Tanya is an associate in the Halifax office. Her practice focuses on private client work in the estates and trusts area, including all aspects of estate planning, probate and administration, and litigation. She is from the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, and studied English literature at Acadia University and Queen’s University (Kingston), before studying law at the University of New Brunswick.
Tanya acts for individuals, trust companies, financial institutions, charitable entities, incorporated professionals, and owner-managed businesses in the area of will planning, trusts, asset protection, probate avoidance, incapacity planning, and charitable/planned giving. Tanya advises personal representatives, guardians, attorneys, and trustees on the administration of estates and trusts. She also has experience in contentious court proceedings, including will challenges, passing of accounts, fiduciary litigation, will interpretation, and dependants’ relief claims.
Tanya holds the designation of TEP (Trusts and Estate Practitioner) from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and is a Program Chair of the STEP Atlantic Branch. She is a member of the Halifax Estate Planning Council.
Tanya is a lecturer at the Canadian Bar Association National Will, Estate and Trust Fundamentals for Estate Practitioners, and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Estates & Trusts Practitioners’ Forum held at Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ontario. She is the Chair of the Nova Scotia Wills, Estates & Trusts Section of the Canadian Bar Association.
- Acting as counsel in contested and uncontested estate litigation including will challenges, estate administration disputes, contested guardianship applications, variation of trusts, and applications before the court to interpret wills.
- Advising clients on and preparing estate and probate avoidance plans, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney for property, personal directives for health and other personal care, and guardian appointments for minor children.
- Guiding executors and estate administrators through the probate process and through the administration and tax aspects of estates.
- Contributor to the STEP Canada review of the Government of Canada’s Beneficial Ownership Transparency Consultation regarding establishing a public registry of beneficial ownership information for privately held federal and participating provincial corporations.
- Nova Scotia (2009)
- University of New Brunswick
- University of New Brunswick (LLB, 2008)
- Queen’s University (PhD, 2006)
- Acadia University (MA, 1999)
- Acadia University (BA Honours, 1998)
Professional Activities & Affiliations
- Member, Halifax Estate Planning Council
- Member, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
- Chair, Canadian Bar Association Nova Scotia Wills, Estates & Trusts Section
- Secretary, STEP (Society of Estate and Trust Practitioners) Atlantic Executive
Lectures & Presentations
- “Beneficiary Designations Gone Wild: Tips and Tricks for Making Registered Investments Work as Part of the Estate Plan”- Canadian Bar Association-NS Mid-Winter Conference (December 2017)
- “Pecore 10 Years Later”- Halifax Estate Planning Council (November 2017)
- “Substitute Decision Making: Emerging Issues and Conundrums”- Estates & Trusts Practitioners’ Forum (November 2017)
- “The Wills Vault: Treasures, Terrors, & Time Bombs”- Estates & Trusts Practitioners’ Forum (November 2017)
- “Where There’s No Will, There’s Still a Way: Lost and Missing Wills”- Canadian Bar Association -NS Wills, Estates & Trusts Section Meeting (October 2017)
- “When Non-Occupant Owners Go on Title”- RELANS Conference (December 2016)
- “Drafting Super Powers of Attorney: Pitfalls and the Clauses to Avoid Them”- Canadian Bar Association Nova Scotia Estate Planning Conference (November 2016)
- “Powers of Attorney: The Agony and the Ecstasy” – Cambridge Forums Estates & Trust Practitioners’ Forum, Langdon Hall (November 2016)
- “Estate Litigation Overview” – Canadian Bar Association National Will, Estate and Trust Fundamentals for Estate Practitioners Course (October 2016)
- “Alter Ego & Joint Partner Trusts” – RBC Wealth Management (September 2016)
- “Executor Know-How”- Canadian Bar Association Nova Scotia Mid-Winter Conference (January 2016)
- “Estate Planning in Light of the 2014 Budget Changes”- Investment Planning Council (June 2015)
- “Status Update: Digital Assets and Death” – Canadian Bar Association Nova Scotia Wills, Estates & Trusts Section Meeting (March 2015)
- “Is the Party Over? Will & Estate Planning in Light of the 2014 Budget Changes”- Canadian Bar Association New Brunswick Mid-Winter Meeting (February 2015)
- “The Importance of Estate Planning in Preventing Elder Abuse” – Financial Abuse of Seniors Workshop (October 2014)
- “Solicitor Client Privilege in the Estate Context”- Canadian Bar Association Nova Scotia Wills, Estates & Trusts Section (June 2014)
- “Wills & Estate Planning”- Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia (May 2014 )
- “The Good, The Bad and The Hopeful,” “An Honest Exploration of Living with Dementia”- Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia Forum (April 2014)
- “Financial Issues in Mid-Life and Beyond: Estate Planning”- QEII Health Sciences Centre (February 2014)
- “Planning for the Adult Child with Intellectual Challenges”- Building Futures Employment Society (November 2013)
- “Family Law impact on Estate Planning”- Halifax Estate Planning Council (January 2013)
- “Wills & Estate Planning”- Capital District Health Authority Pre-Retirement Seminars (May 2012)
- “Wills & Estate Planning”- large Nova Scotia tire manufacturer Pre-Retirement Seminars (May 2012)
Law Society Memberships
- Nova Scotia Barristers' Society
- Canadian Bar Association