FAQs

WILLS & ESTATES

Planning your estate can be a daunting and confusing process. Below are a few commonly asked questions about estates law in Mississauga, and answers that may help provide some foundational information to help you better understand the implications of your Will.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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REAL ESTATE LAW

Buying, selling or leasing a property is a major event that you will want to have legal protection for. Whether it is a condo, house, or commercial property, our real estate lawyers serving Brampton and Mississauga can help make the process as smooth as possible. Some frequently asked questions about real estate law are provided here below.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

A typical contract for the purchase and sale of a property will usually include:

  • the identities of the buyer and seller;
  • identification of the property being sold, often by a land parcel identification code (which typically appears on the land title), and by the property’s commonly known municipal address, if available;
  • the purchase price of the property, and information about any existing mortgages, and whose responsibility it is to satisfy and discharge the mortgage(s);
  • any conditions to the agreement, such as making acceptance of the agreement contingent upon financing or a satisfactory home inspection;
  • any items included in the purchase price, aside from the land and dwelling house or physical building (e.g., appliances, electric fireplace);
  • the state of repair of the property, such as “as is where is”;
  • dates/deadlines, such as when the purchaser must confirm acceptance of the agreement when any stipulated repairs must be completed, the closing date and any possible shortening or extension of dates.
  • signature lines or areas to initial for the vendor and purchaser, witnesses, and agents.

“As is”, in the real estate context, basically means the seller is not guaranteeing that the property is in perfect condition; it is the buyer’s responsibility to fully assess the property being sold and determine that it is satisfactory for his or her purposes, by conducting whatever searches or due diligence check necessary.

“Where is” refers to where the property is located, and that vendor will not assist the buyer in expenses associated with getting to the property or moving anything on or included with the property. For example, the vendor will not build a road to access forested land or supply a boat to access an island, nor be responsible for removal of any trees that might have fallen there.

Put together, “as is where is” is a common clause contained within real estate agreements that means the buyer takes the property at his or her own risk. Because of this clause, it is critical for a buyer to consult with a lawyer to conduct all due diligence necessary to ensure that the buyer will be satisfied with her or her purchase and to ensure that all encumbrances are brought to light and understood by the buyer.

Real estate transactions often involve an encumbrance, which entails limiting or restricting the land owner’s rights and often grants a non-owner certain rights to use of the land. Examples of encumbrances are an easement, encroachment or lien.

An easement is the right of a non-owner party to cross onto, over, or otherwise use the owner’s property in certain circumstances, or for a certain purpose. Examples include a road or path which goes through the property to allow another person access to his or her own property or allow a utility company to conduct work on the land as necessary.

An encroachment is when a neighbor puts up a structure (e.g., fence, shed or swimming pool) that crosses over or protrudes the property line or an established building setback line. You may wish to have this rectified with either relocation of the structure or compensation (e.g., a sale of that portion of land) first before closing the sale.

A lien is a different type of encumbrance altogether; it is a charge attached to the land title while the landowner is indebted to a creditor, such as a mortgage company. Certain types of encumbrances will be shown on the land title, which a digital record held by the Land Registry Office.

Your real estate lawyer in Brampton or Mississauga can oversee all legal aspects of a purchase or sale. He or she can draft, review and provide advice for the purchase, sale or lease of a condo unit, house, or commercial property. He or she can help you understand the implications of the terms of the contract before you sign it and help you negotiate to include or revise any terms that are unsatisfactory to you.

The lawyer will also assess the legal viability of using the property for the purpose you intend (e.g., reside in and operate a home business), any zoning changes that are proposed, and he or she can arrange for title insurance. Title insurance will protect you against financial loss from defects in title to the property.

A due diligence search will also be necessary to assess a property for existing encumbrances, structural issues, compliance with the by-laws, and potentially, any environmental issues on the property. Your lawyer will want to ensure you understand what is involved in the contract to help you avoid litigation with the other party to the contract in the event of a dispute.

The specifics of the property and your needs as well will be considered. For example, if it may be relevant, you lawyer will mention the federal government’s Home Buyers’ Plan to you. Also, your lawyer will want to discuss all the closing costs with you, including the land transfer tax applicable if you are the purchaser.

You can expect a set fee for the legal services and an appointment just before the closing date to sign all the documents and provide any payment due.

Connect With MAKs Law Firm for a Real Estate Lawyer in Mississauga or Brampton

A real estate lawyer at our firm can assist you with your real estate purchase, sale or lease and also arrange any mortgage with your financial institution. We can help you feel confident and prepare all the complex and time-consuming legal documents for you. Choose us each time for your real estate needs. Call today at 647-955-1681.

FAMILY LAW

A separation or divorce can be a difficult time in your life, but having experienced legal counsel assist you from the outset can make the process much smoother and save you money in the long run. Below, MAKs Law Firm in Mississauga provides you with frequently asked family law questions you may have about separation and divorce.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Either party can choose to separate at any time; mutual consent is not required. Be aware, however, that the date of separation could later become an issue if one or more attempts to reconcile occurred. If you and your spouse can agree on the separation date, then obtaining a separation agreement and divorce will be easier. A written separation agreement will address matters of property division, child custody and support payments, and it is necessary to decide these issues before a court will grant a divorce. It is in your interest to resolve the financial matters as soon as possible as this can be a growing area of dispute. Having said that, many couples live separate and apart for years, but never actually divorce until one party wishes to remarry.

Any property you acquired during the marriage, as well as the matrimonial home, must be divided equally among the spouses. If you had assets prior to the marriage, these will normally remain yours but any increase in the value of those assets during the marriage will also be shared. If you two agree to divide your assets and debts differently than what the rules outlined in the Family Law Act, then it is wise to have a signed agreement with an independent legal certificate forming part of it, prior to seeking a divorce.

By default, you and your spouse may have joint custody of the children. However, if you are unable to work together, then you may need to jointly decide or apply to the court for a judge to determine who will have custody of the children. The court will look assess your family’s situation with the “best interest of the child” as the top priority. After assessing various factors, including the child’s bond with each parent and the ability of each parent to care for the child, the court may award sole custody, joint or shared custody, or split custody. Split custody awards are rare and entail dividing up decision making, such that each parent makes the decisions about a particular child.

Your Mississauga lawyer can assess whether and how many children and spousal support is payable and by whom, with the necessary information. For most parties, determining support is easy for a lawyer to do using the Divorcemate software. Occasionally disputes occur about whether a party’s Line 150 income on their income tax return should be used to calculate support. A party could be intentionally unemployed, underemployed or underreporting income (e.g., a person fails to seek paid employment, chooses to maintain a failing business, income is held back in a corporation the individual owns, or income is voluntarily deferred through deferred share units at work). The parties’ lawyers can seek a mutual agreement, or the court can decide about imputing income.

With respect to child support, both parents have an obligation to help care for their child(ren) based on their financial ability and where the child(ren) actually reside(s). The Federal Child Support Guidelines produce an amount payable for child support based on the income of each parent, the ages of the children and how many children there are. However, if you and your spouse do not agree on how income is being calculated or the amount of child support that will be paid, you may need to seek court assistance to make an order for child support. The court also turns to the Guidelines but recognizes that they may not be appropriate to apply in all situations (e.g., for income is over $150,000, if the payor is a step-parent, or if the child is over 18 years old and not in school on a full-time basis).

Regarding spousal support, your Mississauga family lawyer can help you reach an agreement with a review date or otherwise seek an order from the court, including up to two years after a divorce is granted. The court can decide who will pay support based on the financial situation of the parties, the length of the relationship, the roles of each spouse during the marriage, and what the claimant requires to become self-sufficient.

Whether you got married in or outside of Canada, you can seek a divorce if you (and/or your spouse) have lived in Canada for the past year. In Canada, you can get a divorce if your marriage has broken down and one of the following apply:

  • You have been living separate and apart for at least one year (without reconciliation)
  • Your spouse committed adultery and you did not forgive the adultery or live with your spouse for more than 90 days after discovering the adultery
  • Your spouse was physically or mentally cruel to the point of being intolerable.

There could be more than one reason why you may be eligible for a divorce, but you must be able to prove any claim made in court. Most parties simply wait for a year of living apart to pass as the time apart as this the easiest of the three criteria to prove.

While there is no legal requirement to divorce if your marriage has broken down, you must obtain a divorce order if you wish to be legally divorced. If you want to marry someone else, you need to obtain a divorce first. If you no longer want to pay for your former spouse to have access to your employer’s health and dental benefits, then you might also want a divorce.

To begin the process of obtaining a divorce, you must serve a notice of a family claim to your spouse’s legal representative (or otherwise your spouse) and file it in the Superior Court of Justice. If you and your spouse agree on the reasons and grounds for divorce, you only need one divorce application.

After you have served your spouse with the notice of a family claim, your spouse has 30 days to serve and file a response. Should your spouse fail to respond, then you can submit an affidavit for divorce, the draft divorce order and clerk’s certificate to set a court date. If your spouse contests your divorce, then you may need to go through the legal system for a hearing, trial or appeal before you can obtain a divorce. Once the judge grants you a divorce order, you can then obtain a certificate of divorce after 30 days.

For a Separation or Divorce Lawyer in Mississauga, Contact MAKs Law Firm

If you are thinking about a separation or you have already separated and need information about your legal rights, do not hesitate to contact a Mississauga lawyer at MAK’s Law firm. You may decide after a consultation whether you need full representation for your matter. Contact our team to get started at 647-955-1681.

CRIMINAL LAW

If you are facing criminal law charges, there is much to know about your rights and responsibilities. You will want to retain legal counsel right away and help make it easier for your lawyer to defend you. Understanding the answers to frequently asked questions is invaluable, brought to you by your criminal lawyer serving Mississauga and Brampton.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

A criminal conviction can follow you for life, including having a potential impact on your employees currently and in the future. Many employers will subject you to a criminal background check, and they can do so even though the Ontario Human Rights Code provides certain protections from discrimination. Your ability to enter certain professions (e.g., law, finance, engineering, medicine) may also be damaged, especially if you need to satisfy a “good character” requirement.

 

Your ability to drive will be restricted (for at least a year) if you are convicted for driving under the influence. If you are convicted of driving impaired with a blood alcohol content of over 0.08 mg per 100 ml of blood, an auto insurer may impose additional consequences, ranging from increased “high-risk insurance” premiums or denials of insurance. You may also be held personally liable for the costs of an accident.

 

Even if the offense does not relate to driving, a criminal conviction can cause difficulty accessing a residential tenancy agreement or a mortgage or other credit.  A landlord, bank or credit card company can do checks on you and may not even disclose why your application was rejected. Further, you might be penalized with higher property, life, and health insurance premiums.

 

Your ability to travel outside the country can also be adversely impacted. Canadian citizens and residents can be barred from entry into the U.S.A. for many reasons, including serious and non-serious crimes. You might be able to get your “inadmissibility” waived in some circumstances, often at an expensive cost. If you are not a Canadian citizen, being convicted of certain offenses may be grounds for a deportation order.

Everyone has a right to retain legal counsel and, yes, your lawyer is bound to keep all the information you provide confidentially. This is known as “solicitor-client privilege.” Know, however, that what you tell your lawyer can impact how he or she can defend you. For example, if you admit that you were the one who killed someone, then your lawyer cannot suggest that someone else committed the crime and not you. Instead, your lawyer may need to focus on why the case cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

The original or a copy of the charging document (a.k.a. the Information) is important to have ready for your lawyer at your first visit. This document lays out what, where and when you were charged with and any further particulars, including the specific Criminal Code provisions. While it is unlikely, if there are any major errors in the Information, this would already act in your favor.

 

Your version of what happened, in writing, is also valuable to provide your lawyer with, including a list of witnesses and their addresses if possible. It’s best to write down what happened as soon as possible before any details fade in your memory. These details can be invaluable, both to your lawyer and to you as a future memory aid, including what you were doing at the time before and during the event in question, who else was present, and if and when you were arrested, what the police said and did. The reason why all this is important is because you have Charter rights, including the right against unreasonable search and seizure, the right to be informed of your rights upon arrest (e.g., to speak to counsel and the right to remain silent, and be provided the reason for your arrest). Sometimes, what the police did or did not do can be just as important to the success of your case as your own conduct.

 

If you have physical evidence or you were able to take photos of any physical evidence, bring these as well. An example may be a receipt for an item you are alleged to have stolen or a receipt for a purchase showing you were out of the area where the alleged crime took place. Even text messages, social media, and phone records can be helpful, especially if they show that someone else was liable for a crime and not you. Understandably, you might not have access to all this information if you were arrested.

You need to work with a lawyer that you trust and can put your faith in. Your lawyer has a duty to be candid with you about your case, based on the available evidence. Your lawyer will tell you whether or not there are grounds to bring a Charter challenge and if it is advisable that you plead guilty, based on the evidence. Your lawyer will try to get the best outcome for you, and sometimes that means a lesser penalty or sentence than otherwise. It is important to listen carefully to your lawyer out and let him or her explain to you the risks of each option you take.

 

Get Help Today From Murad Ali Khan, Criminal Lawyer in Brampton & Mississauga

 

If you have been criminally charged, speak to Murad Ali Khan at MAKs Law Firm right away for help. He can start right away for you, including being your bail hearing lawyer. Murad Ali Khan is prepared to help you when you need it. Call now at 647-955-1681.

COMMERCIAL LAW

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Immigration & Visas

VISA & IMMIGRATION SEVICES

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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