The Province of Alberta on Paid Leave During COVID-19

The Province of Alberta on Paid Leave During COVID-19

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta: Emergency Orders during COVID-19 in Alberta

Life for many Albertans has been very different than what it was compared to a few weeks ago. As we adjust to a new normal – we have seen an increase in paid leave legal inquiries from both employers and employees in Alberta regarding COVID-19. While the Federal Government is making announcements almost weekly on individual welfare and government subsidy programs – we have also seen amendments to the Employment Law Standards Act in light of COVID-19.

It is important to note here that because announcements are made daily – the content prescribed in this article is subjected to change. For more up to date resources on COVID-19 in Alberta – please refer to the Province of Alberta’s resource website on COVID-19 support for employers and employees. Please also remember this blog post is only intended to act as a general overview and does not constitute legal advice. For more specific legal advice regarding your situation please contact one of our Edmonton employment lawyers today for a paid legal consultation.

Amendments to the Employment Standards Code on Paid Leave in Alberta

On March 13, 2020 – Premier Jason Kenney announced changes to the Employment Standards Code (ESC) where amendments were made to prevent employees from having to choose whether they should be working or doing what is necessary to protect the public health. The amendment provides a 14-day period that allows employees to protect their job if an employee is required to self-isolate or if an employee is sick or needs to provide care-giver services to a loved one who has tested positive for COVID-19. Employees will not be required to provide a doctor’s note in a situation like this. This leave allows the Province to mandate the 14-day self isolation period as prescribed by Alberta’s chief medical officer – especially for people who are returning to Canada after traveling abroad. It also prevents doctors’ offices and clinics from being overburdened for doctor’s note requests.

Who is responsible for Paid Leave in Alberta?

At this time, there is still uncertainty as to who will be financially responsible for the paid leave – specifically, whether the Federal Government, Provincial Government, Employment Insurance or individual employers and business owner. We suspect that as time goes on – further amendments may be made depending on the gravity of the COVID-19 situation and whether significant improvements have been made in flattening the curve. While there remain numerous discussions on how the amendments to the ESC does not offer protections for employers and business owners – the Province of Alberta has said they are working towards a solution to address these challenges for employers and business owners. If you are an employer or small business owner – contact our law office today to speak with an employment lawyer on COVID-19 workplace law matters. The same goes if you are an employee and would like more information about your rights as an employee during COVID-19.

Contact Verhaeghe Law Office for a Consultation With An Edmonton Employment Lawyer

Verhaeghe Law Office has recently seen an increase in employment law inquiries. Our Edmonton employment lawyers are on stand-by to offer legal advice on all Alberta related COVID-19 employment law matters whether you are an employee or an employer. Contact us today by calling 587-410-2500 or live chat with us now to book an online consultation.

*Disclaimer: Please note this blog is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute as legal advice for your specific situation. Every legal situation is different, and we strongly recommend you consult with an employment lawyer in Alberta regarding all employment law matters. You may contact our law offices for legal advice and legal advice can be provided after a client-lawyer relationship has been established contractually.

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta: Emergency Orders During COVID-19 in Alberta

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta: Emergency Orders during COVID-19 in Alberta

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta: Emergency Orders during COVID-19 in Alberta

At Verhaeghe Law Office – we have been very pragmatic and proactive in dealing with adjournments as well as processing emergency Orders throughout our COVID-19 crisis. For example, we continue to submit emergency orders on our client’s behalf as they pertain to family law and child custody disputes. The courts have agreed to deal with COVID-19 parenting issues on a case-by-case basis and therefore we are able to continue working on your family law matters during these precarious times.

On March 18th, 2020 – a message was released from The Right Honourable Richard Wagner, C.P (the Chief Justice of Canada) to address the rapid developments surrounding COVID-19 and to inform the public that Canada’s Chief Justices are actively working to limit the spread of COVID-19 at courts across the country in an effort to protect all citizens.

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta has outlined the suspension of sittings on their website. However, they have also advised that the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench is limiting hearings to emergency and urgent matters only.

Some of these emergency matters include:

1. Family Law Matters:

  1. With respect to Orders where there is a significant risk of violence or harm to one of the parties or a child
  2. With respect to Orders where there is a removal a child may be removed from their jurisdiction
  3. Emergency Protection Order reviews

2. Civil Matters:

  1. With respect to Orders relating to the pandemic including quarantine orders
  2. Injunctions where there is a prima facie urgency including refusal of treatment/end of life matters
  3. With respect to Civil Restraining Orders, Preservation Orders and Urgent Orders in the nature of habaeus corpus, certiorari mandamus and prohibition

3. Surrogate Matters:

  1. Emergency Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Orders where there are obvious risks of harm to individuals and/or their property

4. Criminal Matters:

  1. With respect to Orders dealing with detention and bail reviews, wiretaps, production and related Orders
  2. Arrest warrants and matters where the accused are in pre-trial custody

While filing processed remain unaffected, this may change if the COVID-19 situation changes. Court hearings that were scheduled for civil and family law proceedings between March 16 to March 27, 2020 will be adjourned or rescheduled. With regards to criminal proceedings - all jury trials in progress will continue. All other criminal matters including trials and summary conviction appeals are adjourned until further notice.

Contact a Family Law Lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office Now

Contact our Edmonton family lawyers today for a consultation regarding your child custody disputes, emergency orders and any other family law legal matters. Book a consultation by dialing 587-410-2500 and speak with an Edmonton divorce lawyer today.

Disclaimer: Please note this blog is only intended to act as a general overview and not legal advice. In order for our lawyers to provide you with legal advice – a client lawyer relationship must be established by virtue of contract and retainer. For specific legal guidance on a family law matter - please contact a family law lawyer from our law office today.

What Do I Do If My Disability Benefits Have Been Denied?

What Do I Do If My Disability Benefits Have Been Denied?

What Do I Do If My Disability Benefits Have Been Denied?

If your disability benefits have been denied – this does not necessarily mean the end of the road for you. You may be eligible to get your disability benefits re-instated if you qualify. If your disability benefits have been terminated – contact our law office today for a free consultation with a disability lawyer. Our legal team may be able to help. We have offices in Edmonton, Whitecourt and Athabasca and are ready to assist you with all your legal needs regarding your disability claim. There are strict timelines to adhere to so don’t delay and call us today for your free consultation.

What is long-term disability insurance?

Long-term disability insurance or LTD insurance offers financial protection in the unfortunate event you are injured or have sustained an illness which prevents you from being able to return to work indefinitely. The financial compensation aims to offset any financial hardship you might suffer due to a medical condition(s) that prevents you from going back to work. Most policies in Canada provide disability benefits for a certain amount of time. Once that time has expired, you may be required to re-apply for disability benefits again.

How can an Alberta based disability lawyer help me?

If you have received a letter from your insurance company terminating your benefits – we recommend you contact a disability lawyer to review your case. A disability lawyer may be able to get your benefits re-instated if your injuries continue to prevent you from going back to work. There are many deadlines involved when filing a claim against your disability insurance provider and this is another reason why hiring a disability lawyer to help with your claim may be beneficial.

A disability lawyer can also help put together a case for why your disability benefits should be re-instated. For example, they can hire medical and vocational experts to offer third party opinions on your medical condition(s) which may be preventing you from returning to work. These professionals will review your ability to perform your job and responsibilities and put you through physical tests to see what your physical limitations are. A disability lawyer will also project manage all the correspondence with health care professionals and your insurance provider to ensure that your best interests are always placed as a priority.

Our disability lawyers from Verhaeghe Law Office work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay anything unless we successfully recover money on your behalf.

Schedule a free consultation with a disability lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office

Verhaeghe Law Office is proud to have 3 offices across Alberta. With offices Edmonton, Athabasca and Whitecourt – we are very proud to represent Albertans with their legal matters including terminated disability benefits or denied disability claims. To schedule a free consultation with a disability lawyer from our firm - call 587-410-2500 or fill out a consultation form or live chat with us now and a member from our legal team will be pleased to book you in for a free initial consultation.

Disclaimer: Please note this article is intended to act as a general overview on a topic and does not constitute legal advice. Each situation requiring legal advice is unique and we recommend speaking with a disability lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office regarding your case.

5 Things To Do Following a Car Accident in Alberta

5 Things To Do Following A Car Accident in Alberta

5 Things To Do Following A Car Accident in Alberta

Hopefully you never have to refer to this blog article. But in the unfortunate event that you are involved in a car accident one day – we have made a list of what you need to do immediately following a car accident in Alberta. If you or a loved one have sustained injuries in a car accident – contact our Edmonton injury lawyers today for a free consultation. We may be able to help recover money on your behalf if you are eligible. In the meanwhile – please read our article.

Here are 5 things to do following a car accident:

  1. Call 911: It is important to have police and ambulance arrive at the scene in case people are injured or damages have been sustained. The police will outline the details of the accident in the police report and you will need to obtain a copy of the police report as you will need it when filing a claim with the insurance company.
  2. Take pictures of the area if it’s safe to do so: Look around you and make sure that it’s safe to leave your car. Be mindful when getting out of your car and make sure that you are out of danger’s way. When and only if it’s safe to do so – take as many pictures of the accident scene as possible.
  3. Obtain contact information of witnesses and all those involved: When it’s safe to do so make sure you obtain the name, phone number, license plate, address and other relevant contact information of all those involved in the accident as well as any potential witnesses who may have witnessed the accident.
  4. Obtain insurance information of all those involved in the accident: Ensure you also have a picture or have written down details of the insurance policies of those involved in the accident. You will need to provide your insurance information to others involved in the accident as well.
  5. Contact a car accident lawyer: After letting your insurer know that you have been involved in a car accident, we recommend you contact a personal injury lawyer or car accident lawyer who is experienced in handling car accident claims in Alberta. In Alberta, most personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency basis meaning you don’t pay anything unless they are able to successfully recover money for you on your behalf.

Contact Verhaeghe Law Office now for a FREE consultation with an Alberta car accident lawyer

Call 587-410-2500 to schedule a free consultation with an Alberta injury lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office. We can conveniently represent clients across Alberta as we have three offices located in Edmonton, Whitecourt and Athabasca. We are proud to represent Albertans with their car accident claims and have developed a reputation for treating our clients like family.

Contact us now for a free consultation and remember you don’t pay anything unless we win.

Disclaimer: Please note this article is intended to act as a general overview on a topic and is not intended to act as legal advice. In order to obtain legal advice – you need to have signed a retainer agreement with us and have acknowledged and established a client-lawyer relationship with us. For independent legal advice please consult with an injury lawyer who is licensed to practice in Alberta.

Things to Look For in a Commercial Lease

Things to Look For in a Commercial Lease

Things to Look For in a Commercial Lease

Verhaeghe Law Office has been representing Albertans with their commercial real estate transactions since the firm was founded. Our commercial real estate lawyers have handled numerous transactions where we’ve helped clients with purchases, sales, refinancing of mortgages, legal agreements, mortgages, builders’ liens, expropriations, development appeals, condo development and governance, litigation and more. From our commercial real estate experience, we have put together a list of things you should look for in a commercial lease.

By no means is this list exhaustive nor does it qualify as legal advice. For answers to your specific real estate legal questions, we always recommend you speak with a real estate lawyer. Call our office today if you are in need of legal advice regarding your commercial lease by dialing 587-410-2500 or book a consultation with us online now.

Before entering into any commercial real estate agreement, we recommend you do an online background check or find out as much information as you possibly can about the landlord or the tenant. Besides the obvious of doing a credit check if you’re a landlord – make sure you get a list of references for extra reassurance that your new landlord or tenant has a decent record.

Here is a rudimentary list of things to look for in a commercial lease:

  1. Cost and default: Ensure the costs are all outlined in the lease agreement. In addition to what’s included in the costs, you need to be aware of what’s not included in these costs as well. Ensure you have a clause on what happens if the tenant defaults on payment as well.
  2. Length: Another obvious item is the length or duration of the contract. You also need to understand when the contract ends and what rights are available to you should you wish to terminate the lease earlier whether you’re the landlord or tenant.
  3. Sublease restrictions or limitations: Make sure you outline whether subleasing is allowed, restrictions and limits, and the terms of any subleasing arrangements. Responsibility of costs should also be outlined in any sublease clauses.
  4. Jurisdiction: It’s important to note what geographic area or jurisdiction the lease takes place in. Remember, certain jurisdictions may have different laws and regulations than other jurisdictions.
  5. Security deposit: Most leases require a security deposit that the landlord may use in the event there is any damage caused by the tenant. The terms and conditions surrounding how and when these funds are used should be included in the lease agreement.
  6. Insurance requirements: Clearly outline that tenants and landlords are both required to have their own insurance policy for the premise. We’ve seen many cases where tenants erroneously believe there are covered under the landlord’s insurance policy, but this is not always the case.
  7. Rights and responsibilities: Ensure that all rights and responsibilities of both parties (landlord and tenant) are clearly outlined in the agreement to avoid any ambiguity on who is responsible for what and what you’re not responsible for.

Speak with a commercial real estate lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office

Our Alberta commercial real estate lawyers and business lawyers can provide legal advice and services on many related areas of commercial leases including enforcement of leases, lease dispute resolution and litigation, land development, drafting agreements, re-assignments and change of ownerships, guarantees and indemnities, renewals, termination issues, breaches of commercial leases and more. Contact Verhaeghe Law Office today by dialing 587-410-2500 and speak with a commercial real estate lawyer today.

With offices in Whitecourt, Athabasca and Edmonton – our legal team can get to work on your commercial lease matters as soon as possible.

Disclaimer: Please note this article is intended to act as a general overview on a topic and does not constitute legal advice. Each situation requiring legal advice is unique and we recommend speaking with a commercial real estate lawyer from Alberta regarding your real estate transaction.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?

How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?

How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?

Verhaeghe Law Office is proud to represent clients across Alberta with their personal injury claims. Our personal injury lawyers have helped Albertans recover compensation from insurance companies for their injuries for many years now and have fought to ensure clients get the compensation they rightfully deserve. If you or a loved one are in need of a personal injury lawyer in Alberta – contact our law firm today for a free consultation by calling 587-410-2500 or book a consultation with us online now.

There are many benefits to hiring a personal injury lawyer. Here are the top 3 reasons for hiring a personal injury lawyer to assist with your insurance claim:

  1. Personal injury lawyers will handle all the legal work on your behalf: Our personal injury lawyers will handle all correspondence, communication and forms that are required by your insurer so you can focus on healing from your injuries. We will project manage the claim and ensure all deadlines are met, paperwork is correctly submitted, and the right experts are hired to help process your claim. Hiring a personal injury lawyer also helps ensure that your paperwork is filled out correctly with minimal room for errors. Remember – filling out paperwork incorrectly can significantly reduce the compensation you may be eligible to receive.
  2. Less chances for bullying by your insurers: Having a personal injury lawyer on your side also ensures that your chances of getting bullied by your insurer are significantly reduced. Remember – insurance companies are also accountable for their revenues and profits. Therefore, they are not inclined to always give claimants the compensation they deserve. We’ve seen many cases where only the bare minimum is generally paid out. Having someone who understands insurance laws on your side may help get you the compensation you rightfully deserve.
  3. Provide legal guidance and resolution for you: Hiring a personal injury lawyer who is familiar with Alberta insurance laws can also ensure that your legal rights are protected. We’ve seen many instances where claimants are not even aware of their legal rights or possible solutions available to them. Hiring a personal injury lawyer who has experience in dealing with insurers also ensures your best interests are an immediate priority in addition to receiving proper legal guidance.

Book a free initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office

We have multiple offices in Alberta – including Whitecourt, Athabasca and Edmonton which allows us to represent clients with all types of personal injury claims across Alberta. Call 587-410-2500 today and schedule a consultation with our legal team regarding your possible personal injury claim and remember there is no cost for this consultation. In fact, you don’t pay money unless we successfully recover money on your behalf so you have nothing to lose by discussing your claim with our personal injury team.

Disclaimer: Please note this article is intended to act as a general overview on a topic and does not constitute legal advice. Each situation requiring legal advice is unique and we recommend speaking with a personal injury lawyer from Alberta regarding your case.

Types of Business Structures in Alberta

Types of Business Structures in Alberta

Types of Business Structures in Alberta

Verhaeghe Law Office has been advising clients on business structures and providing business law advice since the firm was founded. We have helped thousands of Albertans with their business law needs and are committed to providing legal advice that puts our client’s best interests first.

Below is a list of different types of business structures available in Alberta. This list is not an exhaustive list nor is it intended to act as legal advice. We recommend you consult with an Alberta business lawyer or corporate lawyer if you are looking to start a new company. Your business lawyer will be able to guide you on what type of business structure works best for you based on your unique business goals, financial circumstances and available resources.

Here is a basic list of the types of different business structures available in Alberta.

  1. Corporations: In Alberta, you can incorporate different types of corporations such as a non-profit company, religious society, society, Alberta-based business corporation and more. There are lots of tax advantages as well as benefits to incorporating a corporation. Speak with a business lawyer to see if this is the right type of business structure for you.
  2. Sole Proprietor: Sole proprietorships require less paperwork than corporations do, have fewer business fees and are considered a simplified business ownership structure. You get to be your own boss and keep the profits and you have maximum privacy this way. And if circumstances change, it’s rather easy to change the business structure. Speak to a business lawyer from Verhaeghe Law to see if this type of business structure suits you.
  3. Partnerships: In Alberta – a business partnership consists of two or more legal entities who combine their resources to operate a shared business. The legal entities that comprise the corporation may be individuals, corporations, trusts or other partnerships to name a few. There are a lot of pros and cons to establishing partnerships and we recommend you speak with a business lawyer to go over whether this option is best suited for you.
  4. Joint Ventures: This type of business structure is an arrangement that involves two or more parties similar to a partnership. A contract governs the nature of the relationship between all parties and outlines who is responsible for what. This type of agreement is called a joint venture agreement. Preparing a joint venture agreement is best done by a business lawyer or someone who understands business structures and business law.
  5. Other: There are also other forms of business structures available such as subsidiaries, cooperatives, contractual relationships and branches. For more information on these other types of business structures and whether it would be best suited for you, we recommend you consult with a business lawyer.

Book a consultation with one of our Alberta business lawyers today

With offices in Whitecourt, Athabasca and Edmonton – our legal team can get to work on your corporate legal matters immediately. Contact Verhaeghe Law Office today by dialing 587-410-2500 and speak with a business or corporate lawyer today.

Disclaimer: Please note this article is intended to act as a general overview on a topic and does not constitute legal advice. Each situation requiring legal advice is unique and we recommend speaking with a business lawyer or commercial lawyer or corporate lawyer from Alberta regarding your business law matters.

3 Interesting Alberta Divorce Statistics

3 Interesting Alberta Divorce Statistics

3 Interesting Alberta Divorce Statistics

The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family (“The Institute”) authored numerous reports since its inception in 1987 – especially with respect to divorce statistics in Alberta. Data from these reports will be available from the University of Calgary Library starting 2020 after its website shuts down. We thought we would use this as an opportunity to share some interesting Alberta divorce statistics with you.

3 Interesting Divorce Statistics:

1. A recent national survey of family law lawyers conducted by the Institute concluded that average charge to clients for professional services alone (excluding disbursements) was $12,395 for individuals engaged in low-conflict family law disputes (range=$2,000 to $75,000), and $54,390 for those engaged in high-conflict disputes (range=$5,000 to $625,000). This gives you an idea of the range of how costly divorce proceedings can be – especially in highly contentious cases. This is one of the reasons we recommend you always hire divorce lawyers who aim to expeditiously resolve disputes in divorce proceedings.

Source: http://www.crilf.ca/Documents/Unbunded_Legal_Services_Report_-_Aug_2018.pdf

2. The Institute also reported that family law issues including divorce, spousal support and child support, parenting after separation, child custody access and issues and matrimonial support issues were the most predominantly legal issues discussed in the Alberta Community Legal Clinic Survey. Legal assistance on these matters accounted for approximately 46% of all legal assistance inquiries where 7,891 individuals were surveyed and 319 responded. Females were also more likely to report they were dealing with family law problems with their lawyers than men especially when it comes to spousal and child support matters, child custody and access and other divorce related issues.

Source: http://www.crilf.ca/Documents/ALF_Clinic_Survey_Year_2_-_May_2018.pdf

3. In Alberta – Legal Representation for Children and Youth (LRCY) was established on April 1, 2006 through the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate. The LRCY roster lawyers represent the rights, interests and viewpoints of their child clients and is funded by the Government of Alberta. Appointments made during 2016 amounted to 1,100 in the Province of Alberta for nearly 2000 children. It’s worth noting here that there is a great deal of importance in defining the role of the children’s lawyer for future legal proceedings.

Source: http://www.crilf.ca/Documents/Children's_Participation_in_Justice_Processes_-_Record_of_Proceedings_-_Jan_2018.pdf

Contact Verhaeghe Law Office today for legal assistance from an Alberta divorce lawyer

At Verhaeghe Law Office – we have assisted thousands of Albertans with their family law legal proceedings. Whether you need legal assistance with matrimonial property, division of assets, child access and custody, child support, spousal support, collaborative family law issues, separation agreements, family law agreements or more – we can help. Let us put our experience to work for you and start by booking a consultation with our family law team.

Call 587-410-2500 today to schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office now.

Disclaimer: Please note the advice contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and is only intended to act as a general overview on the topic at hand. Each legal situation is unique and we recommend you speak with a divorce/family lawyer from Alberta if you require legal counsel on your divorce or family law matter.

How to Request A Variation in Child Support Payments in Alberta

How to Request A Variation in Child Support Payments in Alberta

How to Request A Variation in Child Support Payments in Alberta

In Alberta – you may be eligible to apply for a variation in court-ordered child support payments under two scenarios. In the first scenario, if you are looking to apply for an increase in child support payments and are the recipient of the financial support you may apply for a variation. In the second scenario, if you are looking to decrease your child support payments and are the payor of support you may apply for a variation as well. However, not all requests are approved. We recommend you speak with a family lawyer who is experienced in dealing with child support variation orders if you are looking to process a variation in child support payments.

Circumstances Where Child Support Variation Payments May Be Approved

There are certain circumstances that the courts may consider when processing requests that deal with variations to child support payments. These circumstances include a change in any of the following:

  • Where the number of children/dependents change
  • Employment changes where the employment income has drastically altered
  • Special or extraordinary Section 7 expenses incurred for the children
  • Travel and child access costs for visits between the parties and their children

The courts may also review the payor’s ability to make current payments based on full financial disclosures and other factors if circumstances have drastically changed for the payor. We recommend you consult with a family lawyer on this topic to see if you may be eligible to request a variation in child support payments as each situation is unique from one another.

Changing a Court Order for Child Support

There are many documents involved in changing a court order for child support as indicated on the Government of Alberta’s website. For example, if both parents live in Alberta, you will be required to fill out a claim as per the Family Law Act including affidavits and other statements. There will also be a significant number of official documents that need to accompany your claim including but not limited to things like financial stubs, tax stubs, expenses and receipts, Notice of Assessments and more. Having a lawyer assist you with this also ensures that you do not miss any of the important documents that help strengthen your claim.

You can find resources and forms on the Government of Alberta’s website here.

Contact Verhaeghe Law Office today for Legal Assistance in Requesting a Variation in Child Support Payments

Call 587-410-2500 today to book a consultation with an Alberta family/divorce lawyer if you need legal assistance in requesting a variation in your child support payments. Depending on the circumstances of your claim– we may be able to assist you with processing this request. Our family lawyers/divorce lawyers have proudly served thousands of Albertans with their family law needs and are pleased to assist you with all your legal needs.

Contact our law firm today for legal assistance with requesting a variation in your court-ordered child support payments.

Disclaimer: Please note the advice contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and is only intended to act as a general overview on the topic at hand. Each legal situation is unique and we recommend you speak with a divorce/family lawyer from Alberta if you require legal counsel on the requesting variations in your child support payments.

What is the Alberta Senior’s Property Tax Deferral Program?

What is the Alberta Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program

What is the Alberta Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program

In Alberta – if you are over the age of 65 you may be eligible to defer all or part of your residential property taxes (including outstanding arrears and penalties if you qualify) by acquiring a low-interest home equity loan through the Government of Alberta. By qualifying for the program – you may be eligible to have all your property taxes paid to your respective municipality on your behalf. The loan gets repaid (with interest) when your primary residence gets sold or if you are no longer eligible for the loan.

Eligibility for the Alberta Senior’s Property Tax Deferral Program

In order to qualify for this program in Alberta on your primary residence you must:

  • Be 65 years of age or older. Only one spouse needs to be 65 in order to qualify and must be registered as an owner of the property in a Land Title Office
  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • Be a resident of Alberta
  • Have a minimum 25% equity in your primary residence

There are also additional criteria for your property to be qualified such as:

  • Only residential properties are considered for this program and only your primary residence is eligible. If you have investment properties, summer homes, rental properties or commercial properties – those properties would not be eligible under this program. However, residential properties including mobile and manufactured homes on a residential property, residential portions of farmland and residential portions of commercial property may also qualify for the Senior’s Property Tax Deferral Program
  • The property you are applying for must be insured by an insurance company
  • There must be sufficient equity in the home (at least 25%)

We recommend you speak with an Alberta real estate lawyer to see if your property qualifies for the program. More information on the program, loan applications and loan agreements can be found on the Government of Alberta’s website under Senior’s Property Tax Deferral Resources.

Factors Affecting Your Eligibility for the Loan

There are certain factors that may prevent you from being eligible for this loan. Some of these include charges filed against your home. Examples include:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Any pending litigation against the property
  • Maintenance enforcement
  • Reverse mortgage

However, if you have these charges removed from your land title certificate before you apply for the loan – you may still be eligible to qualify for the loan. One of our lawyers may be able to assist with this task should you require assistance with this.

Loan Repayment

While monthly payments are not necessarily required for this program – you may opt to repay all or parts of your deferred taxes and interest at any time. The loan however becomes fully due once:

  • You sell your home
  • Are no longer a registered owner
  • The property or home is no longer your primary residence

Payment for the loan can be done through online banking if you bank with Alberta Treasury Branch, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Royal Bank, Scotia Bank, Servus Credit Union or TD Canada Trust. Alternatively, you can also send cheques for payment to the Government of Alberta with your personal health number attached.

If you happen to pass away before the loan gets paid off - existing loans and eligibility to apply for future loans may continue for a surviving partner or spouse if:

  • They are 55 years or older and are a registered owner of the primary residence
  • Live(d) in the primary residence before their spouse/partner passed away
  • Continues to reside in the primary residence

Once the loan has been paid off – the caveat gets discharged from the land title certificate

Speak with an Edmonton Real Estate Lawyer If You Are Eligible for the Alberta Senior’s Property Tax Deferral Program

If you are a senior citizen and would like legal assistance with applying for and/or qualifying for the Alberta Senior’s Property Tax Deferral Program then please feel free to contact our Edmonton law firm today by dialing 587-410-2500. One of our Edmonton real estate lawyers would be pleased to assist you with you with this request.

Disclaimer: Please note the advice contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and is only intended to act as a general overview on the topic at hand. Each legal situation is unique, and we recommend you speak with a real estate lawyer from Alberta if you require legal counsel on the Alberta Senior’s Property Tax Deferral Program