FALL RIVER: Barb MacLellan of Fall River Law is about to hit a milestone this month as a lawyer.
While she jokingly says she now has grey hair, she said none of it is from her 30 years as a lawyer —25 of which has been spent as a lawyer/owner of Fall River Law, located at 3161 Hwy 2 in Fall River (across the new Sobeys/Needs Gas Station).
Some may have thought that she had retired from the business when she had to temporarily close Fall River Law.
“Last year I took time off to take care of my brother who had ALS,” said MacLellan, “and he died in September 2022.”
She closed the office on June 30, 2022.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to come back,” she said. “But here I am.”
Doing Real Estate law, MacLellan said she helps people buy a house, condo or land as well as put a mortgage on a house or land to build a house.
She also helps people with wills and estate work to help families with probate when someone dies.
“Sometimes it is to just give advice especially when a spouse dies because it’s not always clear what needs to be done.”
“Someone comes in, gets a will done or a power of attorney or personal directive,” she said. “When people pass away, I do the probate side. It’s actually quite important.”
Barb said she has done many free talks with seniors groups about probate, wills, and powers of attorney.
“When you get to explain to people that it’s not a one foot or one shoe fits all,” said MacLellan. “It’s important to get educated about your particular situation.”
She recalled explaining to one elderly lady about probate and her answer, once everything was explained, was she had decided not to go ahead with her initial request.
“My job as a lawyer is basically giving people information the good, the bad, the ugly, and then basically they decide,” she said. “I don’t tell people what to do. I give them the information to educate them as best as I can.”
“If you do it this way, these are the pros and the cons, and here’s the pros and the cons of an alternative option. But again Barb says, “You decide what’s best for you and your family.”
“I tell people to have a discussion with your family, especially on wills, so there’s no big secret, it’s good for family to hear about your wishes when you are alive.”
MacLellan will be doing a monthly Legal column on The Laker website beginning in November.
For Collaborative Family Law and Mediation, it’s something she loves doing.
“That’s my passion. That’s what I wanted to always just focus on,” said MacLellan, as she sits at her round table to encourage spouses to sit together to resolve parenting and financial issues in an amicable way.
She jokes about how family law litigation is what gave her the greyest hair and she proudly states that she decided 10 plus years that she would no longer go to court.
Barb also helps small business owners with the incorporation of their businesses as well as other small business legal matters.
MacLellan was a founding member of the Fall River & Area Business Association (FRABA) and started the Fall River Fury volleyball club with two friends that play volleyball together. She also served as a long-time board member on the Cobequid Community Health Centre Foundation and co-founded the Fall River & Area Alzheimer’s Support Group in 2015.
She gets rave reviews from clients when they walk into her Fall River Law office.
“People always say when they walk in that this doesn’t seem like an office,” she said. “I want people to feel that way. I want people to come in and feel at ease because it’s quite daunting to go to a lawyer.
MacLellan understands how people feel going to a lawyer, so she tries to take some of that anxiety away.
“Most people walk in and they’re just so nervous,” she said. “If I can make them feel comfortable in any way that’s what I try to do.”
Fall River Law is open Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 p.m.
You can find out more information on their website at https://fallriverlaw.ca/ or by calling at 902-860-1515.