Independent Legal Advice in Real Estate Transactions

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There are situations where one or more people involved in a real estate transaction will be required to obtain independent legal advice prior to the deal closing.

A common situation is where only one spouse is going on title to the property and/or being named on the mortgage. Married people have special rights towards the “matrimonial home” (the home that the spouse live in as a married couple) even if they are not legally on title to that home. It is important for the party not being placed on title to understand the consequences of this decision. It is common for the mortgage lender to require the spouse not being placed on title to have independent legal advice prior to lending the funds for a real estate purchase.

Another common situation where independent legal advice may be required is if one spouse inherited a sum of money and intends to use the money to purchase a matrimonial home for both spouses. The Family Law Act treats the matrimonial home differently than other assets owned by spouses, so funds used by one spouse from an inheritance that may not normally be considered to be “family property” will now be considered “family property” as they were used to purchase the matrimonial home.

While it may appear as an extra and unwanted expense when completing a real estate transaction, independent legal advice can be a necessary and wise investment if the situation warrants it.


Feel free to contact us at any point for assistance or advice pertaining to Real Estate Law. We may be reached at 705-435-4339 / 1-877-85LEGAL (1-877-855-3425) or contact us via email.

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