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Are you planning to purchase a home? Is so, you should know that meeting with a real estate lawyer will ensure that your home purchase is legal, binding and in your best interest. But to accomplish this, they’ll need you to provide them with certain key information and documents. Since real estate deals are time-sensitive, it’s important to be prepared. Here are four types of things your real estate lawyer will need from you.

  1. General information about you First, your lawyer will require the following basic information: · Your full name · Your home address and phone numbers · Your business address and phone number, when applicable · Your occupation The Alberta Law Society mandates that lawyers possess this information for clients they represent. In addition, your lawyer will need you to bring two pieces of identification. One has to be a government-issued photo ID such as a passport or driver’s licence, while the other can be a health care card or credit card.

  2. Down payment The down payment you’re putting toward your home is deposited into a trust account, which is a special bank account maintained by lawyers to hold funds on behalf of their clients. The money has to be in the form of Certified Funds (payments that your bank has guaranteed). Typically, you will obtain a bank draft payable to your lawyer’s firm. When conducting real estate and other types of transactions for their clients, lawyers are only permitted to send Certified Funds out of trust accounts.

  3. Confirmation of insurance Your lender will require you to have insurance for the home you’re buying. This protects you and the lender in the event of damage or destruction, as well as many forms of liability. You will need to bring your lawyer a confirmation of insurance, otherwise known as a binder letter. Note that you can also have the binder sent to your lawyer directly from the insurance company.

  4. Void cheque Your lawyer may need a void cheque from you. This is a common requirement and allows lenders to withdraw your mortgage payments directly. If you don’t have cheques, your bank can provide you with one or you can instead get a direct deposit form from them. When doing so, make sure your bank stamps the form with their teller stamp.


If you’re purchasing a new home or leasing a commercial property, you’ll want to work with a skilled real estate or commercial lawyer. Contact us at First West Law LLP in Calgary to ensure your next transaction goes smoothly.

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