Purchase of Home:

The lawyer’s role consists of obtaining the necessary title and legal searches to ensure you receive clear title to your property, free from encumbrances.

The lawyer also communicates with the mortgage company to obtain, prepare and register your mortgage documentation.

The lawyer will explain the different ways to take title to your property (joint tenancy or tenants in common), explain what title insurance is and why you may wish to obtain coverage.

The lawyer will ensure you understand fully all of the documentation you will be executing to complete your purchase transaction.

The lawyer is also required for the exchange of closing documentation, funds and keys as well as for the registration of your title documentation.

The lawyer will provide written reports to the mortgage company and the client upon completion of the transaction.      

Joint Tenant or Tenants in Common:

You may take title in two ways: as joint tenants or as tenants in common.

The main difference is that joint tenants have the right of survivorship while tenants in common do not.

If a property is taken in more than one name, as joint tenants, and one of the registered owners dies, the property will revert to the remaining named joint tenant by right of survivorship.

If the property is held as tenants in common, upon the death of a registered owner, that owner’s share in the property reverts to the deceased owner’s estate, which will share ownership with the remaining registered owner as a tenant in common.     

Title Insurance:

It is a mistake to believe that title insurance is a substitute for a survey. Title insurance is simply just ?insurance? and should not be regarded as a substitute for the information that a survey can reveal.

It can be viewed as a backup position which can help to rectify issues; however, it is not an appropriate substitute for the warnings that a survey can provide which could identify that something is wrong with the title.

This could include things like an encroaching structure, deck or fence, or the fact that a neighbor owns part of the land. By only purchasing title insurance, any problems that may have been disclosed in a land survey are simply just passed on to the new purchaser.

Why should I title insure my property?

Title insurance protects your ownership interest (i.e.: title) of your property from losses incurred as a result of unknown title defects or other covered matters that exist at the time of your purchase, but are unknown to you at that time.

Title insurance will cover both you, the property owner, and any mortgagees. The premium for title insurance is only paid once and is valid for the duration of your ownership of the subject property.

The cost of the premium is often offset by the savings from reduced searches performed by the lawyer and the insurance coverage is more expansive than just a lawyer’s opinion.

For more information on title insurance in Canada, go to