Net Family Property and Equalization: An Introduction

Equalization is a payment from one spouse to the other at the end of a marriage.  This equalization payment ONLY applies to married spouses, not to common law spouses.  S. 5(1) of the Family Law Act (“FLA“) provides for Equalization when:

  1. A divorce is granted;
  2. Marriage is declared a nullity;
  3. When (married) spouses are separated and there is no reasonable prospect they will resume cohabitation.

One thing I often hear clients ask is whether they have to split 50% of everything.  While somewhat true, it is not entirely accurate.  The real definition of division according to s. 5(1) of the FLA is as follows: “the spouse whose net family property is the lesser of the two net family properties is entitled to a one-half difference between them”.

In simpler terms, separated spouses are entitled to 50% of the value of the marriage.  So how is that value determined?

 

Marriage and Valuation Date

First we need to understand what Net Family Property (“NFP”) is and how to calculate it.  S. 4(1) of the Family Law Act defines NFP as all property that a spouse owns on the valuation date (i.e. separation date) after deducting:

  1. Debts and other liabilities; and
  2. Value of property OTHER THAN A MATRIMONIAL HOME owned on date of marriage.

Therefore we have two dates that are important in determining equalization:

  1. The valuation date; and
  2. The date of marriage.

The date of marriage is simply the date you got married and does not include any cohabitation before marriage.  Spousal support may factor in cohabitation periods before marriage however.  See our post on spousal support for more info by clicking here.

The Valuation date is essentially the date the marriage ended, or the date the parties separated.  It is defined under s. 4(1) of the FLA as:

  1. The date you separate;
  2. Date the divorce is granted;
  3. Date marriage is a nullity;
  4. Date one of the spouses commences an application based on improvident depletion that is subsequently granted; or
  5. Date before the date on which one of the spouses dies leaving the other spouse surviving.

Once we have those two dates, we can begin figuring out how much your Net Family Property (“NFP”) is.

 

Calculating Net Family Property for Equalization

When determining the Net Family Property (“NFP”) of persons who are ending their marriage, we need to look at two important dates: the marriage date and the valuation date.

Let’s pick two dates to help figure out the NFP:

  1. Jane and John married on October 1, 2010;
  2. Separated on February 1, 2018.

That’s almost 8 years of marriage.  You’ll see here that February 1, 2018 is the date of separation, which fits under the definition of Valuation date in s. 4(1) of the FLA.

Now, we take the value of all assets that both parties own on the valuation date, subtract their debts owned at valuation, and finally subtract the value of any property owned on the marriage date.

JOHN

John’s Assets on Valuation Date Car – $25,000

Personal Bank Account – $3,000

$4,000 in Joint account with Jane (50%) – $2,000

Investment Account ending in 1010 – $170,000

 Total = $200,000

John’s Debts on Valuation Date Loan from Friend – $50,000

Total = $50,000

Property Owned at Marriage Investment Account ending in 1010 – $100,000

Total = $100,000

Calculate Final Total

Assets

– Debts

– Property at marriage

 

$200,000

-$50,000

-$100,000

John’s NFP $50,000 

JANE

Jane’s Assets on Valuation Date Car – $20,000

Personal Bank Account – $2,000

$4,000 in Joint account with John (50%) – $2,000

RRSP – $6,000

Matrimonial Home – $320,000

Total = $350,000

Jane’s Debts on Valuation Date Line of Credit – $50,000

Mortgage – $100,000

Total = $150,000

Property Owned at Marriage Matrimonial Home – $220,000

Total = $220,000

Calculate final total:

Assets

– Debts

– Property at marriage

 

$350,000

-$150,000

can’t subtract Mat Home

Jane’s NFP $200,000 

So, something interesting happened here.  Jane’s name is the only one on title to the home and it was valued at $220,000 when they got married.  She should be able to deduct that home from the valuation date value right?

Wrong.

Remember, you subtract property owned at the date of marriage from your valuation date EXCEPT for the matrimonial home.  So Jane has to include the entire value of the home regardless of how much it was worth at marriage.

We’re almost there.  The language of the equalization rule is: “the spouse whose net family property is the lesser of the two net family properties is entitled to a one-half difference between them.”

 

EQUALIZATION

Jane’s NFP

– John’s NFP

$200,000

-$50,000

$150,000
Difference divided by 2 $150,000/2
Equalization Payment or, the one half difference $75,000

In this instance John, who is the lesser of the two net family properties, is entitled to the one half difference between them, $75,000.

Therefore Jane makes an equalization payment of $75,000 to John.  With that, John would have $125,000 and Jane would have $125,000.  They are equalized.

 

Additional Exclusions

You also have the ability to exclude other property on the valuation date other than just debts under S. 4(2) of the Family Law Act.

These include things such as:

  • Property acquired by gift or inheritance after marriage date
  • Income from property that was gifted or inherited if donor EXPRESSLY stated it is to be excluded from NFP
  • Damages from a settlement resulting from personal injuries, nervous shock, mental distress, or loss of guidance care and companionship
  • Proceeds or right to proceeds of life insurance policy payable on death of insured
  • Property OTHER THAN MATRIMONIAL HOME into which property above can be traced
  • Property both spouses agree not to include as a result of a domestic contract (see our post on separation agreements for more info)
  • Unadjusted pensionable earnings under Canada Pension Plan

If you’re thinking of separating and want help to ensure you are properly protected, contact Rabideau Law to see how we may assist.

Spousal Support: The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines

Spousal Support: The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines

Spousal support is often a very contentious issue on separation as it has a much more subjective approach than child support.  A lot more factors go into determining a spousal support amount and there is no hard and fast rule on how it is to be calculated.  The government has provided a set of guidelines called the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (“SSAG”), but not even this is followed strictly.  Sometimes a judge may just pick a number they feel is appropriate having looked at all the factors.

What will follow is an overview on how spousal support is generally approached via the SSAG so that you have a good background on the general principles behind its calculation.

Under the SSAG there are two ways of calculating spousal support: the with child support formula and the without child support formula.

Please keep in mind that the following examples are not accurate calculations but approximations for educational purposes.

 

With Child Support Formula

With this formula, you look at the following factors:

  1. Gross income
  2. Child support being paid
  3. 7 expenses being paid
  4. Taxes and other deductions
  5. Government Benefits and credits
  6. Length of the marriage and/or cohabitation
  7. Age of children
  8. Recipient needs
  9. Ability of payor to pay

What we need to do is look at the amount that should be paid and how long it should be paid.  When calculating spousal support you usually come up with a range and determine where in that range you should fall.

Step 1: Calculating the spousal support amount

Start by determining your gross income, which is your income before taxes and other deductions are applied.  Then you subtract child support (or add it if you are the recipient), taxes and other deductions.  Finally, you add back any government benefits and credits that may apply.  This initial calculation will provide you with your Individual Net Disposable Income (“INDI”).  See the example below for a couple with 2 children who cohabited for 2 years before being married for 10 years.

Malik’s Monthly Gross income $125,000/12

=$10,417

Child support for 2 children in Ontario (see post on child support for information on how to determine child support) $1,777
Taxes paid ~30% $10,417*30% = $3,125
Malik’s INDI Calculation

Monthly Gross income

-Child support

-Taxes

(No benefits or credits to apply)

 

$10,417

-$1,777

-$3,125

 $0

$5,515

Malik has an INDI of $5,515.  Next we move on to the recipient, a similar formula with a little bit of a difference.

Nubia’s Monthly Gross income $50,000/12

= $4,167

Child support received $1,777
Taxes paid ~20% $4,167 * 20% = $833
Benefits Recieved $651
Nubia’s INDI Calculation

Monthly Gross income

+ Child support

-Taxes

+ Benefits and Credits

 

$4,167

$1,777

-$833

$651

$5,762

With both INDI’s known we add them together: $5,515 + $5,762 = $11,277 total

Since Nubia has both children living with her, Malik pays spousal support that would put Nubia within the 54-60% range of the total (note: this number changes depending on how many children are living with the recipient, if it was only one child the recipient might receive anywhere from 45-50% of the combined INDI).  For example:

  • Nubia is the recipient
  • 54-60% of $11,277 = $6,089 to $6,766

We now subtract Nubia’s INDI from these amounts to see what spousal support could be paid:

  • $6,089 – $5,762 = $327
  • $6,766 – $5,762 = $1,004

Nubia’s spousal support could then range from $327 to $1,004 monthly in order to bring her to that 54-60% share.  We use the factors mentioned above to determine where in that range she should fall and this is done on a case by case basis with need being one of the most important factors.

How long is spousal support supposed to be paid?

The upper part of the range is the length of the marriage or the date the last or youngest child finishes high school; the lower range is half the length of the marriage or the date the youngest child starts full time school.  Generally, only the length of the relationship is used and I will continue with that in mind.  We could simplify as follows: length of marriage * 0.5-1.  For Nubia and Malik’s relationship of 12 years, that would be a range from 6-12 years.

All this does is give us another set of ranges to make a decision with.  So how do we know WHERE within the range we should ultimately be?

There are multiple factors that are considered to determine where to fall within the range.  These can include:

  1. Compensatory claims
    1. The recipient needs (limited income earning capacity or age a factor here)
    2. Age, number, needs and standards of living children. Are there any special needs?
  2. Needs and ability to pay of Payor
    1. Consider meaningful access by Payor
  3. Work incentives for Payor
    1. Consider net income and out of pocket costs
  4. Property division and debts
  5. Self-sufficiency incentives
  6. Compelling Financial Circumstances
  7. Debt payment – used where negative net worth and one spouse paying disproportionate share
  8. Prior support obligations
  9. Illness and Disability

For example, if there are no special needs of the children, Malik has no concerns regarding his ability to pay, he has no other support obligations, and Nubia has no significant need for the money, Nubia would likely receive the lower end of support being 6 years.  Again, this is all hypothetical and each situation can vary.  Also, there are different formulas depending on whether there is shared custody, split custody, step children, adult children and more.

 

Without Child Support Formula

This is similar to the with child formula as you start with the same values.  How you calculate the actual payment is different though.  The range here is 1.5-2%, times the income difference between the spouse’s gross income, times the years of cohabitation to a maximum of 50% of that income difference.

Here is what that looks like:

Malik’s Gross income $10,417
Nubia’s Gross Income $4,167
Income Difference $10,417

– $4,167

$6,250

Years of cohabitation 2 years cohabited

10 years married

12 years total cohabitation

Notice here we do not subtract any taxes or any other deductions here.  We now have the numbers we need in order to perform the next step of the calculation (note that this is just one method of doing the calculation):

  • Convert the percentages into decimals: 1.5% = 0.015 and 2% = 0.02
  • Multiply these decimals by the difference in income
    • 0.015 * $6,250 = $94
    • 0.02 * $6,250 = $125
  • Finally, multiply these final numbers by the years of cohabitation:
    • 94 * 12 = $1128
    • 125 * 12 = $1500

This gives you a range of spousal support to be paid from $1128 to $1500 monthly.  Alternatively, you could multiply 1.5-2% by the years of cohabitation then just multiply those numbers by the income difference and you would reach the same result.

Isn’t math fun?

Is the duration or payment different with this formula?

Somewhat.  The duration is 0.5 to 1 for each year of cohabitation only (no child factors to consider here).  Duration is indefinite if the marriage is 20 years or longer, OR if the marriage lasted 5 years or longer when years of marriage and age of support recipient at separation total 65 or more.

So in our example the range is from 6 years to 12 years of support payments.

Otherwise the same factors mentioned above that can affect the duration of support can apply here as well.

Is there a deadline to Apply for Spousal Support?

Under s. 16(1)(c) of the Limitation Act, there is no deadline (or limitation period) to apply for spousal support.  However, need is a prominent factor in determining how much support to award.  If a spouse waits too long and a court deems that they are financially stable enough to not need support, it may not be awarded at all.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding support in your circumstances, give the experts at Rabideau Law a call to see how we can help.

 

The Estate Trustee's Tasks

The Estate Trustee’s tasks during the Administration of an Estate

Today’s post highlights some important items that an Estate Trustee must turn his or her attention to during the administration of an Estate.

In a nutshell, an Estate Trustee’s role includes tasks such as gathering and managing assets, paying debts and expenses, locating the beneficiaries an distributing the estate to those entitled. However, from start to finish, there are multiple items to be taken care of by the Estate Trustee – some simple but others which can be appear more daunting to the unfamiliar.  Listed below are some of these tasks:

 

Certificate of Appointment: depending on the assets that form a part of the estate, an Estate Trustee may be advised that he or she is required to ‘probate’ a Will which is the process of obtaining formal authorization from the Court. This authorization is formally known as the Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee and essentially confirms that based on the information provided, the Will, if one was submitted, would be deemed to be the last known Will of the deceased and lists the appropriate individual(s) as the proper personal representatives of the estate. A similar authorization exists if there was no Will to begin with. In order to prepare this application, it will be important to ascertain value of the estate. There are various rules in relation to which assets form a part of the estate and those that are exempt which are important know as they impact the amount of estate administration tax that may be payable into the court. Along with all this, proper notice is required to be provided to those entitled to the estate.

Income Tax: The Income Tax Act of Canada provides that when an individual dies, there is a “deemed disposition” of assets which may give rise to capital gains (or losses) as at the date of death. To determine these figures, an inventory of assets is crucial along with filing the necessary tax returns – and the estate trustee may be required to file the following returns:

  • T-1 General return – if the deceased had not filed for previous taxation year(s);
  • T-1 Terminal return – covers the year of death;
  • T-3 Estate return – this covers income received from any estate assets including interest earned
  • Final distribution returns
  • Designation of an estate as a Graduated Rate Estate, if applicable, which is entitled to marginal tax rates.

Clearance Certificates: before making final distributions to the beneficiaries, it is important to obtain a Clearance Certificate from the Canada Revenue Agency. The Estate Trustee risks personal liability in relation to the distributions made if it is found later that there are taxes owing which were to be paid. Obtaining this certificate provides assurance to the Estate Trustee that no additional tax is payable.

As one can imagine, a number of other tasks need attention, such as:

  • Searches in relation to any judgments owing in the deceased’s name
  • Preparation of Estate Accounts
  • Preparation of Statement of Accounts as well as releases from Beneficiaries
  • Preparing necessary notice to creditors
  • And many more…

 

As an estate trustee, you are entitled to claim compensation in connection with time spent during estate administration. The calculation is based on a percentage of the estate and depends on the nature of the work involved and the amount is usually determined after the estate administration is completed.

It is highly advised that if you have been appointed as an Estate Trustee or want have such an appointment made by the courts, you speak to a professional to gain a clearer understanding of the nature of the role.

This content is only for information purposes and does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Please speak to a lawyer for more details.

Rabideau Law Food Drive 2017

 

Rabideau Law’s November Food Drive in support of The FoodBank of Waterloo Region

We are proud to announce that we will be holding a Food Drive from November 1st-27th in support of The FoodBank of Waterloo Region, and in the spirit of GivingTuesday.

What is GivingTuesday?

As stated on the GivingTuesday Waterloo Region website:
“Tuesday, November 28th is GivingTuesday, a day for businesses, individuals, groups and charities to join together to rally for favourite causes, create opportunities and share meaningful experiences. Whether it’s raising awareness, volunteering or fundraising, GivingTuesday is our day to celebrate the importance and impact of giving back.
Just as Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season, GivingTuesday marks the start of the giving season. What started four years ago in New York is now becoming a global movement that has reached 68 countries. In 2014, Vancouver, Regina, Guelph, Ottawa, and Halifax launched their charitable campaigns. The GivingTuesday Waterloo Region movement began in 2015.”

To work our Food Drive in with GivingTuesday, we will be going to visit The Food Bank on November 28th to deliver the donations we have collected over the month.

Why should you donate?
• The Food Bank serves a Community Food Assistance Network of more than 80 agencies and community food programs. 2,000 meals are served daily by this Network.
• 49% of households seeking assistance are families with children.
• Just $1 will provide 3 meals.
• 215 food hampers are distributed every day.
• Community nutrition workers teach healthy eating and food budgeting skills at 16 different locations.
• 1 in 20 households in Kitchener-Waterloo are hungry.

How can you help?
• Make a donation
$20 will feed a family for 4 days
Tax refunds are available for donations
• Donate food
Most needed items include:
o Canned stews and chili
o Canned meat and fish
o Beans in sauce
o Tomato sauce
o Canned pasta
o Canned soup
o Canned fruit
o Dried beans
o Hot cereals
o Rice

Donations will be accepted at our office, 501-305 King St W, Kitchener.

To make things interesting this year, the office has been split into three teams, each led by one of our lawyers. The two losing lawyers will participate in a lip syncing contest at the end of the food drive which will be posted to our social media! Only food donations will be used towards saving the lawyers, cash donations will be put in a donation jar towards the Food Bank’s new food processing room in their warehouse.

When making your donations, be sure to let us know whether your donation will be going towards saving Geoff, Varun or Roger!

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact Kayla at kkompter@rabideaulaw.ca

Rabideau Law’s February Potato Blitz in support of House of Friendship

We are proud to announce that we will be holding a Potato Blitz from February 1st-28th in support of House of Friendship.

What is a Potato Blitz?

Over twenty years ago, House of Friendship (HOF) Board Members decided to host a potato blitz in February to help meet the need for potatoes throughout the year in emergency food hampers and program meals. Today, the campaign raises potatoes and donations equivalent to 300,000 pounds of potatoes. Potatoes are used for hampers and meals, and donations are used to buy more potatoes.

This fun campaign kicks off with Don Cameron Potato Night with the Kitchener Rangers, when fans donate money and spuds at the door. It is followed by a one-day Supermarket Blitz on a Saturday at most local grocery stores, where volunteers invite shoppers to donate money and spuds.

And the campaign wraps up with a Community Potato Lunch hosted by HOF, at which guests enjoy a delicious offering of potato dishes (no tickets required – free-will offering accepted), and where we have the opportunity to thank many volunteers and sponsors. Over 200 volunteers roll up their sleeves to help campaign mascots Spuddy and Sweet Potato.

At Rabideau Law we will be acting as a drop-off point for donations, as well as holding our own contest within the office to collect the most potatoes!

 Why should you donate?

  • House of Friendship’s Charles Street Mens Shelter houses up to 51 men per night
  • They send out over 28,000 emergency food hampers to local individuals and families annually
  • Over 550 men and women annually turn to House of Friendship’s addiction treatment programs
  • Over 120 kids from families living on low-income play, learn and grow at House of Friendship’s summer camp each year.

How can you help?

  • Make a donation
    Tax refunds are available for donations
  • Donate potatoes

Donations will be accepted at our office, 501-305 King St W, Kitchener.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Kayla at kkompter@rabideaulaw.ca

Rabideau Law Food Drive 2016

Rabideau Law’s November Food Drive in support of The Food Bank of Waterloo Region

We are proud to announce that we will be holding a Food Drive from November 1st-28th in support of The Food Bank of Waterloo Region, and in the spirit of GivingTuesday.

What is GivingTuesday?

As stated on the GivingTuesday Waterloo Region website:

“Tuesday, November 29th is GivingTuesday, a day for businesses, individuals, groups and charities to join together to rally for favourite causes, create opportunities and share meaningful experiences. Whether it’s raising awareness, volunteering or fundraising, GivingTuesday is our day to celebrate the importance and impact of giving back.

Just as Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season, GivingTuesday marks the start of the giving season. What started four years ago in New York is now becoming a global movement that has reached 68 countries. In 2014, Vancouver, Regina, Guelph, Ottawa, and Halifax launched their charitable campaigns. The GivingTuesday Waterloo Region movement began in 2015.”

To work our Food Drive in with GivingTuesday, we will be going to visit The Food Bank on November 29th to deliver the donations we have collected over the month.

25boxes

Why should you donate?

  • More than 34,000 men, women and children received food assistance last year in Waterloo Region.
  • People seek food assistance because of unexpected job loss, physical or mental health concerns, or other crises.
  • 49% of households seeking assistance are families with children.
  • Just $1 will provide 3 meals

How can you help?

  • Make a donation
    $20 will feed a family for 4 days
    Tax refunds are available for donations
  • Donate food
    Most needed items include:

    • Peanut Butter
    • Canned Fruit and Vegetables
    • Canned Meat and Fish
    • Canned Stews and Chili
    • Beans in Sauce

Donations will be accepted at our office, 501-305 King St W, Kitchener.

To make things a little more interesting­—and of course raise as much for The Food Bank as possible­—we’ve split the office into two teams.

Will your donations go to Team FullBelly (Geoff Rabideau’s team) or the Pantry Packers (Varun Sharma’s team)?
Full team lists are on our Facebook page

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact Kayla at kkompter@rabideaulaw.ca

How to Fight your Property Tax Assessment

Property taxes are a significant cost to owning a home, and no one likes to see their tax bill going up. But did you know that you can dispute your property assessment and have it reconsidered?

There are two ways to have your property assessment reconsidered – by submitting a Request for Reconsideration (RFR) with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) or by filing an appeal at the Assessment Review Board. This blog post will focus on the Request for Reconsideration process. The Assessment Review Board appeal process will be covered in a future post.

A RFR may be time-consuming to complete, but the process is free and the potential tax savings are worth it. Just note that for the 2014 tax year, your deadline to file a RFR with MPAC is March 31, 2014.You may file a RFR every tax year.

Understanding your Property Assessment

The first step in disputing your taxes is understanding how the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) made their original assessment. There two ways to do this, both of which are free.

If you contact MPAC (1-866-296-6722) a representative will review the information they have on file for your property, answer general questions you have about your assessment, and if necessary, make corrections.

Alternatively, MPAC’s website, www.aboutmyproperty.ca, is a self-service tool that lets you look up your property assessment information, and recent sales information for similar properties in your neighbourhood. You may correct errors in the assessment information and submit a Request for Reconsideration directly from the ‘About My Property’ website.

Registering for ‘About My Property’

If it is your first time using the ‘About My Property’ website, click the “Register Now” link. To register, you will need your property’s 19-digit roll number and access key, both of which appear on your most recent Property Assessment Notice. If you own multiple properties, each property will need to be registered separately.

No Roll Number or Access Key?

If you do not have your most recent Property Assessment Notice and do not know the roll number or access key, first obtain the roll number by calling your municipality’s Property Tax or Revenue Division. For Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge, the contact numbers are as follows:

City of Kitchener Revenue Division: 519-741-2450

City of Waterloo Revenue Services: 519-747-8718

City of Cambridge Property Taxes: 519 740-4524

After you get the roll number, call MPAC at 1-866-296-6722 to get assistance with registering for ‘About My Property’. Please note that you must have the roll number when you call MPAC.

Using ‘About My Property’ to Obtain Assessment Information

Answers to common questions on how to use ‘About My Property’ are available at:

https://www.mpac.ca/HowAssessmentWorks

From ‘About My Property’, you may obtain a Detailed Property Profile Report, which contains all of the assessment information that MPAC has on file for your property. The website also allows you to obtain assessment and sales information for up to 24 properties of your choice and 6 similar properties selected by MPAC, for free.

Submitting a Request for Reconsideration

If you want to dispute your property assessment, you may submit a Request for Reconsideration from ‘About My Property’, at no charge. In the RFR form, you must set out the grounds on which you are disputing the assessment. It is important to include supporting documentation, such as pictures of the property, a copy of a home appraisal report from your mortgage lender, and sales data from similar properties. You should make the most of the free assessment and sales information that is available on ‘About My Property’ before starting the RFR form.

Some of the grounds for submitting a RFR are:

  • The assessed value of your property is quite different from similar properties in the area
  • MPAC’s records are incorrect – for example, the lot or building size is overstated
  • The property was purchased close to MPAC’s valuation date, and the purchase price is a significantly different amount than the assessed value
  • There are unique factors that negatively impact the property’s current value, which were not taken into consideration in the current assessment, e.g. the property is located on major, high-traffic road, while the comparable properties are on quiet streets.

MPAC will review your RFR submission and provide a written response, setting out its reasons. You can review the status of your RFR from ‘About My Property’. If you are unhappy with MPAC’s decision, you have 90 days from the decision date to file an appeal with the Assessment Review Board. The appeals process will to be discussed in a future blog post.

Selling a Home

The excitement of moving can be often overshadowed by the stress of selling your current home. Choosing the right residential real estate lawyer can make all the difference. At Rabideau Law, we work hard to protect your interests and ensure a positive selling experience.

With an office in downtown Kitchener, flexible meeting times, and remote signings for Real Estate deals, we are dedicated to providing professional services when and where it is most convenient for you.

What are the responsibilities of a residential real estate lawyer?

Our team will work closely with you from start to finish ensuring a timely and efficient closing. Our services include:

  • Advising the seller on matters pertaining to their mortgage, the property, and the legal process.
  • Coordinating the exchange of documents between the real estate agents and bank.
  • Corresponding with the cooperating lawyer representing the buyer.
  • Removing any liens, mortgages, easements and other clouds on title
  • Releasing the transfer of title to purchaser’s lawyer.
  • Ensuring payment of the balance of the seller’s mortgage.
  • Depositing funds into your account upon closing.
  • Protecting your interests in the event of misrepresentation.

What are the legal costs to selling a home?

Rabideau Law is pleased to offer home sellers fixed fee legal representation, giving you the peace of mind of knowing up-front the total cost of our services. Our rates are highly competitive, so be sure to visit our residential real estate page or contact our office for more information.

*Additional costs may be incurred under some circumstances. Please refer to our associated costs schedule for more information.

I’m ready to get started – what’s my next step?

To get started, contact our office today to discuss your needs with one of our residential real estate law specialists.

For residential real estate law services in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and surrounding areas, please call 519-957-1001 or email info@rabideaulaw.ca.

Buying a Home

Buying a home – whether you’re a first time home buyer or an experienced one – should be an exciting and memorable occasion. Now that you’ve found the perfect house, condo, or vacation property, it’s time to close the deal. With Rabideau Law on your side, you can be assured that the closing process will be stress-free and handled with the highest degree of professional care.

With an office in downtown Kitchener, flexible meeting times, and remote signings for Real Estate deals, we are dedicated to providing professional services when and where it is most convenient for you.

What are the responsibilities of a residential real estate lawyer?

From start to finish, Rabideau Law works closely with you to ensure the process of buying a home is handled professionally, with your best interests in mind. Our services include:

  • Advising the purchaser on matters pertaining to their mortgage, the property, and the legal process.
  • Coordinating the exchange of documents between the real estate agents, mortgage broker and bank.
  • Corresponding with the cooperating lawyer representing the seller.
  • Searching for liens, mortgages, easements and other clouds on title.
  • Verifying the absence of any writs against the home purchaser or seller.
  • Ensuring the removal of any liens or writs registered against the property or seller.
  • Obtaining title insurance to protect you and the mortgage lender.
  • Registering the transfer of title and the mortgage with the provincial government.
  • Informing the municipality of the transfer of title.
  • Remitting the land transfer tax to the provincial government.
  • Providing you with your keys on the day of closing.
  • Protecting your interests in the event of misrepresentation on the part of the seller.

What are the legal costs to buying a home?

Rabideau Law is pleased to offer home buyers, fixed fee legal representation, giving you the peace of mind of knowing up-front the total cost of our services. Our rates are highly competitive, so be sure to visit our residential real estate page or contact our office for more information

*for certain unique circumstances, additional fees may apply. Please refer to our associated costs schedule for more information.

Are there any additional costs to buying a home that I should be aware of?

When financing the purchase of a home with a mortgage, the lender will require Title Insurance, which we purchase on your behalf. The cost of title insurance will depend on the amount of the mortgage. For mortgages ranging from $200,000 to $500,000, the cost of title insurance is included in the fee. For additional title insurance, please contact our office.

Each purchase in Ontario incurs a provincial land transfer tax. The amount of the tax is dependent on the cost of the home, generally ranging between 1% and 2% of the purchase price. First time home buyers are also eligible to receive a rebate of up to $4000 against the cost of this tax.

I’m ready to get started – what’s my next step?

To get started, contact our office today to discuss your needs with one of our residential real estate law specialists.

For residential real estate law services in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and surrounding areas, please call 519-957-1001 or email info@rabideaulaw.ca.

Restructure your Corporation & Return to Profitability!

Whether you are a high profile company, such as Air Canada, or a tradesman operating through a numbered company, ex: Bob’s Tiling, your outstanding tax, debt and supplier obligations have the ability to derail your hard earned business in an instant and leave you personally liable; affecting your home, your family and your livelihood.

If this sounds similar to you, rest assured knowing that there are options available which can help restructure your company’s outstanding debt obligations ensuring the survival of your business while protecting the life style you have come accustomed to living.

In Canada, insolvent* companies have three legislative options available to them in order to restructure their outstanding debt obligations.

The first is The Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). This option is the usual legislation insolvent companies with outstanding debts utilize. However, the CCAA is only for companies with more than $5 Million in outstanding debt.

Doesn’t sound like you and thankfully so, then the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) is for insolvent companies with less than $5 million in outstanding debts. A corporate restructuring under the BIA is a less costly measure than an arrangement under the CCAA, and is normally used by small to mid-sized businesses.

The third option is to file a plan of arrangement pursuant to the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA). Arrangements under the CBCA are very limited as only certain companies meet the very specific requirements.

Beginning in January, my invitation to you is to check back with Rabideau Law as we will examine the above mentioned options and deal with specific case studies which may be applicable to your business.

*Insolvency is defined as the inability of a company to pay its bills, debts and other financial obligations.