FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are your hours?

We are open during regular business hours, Monday to Friday 9-5.

Do I need an appointment.?

Yes. Just as a Doctor’s or Dentist’s office you will need an appointment. Our Notaries have many other appointments throughout the day and may not be here or may be with other clients when you arrive, so please ensure you have an appointment if you wish to see a Notary.

 

Who can guaranty my passport?

Effective October 1st, 2007, Passport Canada changed its requirements for guarantors. As long as a person, who is to act as guarantor, meets certain requirements, it is no longer necessary for a passport applicant to request the services of a Notary Public to act as guarantor.

Most Canadian adult passport holders, residing in either Canada or the United States of America, whether they be family or not, may act as guarantors as long as they meet the following criteria:

An eligible guarantor must:

-be a Canadian Citizen 18 years of age or older

- Hold a five-year Canadian Passport that is valid or has been expired for  no more than one year

- Have been 16 years of age or older when they applied for their own passport; and

-have known the applicant personally for at least two years.

What if I do not know anyone for at least two years to be my guarantor?

You can go to the passport office and pick up a document called a “Declaration in lieu of Guarantor”. You can fill this document in and our office can sign it for you.

 

What is a Travel Declaration and why do I need one?

When a child (under the age of 19) is traveling abroad, alone or with one parent or guardian, a letter may be required by the boarder patrol that contains evidence that the parent/s that are not accompanying the minor have given permission to do so. This letter is used to prevent the illegal transportation of children across boarders and to help protect our children from abduction. Our office can either sign a travel declaration that you have prepared yourself or we can prepare one in our office for a slightly higher fee. If you do not have this letter when stopped at the boarder you may be denied entry into that country. Please visit the government website for more information: www.voyage.gc.ca

 

I need to get my foreign documents Legalized/Authenticated.

We can help. When you bring a document into our office to be legalized and or authenticated, our office can send this document to our Notary Society where our signature is verified by our Society and sent back to our office. This document has now been legalized. Some documents require that they be authenticated as well. This extra step involves the document going to the foreign embassy of the documents origin so the signature of the Secretary of the Notary Society can be authenticated. This is then sent to the Attorney General of BC for another signature. Once we receive this back it is legalized and authenticated. It is however important to note that each country has separate requirements on whether a document needs only be legalized or both legalized and authenticated. Important: Canada is not part of the Hague Convention and thus cannot sign Apostille Documents.

 

Can A Notary sign my separation agreement?

No. As Notaries we are limited in our abilities by the Notaries Act. Marital law is not one of the areas a Notary is permitted to practice and thus a Lawyer should be contacted to help you.

I want to save money, can I do my own Will?

You can prepare your own will if you would like, but our office highly advises against this. For the sake of a few hundred dollars that our office will charge you to professionally prepare your will, you may be putting your whole estate at risk. The Wills Estate and Succession Act is very particular about how a will is prepared and witnessed and if you have done it incorrectly, you may be deemed to have died Intestate (meaning without a Will), or a specific gift to someone may be void. In these cases the Estate Administration Act takes over and divides up your assets,

regardless of what your homemade Will may say. Our office can prevent these events from happening as well as advise you with regards to tax implications after your death and help you plan around certain taxes as we have years of experience in preparing Wills for clients.

What can a Power of Attorney do for me?

A Power of attorney appoints someone to become your attorney for the purposes of financial matters on your behalf. These do not include medical decisions; that is what representation agreements are for. A Power of attorney immediately becomes void upon the death of the donor. If you are granting a power of attorney to someone for the purpose of completing a purchase of a house for you while you are away, make sure you check with your bank (if you are getting a mortgage) to ensure that they allow your attorney to sign a mortgage on your behalf, as some banks do not allow this.

 

Do I qualify for a first time home buyer exemption?

Click here for a complete PDF list of the requirements

Please note that Manufactured homes are not included in these requirements, meaning that you may still be considered a first time homebuyer even though you have owned a manufactured home. You may also still be considered a first time home buyer if you previously owned a property but never lived in it; this can be evident in people buying bare land or rental properties and still being considered a first time home buyer.

How Much times does a Notary need to do a Purchase or Sale of a Property?

Well that all depends. Usually we are at the mercy of other institutions when doing transaction for you. We would like to have at least 2 weeks from the time the subjects are removed on your contract to the completion date. For sales we can do it a bit quicker than that, however if you have a mortgage on your title that needs to be cleared off, our office is at the mercy of the bank until they provide us with the mortgage payout statement. Some banks may take 2 weeks to get this to us; others give it to us the next day. It all depends on your bank. With a Purchase we must order your mortgage proceeds usually 3-7 days before the completion date, so if you want our office to do a purchase for you the next day and you are getting a mortgage, we may not have enough time to order these mortgage funds from the bank. The more time the better is our motto. It takes time to prepare these documents for you and to order things like your insurance policy or strata documents. Two weeks is ideal, however we understand that you may be in a bit of a time crush and if we feel we have enough time to do this for you we will do everything we can to ensure it completes on time.

Can your office check over my Private Contract of purchase and sale?

Yes we can, however we do charge for this service just as if we were preparing a new contract for you all together. The reason for this is that we check every aspect of this contract for you to ensure you are fully protected. Our office will not just quickly skim over a contract for you and tell you it is good enough. Most of the time we end up preparing a whole new contract for you because there may be something we either do not like in the contract or want to put in the contract to better protect you. It is important to note however that if you are bringing in a contract that has already been signed by both parties, even if you think it is just a draft, it may be too late. You may have already inadvertently entered yourself into a contract. Once a contract is signed it is valid and binding, so be careful. If you are unfamiliar with contracts or such acts as the Builders Lien Act or any other legislature out there created for contracts of real estate, we recommend that you call our office for us to prepare a private contract for you. If you are comfortable preparing a contract yourself then simply drop it off at our office once the subjects have been removed and we will help you with the conveyance, however you will be taking your own liability in your hands in regards to the contract you prepared or accepted.

What is the difference between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common?

Joint tenancy means the owners to the property are all equal owners with the right of survivorship. This means if you buy a property with your spouse as Joint Tenants and one of you were to pass away, the survivor will automatically inherit the others portion. This portion of the property that the deceased owned will not need to be probated and thus not taxed upon death. Tenancy in Common on the other hand does not need to be equal. Any owner can own any portion they wish, such as 99% to 1%. When an owner dies their portion will not go to the other owners, but instead form part of their estate and then divided up as per their Will.

Do I qualify for a first time home buyer exemption?

Click here for a complete PDF list of the requirements

Please note that Manufactured homes are not included in these requirements, meaning that you may still be considered a first time homebuyer even though you have owned a manufactured home. You may also still be considered a first time home buyer if you previously owned a property but never lived in it; this can be evident in people buying bare land or rental properties and still being considered a first time home buyer.

Who can guaranty my passport?

Effective October 1st, 2007, Passport Canada changed its requirements for guarantors. As long as a person, who is to act as guarantor, meets certain requirements, it is no longer necessary for a passport applicant to request the services of a Notary Public to act as guarantor.

Most Canadian adult passport holders, residing in either Canada or the United States of America, whether they be family or not, may act as guarantors as long as they meet the following criteria:

An eligible guarantor must:

-be a Canadian Citizen 18 years of age or older

- Hold a five-year Canadian Passport that is valid or has been expired for  no more than one year

- Have been 16 years of age or older when they applied for their own passport; and

-have known the applicant personally for at least two years.

What if I do not know anyone for at least two years to be my guarantor?

You can go to the passport office and pick up a document called a “Declaration in lieu of Guarantor”. You can fill this document in and our office can sign it for you.

 

What is a Travel Declaration and why do I need one?

When a child (under the age of 19) is traveling abroad, alone or with one parent or guardian, a letter may be required by the boarder patrol that contains evidence that the parent/s that are not accompanying the minor have given permission to do so. This letter is used to prevent the illegal transportation of children across boarders and to help protect our children from abduction. Our office can either sign a travel declaration that you have prepared yourself or we can prepare one in our office for a slightly higher fee. If you do not have this letter when stopped at the boarder you may be denied entry into that country. Please visit the government website for more information: www.voyage.gc.ca

 

I need to get my foreign documents Legalized/Authenticated.

We can help. When you bring a document into our office to be legalized and or authenticated, our office can send this document to our Notary Society where our signature is verified by our Society and sent back to our office. This document has now been legalized. Some documents require that they be authenticated as well. This extra step involves the document going to the foreign embassy of the documents origin so the signature of the Secretary of the Notary Society can be authenticated. This is then sent to the Attorney General of BC for another signature. Once we receive this back it is legalized and authenticated. It is however important to note that each country has separate requirements on whether a document needs only be legalized or both legalized and authenticated. Important: Canada is not part of the Hague Convention and thus cannot sign Apostille Documents.

 

Can A Notary sign my separation agreement?

No. As Notaries we are limited in our abilities by the Notaries Act. Marital law is not one of the areas a Notary is permitted to practice and thus a Lawyer should be contacted to help you.

I want to save money, can I do my own Will?

You can prepare your own will if you would like, but our office highly advises against this. For the sake of a few hundred dollars that our office will charge you to professionally prepare your will, you may be putting your whole estate at risk. The Wills Estate and Succession Act is very particular about how a will is prepared and witnessed and if you have done it incorrectly, you may be deemed to have died Intestate (meaning without a Will), or a specific gift to someone may be void. In these cases the Estate Administration Act takes over and divides up your assets,

regardless of what your homemade Will may say. Our office can prevent these events from happening as well as advise you with regards to tax implications after your death and help you plan around certain taxes as we have years of experience in preparing Wills for clients.

How Much times does a Notary need to do a Purchase or Sale of a Property?

Well that all depends. Usually we are at the mercy of other institutions when doing transaction for you. We would like to have at least 2 weeks from the time the subjects are removed on your contract to the completion date. For sales we can do it a bit quicker than that, however if you have a mortgage on your title that needs to be cleared off, our office is at the mercy of the bank until they provide us with the mortgage payout statement. Some banks may take 2 weeks to get this to us; others give it to us the next day. It all depends on your bank. With a Purchase we must order your mortgage proceeds usually 3-7 days before the completion date, so if you want our office to do a purchase for you the next day and you are getting a mortgage, we may not have enough time to order these mortgage funds from the bank. The more time the better is our motto. It takes time to prepare these documents for you and to order things like your insurance policy or strata documents. Two weeks is ideal, however we understand that you may be in a bit of a time crush and if we feel we have enough time to do this for you we will do everything we can to ensure it completes on time.

Can your office check over my Private Contract of purchase and sale?

Yes we can, however we do charge for this service just as if we were preparing a new contract for you all together. The reason for this is that we check every aspect of this contract for you to ensure you are fully protected. Our office will not just quickly skim over a contract for you and tell you it is good enough. Most of the time we end up preparing a whole new contract for you because there may be something we either do not like in the contract or want to put in the contract to better protect you. It is important to note however that if you are bringing in a contract that has already been signed by both parties, even if you think it is just a draft, it may be too late. You may have already inadvertently entered yourself into a contract. Once a contract is signed it is valid and binding, so be careful. If you are unfamiliar with contracts or such acts as the Builders Lien Act or any other legislature out there created for contracts of real estate, we recommend that you call our office for us to prepare a private contract for you. If you are comfortable preparing a contract yourself then simply drop it off at our office once the subjects have been removed and we will help you with the conveyance, however you will be taking your own liability in your hands in regards to the contract you prepared or accepted.

What is the difference between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common?

Joint tenancy means the owners to the property are all equal owners with the right of survivorship. This means if you buy a property with your spouse as Joint Tenants and one of you were to pass away, the survivor will automatically inherit the others portion. This portion of the property that the deceased owned will not need to be probated and thus not taxed upon death. Tenancy in Common on the other hand does not need to be equal. Any owner can own any portion they wish, such as 99% to 1%. When an owner dies their portion will not go to the other owners, but instead form part of their estate and then divided up as per their Will.

What can a Power of Attorney do for me?

A Power of attorney appoints someone to become your attorney for the purposes of financial matters on your behalf. These do not include medical decisions; that is what representation agreements are for. A Power of attorney immediately becomes void upon the death of the donor. If you are granting a power of attorney to someone for the purpose of completing a purchase of a house for you while you are away, make sure you check with your bank (if you are getting a mortgage) to ensure that they allow your attorney to sign a mortgage on your behalf, as some banks do not allow this.

 

Do I need an appointment.?

Yes. Just as a Doctor’s or Dentist’s office you will need an appointment. Our Notaries have many other appointments throughout the day and may not be here or may be with other clients when you arrive, so please ensure you have an appointment if you wish to see a Notary.

 

What are your hours?

We are open during regular business hours, Monday to Friday 9-5.