When buying a property, it is necessary for a buyer to retain a lawyer to complete the transaction. It is best to retain a lawyer before making the offer or signing the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS).
When selling a property, it is necessary for a vendor to retain a lawyer to complete the transaction. The lawyer ensures that all paperwork and conditions are fulfilled in accordance with the law.
Real Estate Agents, Realtors, Sales Representatives, and Real Estate Brokers
Agents, Sales Representatives, Realtors, and Brokers are often the first point of contact for the buyer and the seller. They use their professional expertise, resources, and networks in advertising and matching buyers with sellers of property. They are licensed and have their own obligations, which are separate from that of the lawyer.
When lending money, it is necessary for mortgagees to retain a lawyer. Lenders can be private individuals, banks, or other institutions. When the lender is a bank or if the amount is under $75,000, the same lawyer may act for both parties.
When borrowing money, it is necessary for the mortgagor to retain a lawyer. The lawyer provides either Independent Legal Advice or Independent Legal Representation. The purpose is to ensure that the mortgagor fully understands, acts freely, and complies with the conditions of the transaction.
Mortgage Agents, Mortgage Brokers, and Lenders
Agents and Brokers are often the first point of contact for the lender and the borrower. They use their existing professional relationships with banks, other institutions, and private lenders to find suitable arrangements between borrowers and lenders. They are licensed and have their own obligations, which are separate from that of the lawyer.
Complex Real Estate Matters
Other matters related to real estate require more in-depth involvement of a lawyer. These include advice or representation on the following: Estate Sales; Divorce Sales; Commercial Real Estate; Tax and Ownership Structures; Secured Lending Arrangements; Litigation; Power of Sale; Foreclosure, etc.
Provincial or municipal offences, such as provincial driving offences or offences under municipal by-laws, are not criminal offences. A lawyer can help by providing legal advice or legal representation.
Offences under the federal Criminal Code are criminal offences. Retaining a lawyer is recommended, to ensure you understand your rights, obligations, the procedures, and your defences.
Estate Planning and Administration
Will and Last Testament
A Will or Last Testament only comes into effect upon the death of the testator. It contains the wishes in writing of the testator, and appoints executors who must administer the Will. A lawyer is recommended, to ensure that the execution and its contents are drafted in accordance to the law.
A Codicil is a document that amends parts of a previously Will. A lawyer is recommended, to ensure that the Codicil is executed according to the law, and that the provisions of the Will are amended as intended.
Power of Attorney for Personal Care
This is a document that can come into effect immediately, or when the grantor becomes incapable. It allows the appointed attorney (does not mean ‘lawyer’) to make personal care decisions on the grantor’s behalf and to give consent to healthcare decisions, such as whether the grantor is to be kept alive if in a vegetative state.
Continuing Power of Attorney for Property
This is a document that can come into effect immediately or upon the grantor’s incapacity. It allows the appointed attorney (does not mean ‘lawyer’) to make decisions other than for personal care, including decisions regarding finances, property, and whether the grantor is to remain living in their own home.
A person named in the Will or otherwise appointed as Executor must administer a deceased’s affairs according to the law. A lawyer can be appointed executor. Alternatively, a lawyer can provide legal advice or legal representation to the executor, to help them administer the estate correctly and in a timely way.
Corporate and Commercial Services
Type of Business
Ontario offers different methods of carrying on a business, whether as a sole proprietor, or through co-ownership, joint venture, partnerships, or corporations. Which type is best depends on the needs and circumstances of each particular situation.
Provincial Corporations (OBCA)
For local Ontario businesses, it is more likely that incorporation is preferable under the provincial regime. The initial costs of incorporating may be slightly higher than under the federal regime, but the decision to operate under the Ontario Business Corporations Act is based on multiple factors to consider.
Federal Corporations (CBCA)
Companies incorporating under the federal regime are governed by the Canada Business Corporations Act. Among other differences, such companies have the right to use their name in all other Canadian provinces.
Corporations and other business entity types are subject to reporting and operating obligations under their respective governing laws and regulations. It is recommended to consult a lawyer regularly for legal advice or to retain a lawyer’s services to ensure that the business is meeting all of its obligations.
The process of closing down the company and dissolving the corporation can create legal issues, and the process depends on whether the winding-up is voluntary or as a result of a court order. The rules that govern the winding up also depend on whether the company was incorporated under the OBCA or the CBCA.
Not-for-profit and Pro Bono
Not-for-profit organizations are different from charities. They can earn a profit, but that profit must not be used to pay its members. Specific laws and obligations apply to such corporations. There are additional requirements for a corporation to be considered a charity. We offer services to such corporations at reduced rates.
Some persons who require legal services do not meet the requirements of obtaining Legal Aid in Ontario. In order to make legal services more available, we dedicate a portion of our resources to providing services without fees. Disbursements such as government filing fees may still remain payable.
Notary Public and Unbundled Services
Unbundled Services, Limited Scope Retainers
Self-represented litigants appreciate the availability of specific legal services to be made available separately, and not bundled together as a package. In order to make legal services more available to the public, we offer Limited Scope Retainers, and specific services separately on their own.
Commissioning, Notarizing, Certified True Copies
Every lawyer is a commissioner in Ontario. Commissioners can administer affidavits, oaths, declarations and affirmations. However only a lawyer can provide legal advice regarding the consequences of the above. We provide notary services and can certify true copies of original documents.
Other Areas of the Law
Our office does not currently practice in other areas of the law, however we are constantly growing and expanding. We welcome all inquiries, and can advise how we can help or whether we can recommend someone else to assist you.