay Office:
586 Main Street, Unit 2
P.O. Box 490
Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
Email: [email protected]
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
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.