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On September 1, 2015, our new address will be 4528 – 99 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 5H5. You may also contact us at 780-452-6800.

Get answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions about legal services

Home // Frequently Asked Questions

While it is impossible to provide answers here for virtually every possible legal question, we have provided for your benefit some of the commonly asked questions about our firm, Masuch Albert LLP, and the areas of law handled by the firm’s lawyers and solicitors.

River City Law Group

The Masuch Albert LLP Team

The Staff of Masuch Albert LLP.

What distinguishes River City Law from other Edmonton law firms?
We will be a good choice for anyone who is looking for not only expert legal services, but also the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your legal matter is in the hands of a lawyer who places a high priority on delivering exceptional client service.

What is the track record of the firm?
We were established in 2000 and since then have earned the loyalty of an ever growing number of clients who come to us whenever they need help for a legal matter. For example, a client we initially helped with a real estate matter will come back to us for help with wills and estate planning.

What sets real estate lawyer Andrew Geisterfer apart from other lawyers in Edmonton?
Andrew is a real estate law specialist who has completed over a thousand real estate transactions and is recognized as one of Edmonton’s top real estate lawyers.

How can I justify the fees of a real estate lawyer when I could do the deal myself and save the lawyer fees?
Whether you are the buyer or seller of a property, you need to be aware of the rights and duties of everyone involved in the transaction. Only an experienced real estate lawyer has the training and experience required to ensure that everything that needs to be done is completed before you sign on the dotted line.

What are your lawyer fee rates?
They vary depending on the area of law and the legal matter that needs to be addressed, but in every situation you will find that our fee rates for legal services are very competitive and, more important, good value for the money.

Will I be charged every time I call a lawyer at River City Law?
No. Absolutely not. Moreover, we make every effort to answer calls promptly. On the rare occasions when there is some delay, it is because we are busy handling urgent client business.

Will I know in advance how much I am paying to engage a lawyer at River City Law?
Many of our legal services are delivered for a flat fee. For legal work that cannot be estimated exactly, we will give you an estimate based on our experience with similar legal matters.

Does River City Law handle criminal cases?
No.

Civil Litigation

On what grounds can I sue someone?
You can launch a suit if you believe someone has violated a contract or injured you.

What is "Discovery"?
This is a pre-trial step in which each party, or his or her legal representative, gets to ask the other party to answer, under oath, questions about the case.

What damages can I receive if I win a law suit?
Most often the damages are financial, but the court may also order a party to perform a duty or stop doing something.

How long does it take to get a case to court?
Very few cases actually go to court. The lawyers at River City Law always strive to reach a satisfactory outcome without going to court, which inevitably extends time lines and costs.

Real Estate Law

Should I contact a real estate lawyer before I conclude the sale or purchase of a property?
Yes, once the agreement is signed, it is too late to make changes that would protect your interests.

What are hidden liabilities?
These are liabilities, such as a property lien, that you unknowingly assume when you make a property purchase. Checking for hidden liabilities is one of the most important functions performed by your real estate lawyer.

Why does my lawyer have to be involved in the securing of a mortgage or refinancing?
Do you really know what is in the fine print of your mortgage or refinancing agreement? Remove the mystery by taking advantage of the legal guidance offered by top Edmonton real estate lawyer Andrew Geisterfer. Better still, you could also get advice on how to get a better rate.

Do you recommend the purchase of Title Insurance?
Yes. It is a small price to pay to protect yourself against Title risks or defects that could have very significant financial consequences.

Do you have any advice on how to expedite the sale or purchase of a property?
Yes, read our Free Tips on how to shorten the time required to complete a real estate sale or purchase and perhaps do better financially.

I am involved in a real estate dispute. Can you help?
Yes. Real estate lawyer Andrew Geisterfer can see solutions other less experienced lawyers might not see because he has "worked both sides of the table" and as a result knows how issues are viewed by all the parties involved.

How much are probate fees in Alberta?
The maximum fee is $400, much less than the fee charged in other provinces.

If I am having trouble filing the paper work to complete a Land Transfer, can I get help from the staff in the Land Transfer office?
The staff in the Land Transfer office are not allowed to:

  • complete your application
  • offer legal opinions
  • act as a witness

What is the usual timeline for probate?
After the application has been submitted, it takes 4-6 weeks for the grant of probate to be issued. The Executor can then begin the collection of assets, a process that can take several months or maybe even more than a year if land is involved.

Are there any special steps I should take when buying a property with a well or septic?
Yes, you should ensure that the vendor provides proof that water is fit for human consumption.

Wills & Estates

What happens if a person does not have a Will?
The estate goes to the deceased's legally married spouse, adult interdependent partner and other relatives in order of their blood relation. In situations where there are no known relatives, a Public Trustee may administer the estate.

What is the most common estate planning myth?
Thinking that estate planning is only for people over the age of 50. If you have children or have accumulated any financial assets, you need to have an estate plan.

If I am healthy and young, why do I need a Power of Attorney for personal care (designating someone to make decisions about your healthcare while you are incapacitated.)
Diseases related to old age are not the only thing that can leave you incapacitated. You can become incapacitated at any age due to a sudden illness or accident.

Legal Scenario

Leaking basement

"I moved into my new home in early January and at that time there appeared to be no issues with my basement. However, when the usual spring thaw came in April I noticed that my basement was leaking. What should I do?"

What Would Andrew Recommend?

This scenario highlights the importance of having a property inspection done before you sign a deal. A property inspector is trained to see thing you don’t see. For example, in the winter, when everything is frozen, you are not going to see any water accumulation in your basement and you may therefore assume it is dry. A trained and experience home inspector will look for stains on a wall or other indicators that there was a leak during the summer months. It’s even better if you also have the sellers expressly warrant that the property has never been subject to flooding and they are not aware of any flooding issues with the home. That way you have a legal recourse if it turns out that they were not being honest.

Meet Andrew Geisterfer Edmonton Real Estate Lawyer

Andrew Geisterfer

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