What is the Role of the Notary Public in Will and Estate Planning?

Have you secured your assets legally? If not, then what are you waiting for? It’s the right time to take action. Do you know that over 50% of people in Surrey, British Columbia, have their assets legally secured? The next one can be you. You can also secure your assets legally with the help of estate planning services offered by a notary public.

Do you know what the biggest advantage of a notary public is for you? When you are busy building your empire, the notary public works on securing it.

Today we will cover topics like “What is a Will?” “What will happen if we don’t have a will?” “What is estate planning, and how can it benefit us?”

What is a Will?

A Will is a legal document that outlines your wishes and how your assets are going to be distributed after your death among your family and loved ones. If you are concerned about appointing a guardian for your minor children after you, your will and last testament can help!  Some people ask, “Do Wills in BC need to be notarized?”

  • No, it doesn’t need to be notarized to be considered legal.

But if you want legal advice for wills, then you must consult a notary public. They will help you with all your concerns.  

What Will Happen if You Don’t Have a Will?

In case you don’t have a will and any mishap happens or, unfortunately, if you pass away, then the courts will have the authority to decide how your money and property will be distributed, and it may or may not be the way you want.

Let’s say that even if you make a will, if, due to any condition, it is not considered legal, then it will also land you in trouble. That is why people hire a notary public to take care of all their legal matters and safeguard their clients’ interests.

Now, let us understand estate planning.

What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning involves the preparation of wills and powers of attorney.

On the whole, estate planning is a proactive and thoughtful process that involves creating a comprehensive plan for the distribution of your assets, addressing financial matters, and outlining your final wishes.

Estate planning encompasses various aspects such as designating beneficiaries, planning for charitable contributions, and even outlining funeral arrangements, including a will.

Why is Estate Planning Important?

Estate planning is essential for several reasons, like: 

Overall, estate planning provides peace of mind and ensures that your assets and loved ones are protected according to your wishes.

So now we have a basic understanding of notary wills and estate planning, along with their importance. But before getting to know the role of the notary public in wills and estate planning, let us first get some clarity about the notary public.

What is a Notary Public?

In British Columbia, notaries public are licensed attorneys with the authority to offer the general public a wide range of non-contentious legal services, such as drafting wills, powers of attorney, health care directives, and statutory declarations.

The Notaries Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 334, Section 18, defines the responsibilities and authority of a notary public.

Now that we know what a notary public is, let us carefully understand the role of a notary public in wills and estate planning in Surrey, BC, Canada.

The Role of the Notary Public in Wills and Estate Planning

To guarantee the legitimacy and authenticity of significant legal documents, the involvement of a notary public in wills and estate planning is essential.  A notary public is a qualified official with the power to carry out many legal functions, such as:

Witnessing Signatures

One of the major functions of a notary public is to witness the signing of legal documents. A notary public is responsible for verifying the identity of the signatories and ensuring that the individuals are willingly and knowingly signing the document.

Verifying The Signatures

One of the most important roles of a notary public in wills and estate planning is to verify the signatures of everyone concerned. Officials of the notary public are responsible for ensuring that the signatures are done voluntarily.

Verifying Identities

Notaries public are responsible for verifying the identities of the individuals signing the documents. They examine identification documents, such as passports or driver's licenses, to ensure that the signatories are who they claim to be.

Certifying Copies

A notary public has the authority to certify copies of specific documents, stating that the copies are authentic and correct copies of the originals. This can be useful when official copies are required for various purposes, such as legal procedures or submissions to the government.

Maintaining Records

Notary publics are required to maintain proper records of the documents they notarize. This record-keeping is essential for future reference should any disputes or legal issues arise regarding the will or estate planning. These records act as evidence of the authenticity and execution of the documents, providing a valuable resource in case of any challenges to the validity of the will.

Notarization of Documents

After verifying the signatures and administering oaths, a notary public will affix their official seal or stamp to the document. This act is known as notarization. Notarization serves as a clear indication that the signatures are genuine and the document has been properly executed. Notarization adds a level of formality and credibility to the will or estate planning document, making it legally binding.

Providing Notarial Certificates

Upon completing the notarization process, a notary public issues a notarial certificate. A notarial certificate serves as proof that the document has been properly notarized and can be relied upon as an official record. You can experience peace of mind knowing that your wills and estate planning documents have been meticulously executed and witnessed in full compliance with legal requirements, ensuring their validity and effectiveness. Are you looking for trusted notary public services in Surrey? Parminder Makkar Notary Public specializes in wills and estates, offering expert advice and assistance. We understand the importance of estate planning, provide professional legal advice for wills, and aim to secure your assets legally.