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Frequently Asked Questions

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I don’t need to be present for the notary to witness my signature.

When a document requires notarization there must be proof that the person mentioned in the document was present and signed in front of the Notary Public. They must also provide two pieces of valid identification to prove that they are the individual in question. Therefore, you must sign in the presence of the Notary.

All the Notary has to do is sign and stamp my document. It will only take a minute. It’s just a signature…

It is the Notary’s duty to ensure the individual signing has a complete understanding and agreement of the document he/she is entering into and therefore, a Notary should never sign a document without having read and fully understood the document first.

A Notary can sign a document prepared in a foreign language.

I will not notarize a document written in a foreign language without the English translation.

A Notary can witness a separation agreement; it just needs to be “notarized”.

It is against the Notaries Act to practice within the Family Relations Act. A separation agreement is an extremely important document. All parties should seek independent Legal Advice and sign in the presence of a Family Law lawyer. Again, Notaries do not practice family law, and therefore, our office will not witness any of the signatures.

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I need to book an appointment for a deal closing next month.

While clients are encouraged to contact our office as soon as possible to ensure a smooth and efficient transaction, on most files, we cannot book an appointment until we have been fully instructed by all of the appropriate offices and the documents prepared.

Once I sign mortgage documents with my broker I don’t need to sign anything else.

Unfortunately no, even after the broker has signed up the clients, the bank still has to instruct our office. We prepare all bank documents to meet their requirements for funding the mortgage and registration in the appropriate registry.

I don’t have a mortgage on my property; I have a line of credit – so I have a clear title.

Your line of credit is secured by a mortgage registered over the property and therefore, you have a mortgage.

How is the Property Transfer Tax calculated and what exemptions are available?

Property Transfer Tax is calculated as follows: 1% on the first $200,000 plus 2% on the balance of its market value.
The most common exemption for not paying the property transfer tax is a First-Time Home Buyer exemption. For greater detail and to see if you qualify for an exemption I recommend the property transfer tax website.


Why do I need a Notary, when I am selling my home?

If you have charges on your title that need to be release at the Land Title office or services to the property that are in arrears that will need to be paid from the sale proceeds you will require legal representation.

Your Notary will need to accept and give professional undertakings from, and to, the purchaser’s representative to pay or provide proof of payment of these charges or services from the sale proceeds prior to you receiving your money.

What is a survey certificate?

A survey certificate provided by a BC Land Surveyor is an accurately measured diagram of the footprint of the improvements to a property and its relation to the boundaries of the lot.

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I’ve prepared a will at home on my computer and now I need it notarized.

Wills do not need to be “notarized”, they can be witnessed by two independent adults who are of legal age (in B. C. 19 years) and who are not named or related to individuals named in the will. My office will not witness homemade wills or wills that have been prepared outside my office.

What if I want to cut someone out of my Will?

In British Columbia the will maker has a legal obligation to their spouse and children (whether natural or adopted).

Under the Wills Variation Act, after you have died, and your will has been distributed to your beneficiaries for review, your spouse and children have a legal right to go to court and ask a Judge to change your will if they feel that they have been treated unfairly. Other family members (such as a parent, sibling or cousin), and your friends do not have this right; only your spouse and children do.

What if I want my money held “in trust” for my children until they reach the age of 35?

It is against the Notaries Act for a Notary Public to draw up a trust will; my office can prepare a will that provides for the assets of the Will maker to be disbursed to the beneficiaries at the age of majority, (in B.C. 19 years).

My Dad is in the hospital, can you make a hospital visit?

Yes, I make hospital visits; however, there is an extra fee for this service. As well, you may need to have a note from your Dad’s Doctor stating that he has the capacity to give instructions for a new will. Please call my office for details.