This article reviews the forms required when Dower rights apply. This is applicable only if you are legally married. The common law rules no longer apply in Alberta, but have been replaced by the Dower Act which grants dower rights to both the husband and wife and uses the term “spouse”.
While the content of this post should be considered reliable and informative, this should not be considered legal advice and we recommend that you contact our firm directly should you have any questions.
As a seller in Residential Real Estate, when do you need to ask about Dower?
You may be informed in the early stages of your real estate transaction as to whether the Dower Act applies. As early as the first appointment to sign your listing agreement with your Real Estate agent, you may be presented with 2 additional forms from RECA
(1) Exclusive Seller Representation Agreement Dower Consent and Acknowledgement
(2) Purchase Contract Dower Consent and Acknowledgment
These forms are to be used if:
- There is only one registered owner of the property;
- The owner is legally married (includes a separated couple not yet legally divorced but does not include a couple in a common law relationship); and
- The owner or the owner’s spouse has resided on the property at any time since marriage. This form is to be signed by the spouse of the registered owner of the property.
The spouse must also sign:
- The Exclusive Seller Representation Agreement
- The Exclusive Seller Representation Agreement Dower Consent and Acknowledgment
- The Purchase Contract
- The Purchase Contract Dower Consent and Acknowledgment
Note: This consent form is not required when there is an undischarged Release of Dower Rights registered on Title. However, the Dower Act allows for revocation of a Release of Dower Rights. Accordingly, legal advice is recommended when there is a Release of Dower Rights registered on title.
The Officiating Officer is an authorized person such as a Commissioner of Oaths or a Notary Public, the instrument is the Purchase Contract.
Take Away: Your Real Estate Agent may present you with the Dower Acknowledgement for both the listing, and the sale of your home to be signed at the same time. Your lawyer or the firm will be able to facilitate the signing of both the Dower Consent forms.