Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Notary? Why a Notary?

In one word: “TRUST”.

Societies all over the world throughout history have always needed to put their trust in a specific person to take exact notes of what happened at a certain time and place. As such, the “Notary” is one of the oldest professions in the world!

From its very conception as a colony, the Province of British Columbia entrusted “the Notary Public” with real estate and estate planning transactions and made the profession a cornerstone of the community.

BC Notaries are governed by the ‘Notaries Act of BC’, carry professional liability insurance and are subject to the discipline of their professional society. We are commissioned by the Supreme Court of British Columbia and highly trained in the provision of non-contentious services. These services include real estate transactions and assistance with estate and incapacity planning: drafting of Wills, Powers of Attorney and Representation Agreements.

Many of our actions are called notarizations since a Notary can administer oaths. These services include taking affidavits and statutory declarations, witnessing and authenticating the execution of international documents and providing certified true copies.

We are very proud to uphold this tradition of trust in the community where we live and work!


Notarizations

  1. Do I have to make an appointment?

    In general, no. You can drop by anytime between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. There are two Notaries Public at our office and one of us is usually available. However, an appointment is recommended if:

    • You have many documents;
    • A statutory holiday is coming up;
    • You would like a meeting before or after hours; or
    • You prefer peace of mind.
  2. How long does this take?

    If you have only 1 document and one of us is available, 5 minutes or less. There might of course be people waiting ahead of you…

  3. What if the document is in another language?

    In general, this should not matter as long as you know what you are about to sign and can confirm under oath that the document is truthful. However, if we are not comfortable with witnessing your signature, we will happily refer you to a colleague who speaks your language.

  4. Do you offer translation services?

    No. If you require a certified translation, you should find a translator who is certified by the Society of Translators and Interpreters of BC: www.stibc.org.

  5. What do I have to bring?

    The document(s) to be signed and “two pieces of valid government-issued identification, one of which showing your picture”.

    Examples of picture ID:

    • Driver’s licence
    • Passport
    • Permanent Residence Card
    • Citizenship Card

    Examples of other ID:

    • BC Care card
    • SIN card
    • Credit card
  6. What if I need a Certified True Copy?

    If you require a certified true copy of an original document, we need to see the original document. We do not need to see your ID.


Real Estate

  1. What documents do you require for a purchase?

    Ask your realtor to send us a copy of the purchase contract and also ask your bank or
    broker to send us the mortgage instructions if you are buying with a mortgage.

  2. What documents do you require for a sale?

    Ask your realtor to send us a copy of the sale contract.

  3. How much time to you need to prepare all the legal documents?

    We prefer to receive your purchase and sale contract ten (10) business days before the
    completion date.

  4. How much does it cost to represent us with our real estate transaction?

    Any invoice always consists of three elements: our legal fees, disbursements (which are
    costs made on your behalf) and the GST/PST. Call us for a quote!

  5. What do we bring to the meeting?

    Two pieces of valid government-issued identification.


Wills

  1. We want to make our Wills. What is the process, where do we start?

    We typically require two meetings with you: the first one to provide you with the relevant
    information, to review the law, discuss your options and take your instructions and the
    second one to review and sign the draft.

    It is very helpful if you review and complete the checklist (downloadable here) before
    the first meeting. When completed, you can email it to hilde@notarydeprez.com.

  2. Can you witness a Will that I made myself?

    No.