Certificate of Independent Legal Advice Family Law
Lawyers will frequently be asked clients to seek independent legal advice when signing agreements about family matters. This is because family law involves some really important clauses. They are contractually binding and usually last forever. The impact of the clauses is significant, such as the payment of support to a spouse, how a couple plans to divide property and pensions and how the children are cared for. Therefore, each party needs to fully understand the implications before they sign.
Certificate of Independent Legal Advice Real Estate
If clients are entering into a real estate contract it is likely to be one of the biggest transactions of their life, but real estate laws are complex, and individuals should be sure that they fully understand the contract that they are entering into. It is best to consult and a lawyer to seek independent legal advice before buying or selling a property.
Certificate of Independent Legal Advice Mortgage – Spouse
In a situation where one spouse is named on the title of a mortgage and the other spouse is not, it may be a requirement of the bank that the unnamed spouse should receive a Certificate of Independent Legal Advice. This ensures that the unnamed spouse understands their rights with regards to the matrimonial home and mortgage.
What is independent legal advice?
Independent legal advice is the advice given to a client from a lawyer on a legal matter before a transaction is completed, to ensure that the individual fully understands the contract that they are entering into.
Why should I get independent legal advice?
In some situations, you should take the independent legal advice to make sure you fully understand the implications of the contract you are signing and the transaction you are entering into. You maybe waving a right to something or giving your consent to something that you do not fully understand. Once you have signed the contract it is legally binding, and you cannot change the terms. It is important to understand your rights and responsibilities from the outset.
What happens when I get independent legal advice?
When you seek independent legal advice, you will find a lawyer who will meet with you to discuss the process, your lawyer will then review the documentation and when you are happy to agree to the terms, the lawyer will witness a signature and issue a certificate to state that you have received independent legal advice and have understood the information you have been given.
Proving that you got independent legal advice
Independent Legal Advice letter will be issued and signed by yourself to prove that you have received and understood the advice. You can then show this to a third party if the independent legal advice was a condition of the transaction.
What if I can’t afford to pay a lawyer to give me independent legal advice?
If you are on a low income you may be financially eligible to receive Legal Aid in Ontario. You will need to take a financial test to find out your eligibility. If you are entitled to Legal Aid, then you will be given a certificate which can then be used to pay a lawyer who accepts Legal Aid clients. This is only available in certain areas of the law.
Purpose of Independent Legal Advice
It is the responsibility of the Lawyer providing independent legal advice (“ILA”) to ensure that his/her client understands and appreciates the nature, risk, liabilities, and benefits of the document about to be signed. The lawyer should explain the document to the client even if the client has read the document prior in time. If the lawyer is of the opinion that the client is being forced to sign the document or agreement then the lawyer should not be issuing the certificate of independent legal advice.
Providing Independent Legal Advice (“ILA”) to a Guarantor (Surety)
The Lawyer for a guarantor must review and explain to the guarantor the terms of the guarantee as well as highlighting the nature, effect, risks and obligations under the guarantee, including the liability that will be incurred and the manner in which such liability may be enforced, thereby allowing the guarantor to make an informed and considered decision. The Lawyer providing Certificate of Independent Legal Advice (“ILA”) to a Guarantor (Surety) must ensure that the guarantor appreciates the nature of and risks associated with providing the proposed guarantee as well as the likely practical consequences of not providing the guarantee.
The purpose of ILA is to prevent a lender from taking unfair advantage of a guarantor thereby reducing disparities in bargaining power. However, practically speaking in most cases, the client feels obligated to enter into the Guarantee for various other and hence it becomes extremely difficult for the lawyer to decide if the guarantor is freely and voluntarily signing the gurantee or not?