General Legal Services

Real Estate Law

Title Insurance – A Quick Summary of Residential Title Insurance in Ontario

By on Apr 26, 2017 in Real Estate Law

There are 5 companies offering title insurance in Ontario. They are: • TitlePLUS • Chicago Title Insurance Company • FCT Insurance Company Ltd. (Carrying on business under the name First Canadian Title) • Travelers Guarantee Company of Canada • Stewart Title Guarantee Company of Canada TitlePLUS title insurance is the only all-Canadian title insurance product currently available in the market. It was developed by Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company (LAWPRO®), a Canadian insurance company and subsidiary of the Law Society of Upper Canada. TitlePLUS includes coverage for the legal services provided by the lawyer in the transaction. It is part of the standard policy. Stewart Title provides an additional coverage at an additional cost that might cover solicitor errors. FCT is licenced to provide legal services coverage, but, there is an additional annual premium that must be paid by the lawyer who acts for you and not all lawyers participate in the program. It is not part of the standard policy coverage. To see some examples of when and how legal services coverage might come into play, you may wish to read the article by Bob Aaron that was published in the Toronto Star on April 24, 2013. The link is below: • https://www.thestar.com/life/homes/2013/05/24/some_title_insurance_is_better_than_others.html If you would like to find out more about each of the insurance companies and how they compare, you can go to each of their websites and find out about more about each one. You may also be able to request quotes for each one online. The links are listed below: • www.titleplus.ca • www.chicagotitle.ca • www.fct.ca • www.travelerscanada.ca • www.stewart.ca Most lawyers will not look after doing a detailed comparison of each insurer in terms of cost and coverage specifics for a purchaser client without charging additional fees. You can also get some additional information about title insurance by reviewing the following document entitled “Understanding Title Insurance” prepared by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario: • https://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/en/insurance/brochures/documents/undstitins.pdf If you decide not to get title insurance and to get an opinion on title instead, it will be important to let your lawyer know that is your preference as early in the transaction as possible since additional searches will be required. The searches take time to request,...

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Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common – How they Differ

By on Mar 11, 2015 in Real Estate Law, Wills and Estates

Real Property can be held in different ways, the main two types of ownership are joint tenancy and tenancy in common. Joint Tenancy Joint tenancy is a type of ownership that comes with the benefit of the right of survivorship. This means where two people own property as joint tenants upon the death of the first joint owner, the property becomes wholly owned by the survivor. The transfer of transfer of title from the two joint owners (in the case of property owned by two people) should not require any court process. Property owned in joint tenancy generally by-passes the estate the first joint owner to die, and become property of the surviving joint owner(s). It should not be necessary to obtain a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee (the court order that used to be called Letters Probate) to transfer the property. There will be no Estate Administration Tax payable on the value of the property being transferred when it passes outside the court process. Tenancy in Common Tenancy in Common is a type of ownership that does not have the benefit of a right of survivorship. In order to transfer the property on the death of one of the owners, an Estate Trustee needs to obtain a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee (the court order that used to be called Letters Probate) to transfer the property. If the first tenant in common to die has a Will, the property can be distributed to heirs of the owner’s choosing. If the first tenant in common to die does not have a Will, for property located in Ontario, the property will be distributed according to the rules under Succession Law Reform Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.s. 26, for intestate succession. There will be Estate Administration Tax payable on the value of the property being transferred less the value of any mortgages registered against the interest of the deceased as it will have to pass through the owner’s Estate. Please note that the ownership of property and the transfer of property upon death can be complex. The above is intended to provide some general information to assist you in understanding how the type of ownership you have can affect your estate...

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Understanding the Statement of Adjustments in Real Estate Transactions

By on Mar 10, 2014 in Real Estate Law

Below is a sample Statement of Adjustments with explanations for the various items on it. By way of summary, a Statement of Adjustments is used to calculate adjustments in a typical real estate transaction. They are usually prepared by the lawyer for the Vendor and sent to the lawyer for the Purchaser of a property. The purpose of the Statement of Adjustments is to calculate and show the calculations that determine the exact amount the Purchaser will have to pay to the Vendor on closing. It is divided into three columns: the first is a description of the item being adjusted, the second shows credits to the Purchaser and the third shows credits to the Vendor. The first item in a Statement of Adjustments is always the sale price of the property as agreed upon in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. The second item is always the deposit paid by the Purchaser, which is typically held in the Real Estate Agent’s trust account. The remaining items will vary between transactions and can include property taxes, fuel costs, unmetered utilities, common expenses and mortgages that are being...

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The Role of a Lawyer in a Typical Residential Real Estate Transaction

By on Jul 28, 2013 in Real Estate Law

What does a lawyer do in a typical purchase or sale of a residential home? Below is a chart with some definitions to follow that describes the main steps that a lawyer will take when assisting a client with the purchase or sale of their home.   Purchase Sale Review of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and Status Certificate where applicable and note any deadlines to insure the deal proceeds as scheduled; Review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and note any deadlines to insure the deal proceeds as scheduled; Arrange for and review the title search Obtain and review parcel register Request other required searches – tax arrears, common expenses, zoning, work orders, etc Obtain property tax information from client or from City Obtain information regarding satisfaction of conditions/deliverables (i.e. invoices to show repair work completed, clean water test obtained, septic permit) Receive, review and respond to requisitions, which might include following up with clients about things the clients are supposed to look after before closing Prepare and send requisition letter and closing documents required from Sellers and Sellers counsel on or before the requisition date Provide an undertaking to the buyers and their lawyer to pay out existing encumbrances (as provided for and agreed to in the typical Agreement of Purchase and Sale); Request and obtain title insurance or provide an opinion on title Obtain mortgage pay out statement if there is a mortgage Prepare transfer for review and completion by seller’s counsel Review draft transfer and complete missing information Prepare draft Charge as instructed by Lender for review and execution by client Attend with the clients for review and execution of closing documents and obtain keys from clients to be held in escrow; Attend with client for review and execution of closing documents and obtain remaining closing funds from client Prepare and deliver Statement of Adjustments to the lawyer for the buyers; Enter escrow closing arrangement with the lawyer for the sellers; Enter escrow closing arrangement with the lawyer for the buyers; Receive mortgage funds and rest of closing funds in trust Deliver closing package to the lawyer for the buyers, including keys; Review Statement of Adjustments and prepare certified cheques for sellers as directed by counsel and in keeping with the Agreement of Purchase...

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