Real Estate Law
Buying and selling a home is exciting; a new beginning full of promise. It can also be stressful and time consuming. This is, after all, the most significant financial translation we’ll make in our lifetime.
During this time, you should be focused on packing and unpacking, forwarding your mail and taking care of everything involved with the move. An experienced real estate lawyer can take care of the rest for you. That includes protecting your interests by:
Looking over your contract, ensuring there are no surprises.
Determining if a property has illegal additions or renovations.
Negotiating on your behalf if the contract is unsatisfactory.
Helping you determine if title insurance is necessary.
Advising on the applicability of HST legislation
Assisting with closing documentation such as the statement of adjustments.
The legal team at the Walk-In Law Firm has extensive experience with real estate in Windsor Essex and Niagara Region. We work to ensure you’re informed and understand every decision made along the way, so you can begin life in your new home, worry free.
Buying a home?
Once you have an accepted offer on a property, your real estate agent will give you an “Agreement of Purchase and Sale”, which specifies the price, the chattels, and that you’ll receive title to the property “free and clear”. This is usually where your lawyer will step in. When buying a home, an experienced real estate lawyer from the Walk-In Law Firm will help with:
Searching the title of the property to confirm the current, registered owners as well as the legal description.
Investigating any claims registered against the property such as builder’s liens, easements, leases, judgments, etc.
Reviewing the survey certificate.
Ensuring property taxes are paid up until the closing date.
Confirming that zoning bylaws have been obeyed and compliance with warranties, restrictions, conditions and agreements.
Selling a home?
In Ontario, a lawyer is needed to transfer title and complete the transaction so it’s good to find a dependable legal team early in the process. Once you have an accepted offer on your home, your real estate agent will have you sign the “Agreement of Purchase and Sale”. Legal counsel is especially helpful during this.
The legal team at the Walk-In Law Firm arrange the closing documents for you, so you can focus on finding your new home, packing, and getting ready for your move. Once the transaction is completed, you’ll receive a post-closing report which provides details about the transaction. This is a helpful document that is also a record of your transaction.
Commercial Real Estate
Commercial real estate includes office and apartment rentals, warehouses, hotels, retail units, land and more. Buying and selling commercial properties is often more complicated than residential real estate. Some obstacles include:
Tenants and their leases.
Fulfilling client agreements.
When a commercial property is purchased, it becomes vital to the organization, affecting its financial stability. Due diligence is necessary at every step:
- Drafting and negotiating the agreement of sale.
- Detailed title searches including by-laws, easements, site plan control agreements, zoning and more.
- Confirming applicable HST and land transfer taxes.
- Reviewing existing leases and tenancy agreements along with employee and service contracts.
- Evaluating the bill of sale and statement of adjustments. The land survey is also analyzed (if applicable).
Divorce and separation – Starting at $350 + HST
Having experienced legal representation while separating or finalizing a divorce is necessary to protect your interests. This is a stressful and emotional time, having someone with a clear mind advocating for you can ease many of your concerns. The Walk-In Law Firm has a team experienced in:
Contracts, including cohabitation agreements or separation agreements.
Litigation at the Ontario Court of Justice and/or the Superior Court of Justice.
Attaining agreements in child and spousal support, as well as enforcing support orders.
Custody and access negotiations.
Division of assets including real estate, pensions and more.
Uncontested divorce applications.
To begin your divorce proceedings, the spouse soliciting the divorce must complete the requisite forms. It helps in advance to reach a mutual agreement with your spouse over parenting arrangements, division of property and other matters. If you’re unable to find a mutually agreed upon solution, we can apply to the court for assistance.
Custody can be resolved through negotiation or in the courts, either way the Walk-In Law Firm has an experienced team to help. The Divorce Act and the Children’s Law Reform Act are the statutes governing custody in Windsor, Ontario. Your team will know which legislation is appropriate for your unique situation. We work to protect your best interests, while keeping considerations such as the ages of the children, living conditions, and schedules for both parents in mind.
Determining child custody during a separation is often the most difficult part for clients to process. A knowledgeable lawyer can help lessen your anxiety and ensure your children and your rights are protected.
Child & Spousal Support
These negotiations are taxing on a family. Your legal team from the Walk-In Law Firm is experienced in quantifying support. We’ll ensure you understand your obligations/entitlements including the tax consequences of support payments. Our team is also experienced in stepping in when payments are in arrears.
Division of assets
When facing divorce, it’s important to understand how your assets and debts will be affected. In Ontario, the Family Law Act focuses on leaving both parties on equal footing. This means dividing your assets and debts and then subtracting elements that aren’t joint property.
An equal division of property means each spouse must determine their assets and debts to confirm their Net Family Property (NFP). Most items acquired before or during the marriage will be included in the NFP. Items that are excluded from an NFP are:
Property both spouses have agreed to exclude (usually in a prenuptial agreement).
Property, including money from an inheritance (provided the money wasn’t transferred to a joint account or investment).
Damages for personal injuries, mental distress or loss of guidance.
Portions of a life insurance policy that continues after separation.
Once your Net Family Property is settled, the spouse with the higher value NFP is required to pay an amount that will equalize the values. For example, if one spouse is worth $300,000 while another is worth $50,000, the previous spouse will make a $125,000 equalization payment. This ensures both spouses are equally valued at $175,000.
There are exceptions to the equalization rule. If one spouse, for example, incurred an unreasonable portion of debts during the marriage, or hid debts that existed prior to the marriage, an appropriate exception will be made. Support from experienced legal professionals is helpful during every step of the NFP.
Wills & Estates
Wills – Basic Will $85 + HST
Planning your estate is not easy. It’s a better option, however, than not providing any instructions or directives. When a person passes without a Will, their estate is distributed according to Ontario law, which may not be the best outcome for loved ones.
A current and detailed Will brings you peace of mind, knowing your passing won’t be a source of stress or a financial burden on your loved ones. Wills should be updated regularly, especially after major life events such as:
A marriage or divorce.
Birth of a child.
Death of a loved one.
Major purchases such as a home.
Benefits of having a Will include:
- Proper estate division.
- A faster, easier process for your loved one’s settling your affairs.
- Ensuring your burial/cremation arrangements are followed.
- Minimizing estate taxes.
- Peace of mind.
Power of Attorney – $65 +HST
When a person is granted Power of Attorney, it means they have the right to make decisions on behalf of a loved one. This usually includes handling personal and financial affairs. Power of Attorney must be appointed by the Grantor before losing their decision-making capabilities.
When a Power of Attorney is granted for property, the person can manage the Grantor’s investment, pay their bills, and make decisions about the Grantors residence. If Power of Attorney is granted for personal care, this will include decisions such as clothing, shelter, food, hygiene, etc.
Estates & Trusts
In Windsor, Ontario, you may face a number of different trust disputes such as:
Estate items valuation.
Disagreements between beneficiaries.
Allegations of undue influence.
When there is no clear or valid Will, the estate can be questioned by anyone. Your legal team at the Walk-In Law Firm is experienced in estate and trust disputes. We take the time to understand your specific situation and provide a customized solution.
Notarizations – Home of the Notarization Station!
When you need a Notary Public to be an official witness for a contract or other legal document, you want a team you can trust, and that will work quickly. The Walk-In Law Firm can notarize documents, and administer oaths or declarations.
It’s necessary to sign the document with the Notary present. You’ll also need to bring government issued identification. Notary services we include (but aren’t limited to):
Affidavits relating to:
Affidavits for stolen property or insurance claims.
Affidavits of service.
Agreements for separation, custody, or divorce.
Invitation letters for visitors to Canada.
Identity and signature verification for security clearances.
Real estate or mortgage documents.
and much, much more!