Real estate disputes can often be complex, stressful and worse of all, the consequences may be financially devastating for all parties involved. That’s why it’s important to seek legal advice from a real estate law office such as Bernard Lau and Co. to ensure that you are aware of your legal obligations, risks and to ensure that your legal rights are protected in any dispute.
Hello there, future homeowner! Are you ready to dive into the exciting world of real estate in the charming Richmond community?
As you navigate the world of real estate, we’re here to equip you with essential tips that will empower you to make confident decisions throughout the home-buying process. Here are some professional insights and practical advice to help you confidently navigate your real estate journey.
Experience and Reputation
Our team of experienced legal professionals at Bernard Lau and Co. has in-depth knowledge and a proven track record of success in handling real estate related and defamation civil disputes including highly publicized victories at trial as reported in the Vancouver Sun, Ming Pao, CTV News and various other media outlets. Whether you are facing a property dispute, a breach of contract problem, or defamation matter, our expertise covers various aspects of civil law. At Bernard Lau and Co., we are committed to guiding you through the complexities of your case, providing clear communication, and keeping you informed at every step of the process. We advise you on every stage of your case all the way to trial if necessary, but will also consider the most efficient means of resolving your dispute, including negotiating and positioning your case for a favourable settlement.
Did you know that the name of an owner of a property you see on a title search may not actually be the true owner? This can be accomplished by a legal mechanism called a ‘bare trust’ and reflected in a legal document known as a ‘bare trust agreement’.
A bare trust is a legal arrangement in which a trustee, an agent or nominee of the true owner, holds property or assets on a beneficiary’s behalf. The trustee usually has limited control over the property and must follow the beneficiary’s instructions regarding its management, typically acting only as a custodian with no ownership rights or major decision-making authority. The beneficiary is the true owner who owns the property or asset and any income generated from it. Bare trust agreements are used for various purposes, such as holding assets for minors or individuals unable to manage their affairs, or even for privacy reasons although nowadays there are more disclosure requirements as a result of the Land Owner Transparency Act and its various filing requirements.
When to Use a Bare Trust Agreement
Bare trust agreements have been commonly used for:
- Real estate transactions where the buyer wants to remain anonymous on title. The buyer can create a bare trust and appoint a trustee to hold the property in their name. The buyer remains the trust’s beneficiary, and the trustee holds the legal title to the property but has no beneficial interest in it. However, with the introduction of the Land Owner Transparency Registry, all trusts nowadays must disclose the true beneficial owners and whether an owner is holding property in trust, so it is becoming more difficult to hide true ownership with a bare trust but a standard title search will often not disclose the trust relationship.
- Saving on probate fees for estate planning to transfer a property to beneficiaries under a Will without going through probate. The trustee holds a property in trust with a right of survivorship to avoid probate fees by way of transmission of survivorship, and then distributes the property to the beneficiaries named in the Will. The bare trust agreement can help determine the Willmaker’s intentions and make it clear that the joint tenant trustee holds title in name only.
Real Estate Lawyers in Vancouver
Are you looking to prepare a bare trust agreement for your situation? There are significant legal, tax and filing implications for bare trust agreements so get legal and accounting/tax advice before you decide to enter into a bare trust agreement. The knowledgeable real estate lawyers at Bernard Lau and Co. have extensive experience in real estate law. We can provide guidance on the legal implications and benefits of setting up a bare trust agreement, ensuring that it is properly drafted and executed to meet your situation.
Buying a home can be an exciting yet daunting process. As a home buyer, you want to make the best decision while understanding your rights under the law. The real estate market in British Columbia is dynamic, and it’s important to have the support of an experienced real estate lawyer. They will keep you updated on amendments that govern the buying process. One recent amendment of note was made to the Home Buyer Rescission/Protection Period.
Starting in 2023, home buyers have the right to cancel a contract within 3 business days after an offer is accepted, even if no subject-clauses are in the contract. If they choose to do so, they will need to pay a 0.25% charge to the seller, which can be deducted from the deposit.
Home Buyer Rescission/Protection Period
On January 3rd, 2023, the BC Provincial Government put in effect amendments to the Home Buyer Protection Period that allows persons purchasing residential properties a mandatory three business days to withdraw from a contract regarding most real estate purchasing contracts, including detached houses, town houses, and condo apartments. It gives home buyers a “cooling off” period for whatever reason they need before they are bound to the contract. These reasons may include an opportunity to conduct their due diligence, such as consulting with their real estate lawyer, or just simply to ‘sleep on it’ and to evaluate if the purchase is ideal for them after the initial rush of excitement. It also allows you, the buyer, to make arrangements to have the property inspected and source financing although traditional subject-to clauses can also be used to achieve this.
If, after three business days, you decide to rescind the contract of purchase and sale, you will have to pay the seller a recession fee of 0.25% of the purchase price of the property. If you already paid the deposit, the 0.25% recession fee would be paid to the seller from the deposit, and the remainder of the deposit must be paid back to you in a timely manner. The new amendment was designed to offer some protection to home buyers from being coerced into making a decision too quickly especially in hot market, while the rescission fee also mitigates against frivolous offers for home sellers.
The home buyer protection period supplements but does not replace traditional protections such as subject-clauses. While the 3-day cooling period can grant some peace of mind when making one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, it is not the only legal tool available for home buyers to consider in purchasing a home. In some cases, other legal options are available which may protect your legal rights just as well without the costly rescission fee that accompanies this cooling clause. We recommend that you consult with your real estate lawyer or legal professional to ensure you clearly understand your rights under the revised home buyer protection period.
Your Real Estate Lawyer in British Columbia
Real estate transactions are complex and involve a significant amount of paperwork and legalities. The experienced real estate lawyers at Bernard Lau & Co. can help you navigate the process of buying a home while protecting your interests and ensuring you understand your legal rights.
Complete our client contact form or call 604.285.5240 to schedule a consultation.