Frequently Asked Questions

Real Estate Law

1. What Should I Look For In A Real Estate Lawyer?

Good communication and reviews, competitive rates, and lots of experience when things get complicated!

2. What Does A Real Estate Lawyer Do?

Where do we begin? We do a LOT but in summary, we ensure the purchase, sale, or refinance goes smoothly and all legal aspects are covered.

3. What are disbursements?

Expenses that a lawyer incurs in the course of providing legal services.

4. What Are Legal Fees vs Disbursements?

Legal fees are what a lawyer charges for their services. Sometimes you pay a fixed fee and other times, you pay an hourly rate or a mixture of both. Disbursements are costs the lawyer pays for on behalf of the client who then pays them back. This money does NOT go into the lawyer’s pocket!

5. At What Stage Should I Contact A Real Estate Lawyer?

As soon you are thinking about buying, selling, or refinancing when you are negotiating an offer, or shortly after the contract is signed. It’s never too early to hire your lawyer!

6. How Much Does A Real Estate Lawyer Cost?

Short answer, it depends! Contact us today for a cost estimate.

8. What Is The Difference Between Title Registration And Title Insurance?

Title registration is when a transfer is registered at the land titles office and the title reflects new ownership. Title insurance will ensure that the new title is against potential defects, amongst other things.

9. Are lawyers required to obtain title insurance?

Nope, but we often purchase it on behalf of our clients because we know the drill and get better rates than buying it off the street.

10. What is a Real Property Report and when do I need one?

An RPR is a legal document that illustrates the location of significant visible improvements relative to property boundaries. You need one when it is a term in your contract.

11. What is Land Transfer Tax?

There is no Land Transfer Tax in Alberta (yet)? In BC, property transfer tax is based on the fair market value of the property on the day it was registered with the Land Title Office unless you qualify for an exemption. Do not be confused with annual property taxes.

12. How do I calculate Land Transfer Tax?

In BC, the general property transfer tax rate applies for all taxable transactions which are as follows:

1% of the fair market value up to and including $200,000

2% of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000

3% of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000

If you’re a foreign national, foreign corporation, or taxable trustee, you must also pay the additional property transfer tax on the fair market value of the residential portion of the property if the property is within a specified area of B.C.

13. How should I prepare for my sale closing?

Send your lawyer your realtor’s contact information with a copy of your contract, copies of your ID, a mortgage statement, and a void check for the proceeds deposit is a great place to start!

14. Should I make my final property tax payment?

Yes, if it’s due before you sell the property. Your lawyer will adjust for any over or underpayment after the property as at the closing or completion date.

15. What information should I provide to my lawyer to close my purchase transaction?

Your realtor’s and mortgage broker or banker’s contact information along with a copy of your contract and any amendments, copies of your ID, and a void check is a great place to start!

Probate Law

1. What is Probate?

Probate is the approval process that takes place in Canada which validates your will and confirms the appointment of your executor.

2. Who Can Apply for Probate?

The applicant must either be appointed through the Will or if there is no Will, the applicant will be the next of kin with majority consent of other beneficiaries or effected parties. If the appointed executor of the Will renounces, the alternate can apply or the next of kin with consent will need to apply.

3. Can I File for Probate on My Own?

The short answer is yes; an Executor can apply for a Grant of Probate or Administration without using a lawyer.

4. What are some of the initial steps for an executor when someone passes away?

  • Find the will. …
  • Confirm the validity of the will. …
  • Protect the assets. …
  • Arrange the funeral. …
  • Communicate with the beneficiaries. …
  • List the assets and liabilities. …
  • If necessary, apply for probate. …Deal with debts and taxes.

5. At what point should I be meeting with One80 Law?

As soon as is reasonably possible.

6. How long does probate take?

It depends on the complexity of the estate but generally speaking, it can take 2 months to up to 2 years or more.

7. Who has a right to see a copy of the Will?

  • The executor of the will,
  • Beneficiaries of the will (those who will inherit a part of the estate),
  • People not named in the will, with a minor child as a beneficiary, andPeople who are owed money by the testator.

8. How much does probate cost in Calgary?

There are set guidelines in place in Alberta.
Estates up to $150,000: $2,250 plus one-half a percent (1/2%) of the value of the estate (plus disbursements and reimbursements of any costs incurred) Estates over $150,000: $2,250 plus 1% of the value of the estate (plus disbursements and reimbursements of any costs incurred)

9. Is probate a complicated process?

It can be, but it should not become too complicated if you have the right legal help.

10. Does every estate need to go through probate?

Typically, executors (or “administrators” where there is no Will) will know if they need to go get probate because someone has told them that they can’t deal with a particular asset until they do ie. a bank, selling real estate.

11. Who can I go to for help with the probate process?

One80 Law probate lawyers.

12. Do you need probate for a small estate?

It depends, contact a One80 Law probate lawyer for further advice.


1. What Is a Will?

A will is a legal document that coordinates the distribution of your assets after death and can appoint guardians for minor children.

2. What Happens If I Don’t Have a Will?

Dying intestate is a term that means someone has died without a will. Dying without a will means that the government means that the government gets to use provincial laws to decide how to distribute your estate and appoint your executor.

3. What is the role of an Executor?

An executor gathers up the estate assets, pays the debts of the deceased, and divides what remains of the deceased’s estate among the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries are the people named in the will to inherit the estate.

4. What’s involved in appointing an Executor?

The executor’s main duty is to carry out the instructions to manage the affairs and wishes of the deceased. The executor is appointed either by the testator of the will (the individual who makes the will) or by a court, in cases wherein there was no prior appointment.

5. What are Beneficiaries?

A beneficiary is a person (or entity) who is designated to receive the benefits of property owned by someone else.

6. If I Get Married or Divorced, Does That Affect My Will?

When you divorce after making a Will, your existing Will remains valid but the paragraphs benefitting your former spouse are revoked. Specifically, all clauses giving your former spouse property or appointing your former spouse as the executor or trustee become invalid.

7. What is a Testamentary Trust?

A testamentary trust is a trust that is established in accordance with the instructions contained in a last will and testament. A trust is a fiduciary relationship that allows a trustee, who is a third party, to manage assets on behalf of the beneficiaries of the trust.

8. Should I name a beneficiary for my life insurance?

Although it is not mandatory that you name a beneficiary, it is usually the reason people buy life insurance in the first place — to provide a benefit to the people they care about. And your other assets can also provide a benefit to the people you care about when you die.

9. What happens to any old will?

It may not necessarily be revoked when a new will is created and should be destroyed if that was the intention.

10. How to Prepare for Your First Appointment?

Your lawyer will send you a checklist.

11. What happens if you die without a will?

This is referred to as dying intestate and your estate will be handled according to the laws of the province the person died in.

12. Can’t I just Prepare my own Will with a Will Kit?

Yes, you can however, we do not recommend it.

13. What are probate fees in Calgary?

There are set guidelines in place in Alberta.
Estates up to $150,000: $2,250 plus one-half a percent (1/2%) of the value of the estate (plus disbursements and reimbursements of any costs incurred) Estates over $150,000: $2,250 plus 1% of the value of the estate (plus disbursements and reimbursements of any costs incurred)