Family patrimony was added to the Civil Code of Québec in 1989 in order to put an end to certain inequalities, particularly in cases when couples had opted for a regime of separation as to property. This would often happen when one of the spouses had not entered the labour market in order to care for children, for example. Family patrimony rules thus attempt to foster economic equality between spouses.
Separation from bed and board can only result from a court judgment which sets out the legal effects of separation, including custody, child support and the partition of certain property.
If you’re wondering whether you should rewrite your will or just add a codicil, your notary can help by explaining why a codicil is not the right solution. For example, if you want to change multiple provisions of your will, the codicil may end up costing as much as a new will because of its complexity. Additionally, a codicil lets everyone involved see both the original will and the updates, which may cause resentment among your loved ones after your death. By drafting a new will, you make sure any changes remain confidential. Furthermore, it is possible that a notary will refuse to receive a codicil even if it is legally possible. The reasons for this can be diverse and it is up to the notary to explain them to you.
In the absence of a will, the law that determines who your heirs will be. Under the law, heirs are determined by filiation, with the exception of the spouse (married or civil union) of the deceased. The choice of heirs depends on different factors, including whether children, a spouse, parents or siblings have survived the deceased. For example, if a deceased person was married, had two children and four siblings, the heirs will be the spouse and the two children, as the law gives priority to children over siblings. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
An amicable separation agreement provides for all the consequences of the separation.
No rights arise from a de facto union. Even if you spend your entire life with your de facto spouse, this does not make you their legal heir. To avoid this situation, a will in your favour is required. In the absence of a will, the immediate family of the deceased will inherit all their property.
The law provides that divorce automatically entails the annulment of legacies made in favour of the former spouse if the divorce took place after 1994. You must make sure that your divorce judgment has actually been rendered by contacting the court office or consulting the Register of Civil Status. However, the testator may have clearly expressed their will that the divorce does not annul the legacy. It is possible some clauses and terms of the will may still be effective. We invite you to consult a notary who will read the will and the divorce judgment and tell you what applies to your case.
Some social or fiscal laws give de facto spouse couples (opposite-sex or same-sex) the same rights as married spouses. Each of these laws establishes its own criteria (duration of cohabitation, existence of a child, etc.) for the recognition of certain legal effects of de facto union. But be careful: this is the exception and not the rule!
In the absence of a will, the law determines who inherits your property. The succession is then called “legal” or “intestate.”
The value of the family patrimony is established on the basis of fair market value. However, certain deductions are allowed. Since the calculation of these deductions can sometimes be complex, it is best to consult the appropriate legal specialist.
The area of expertise of notaries is vast, both in traditional and non-traditional areas.
In a real estate transaction (sale of a home, condo or piece of property), the notary works for both the seller and the buyer, even though he or she is chosen by the buyer. As the notary works for both parties, each party must cover the costs associated with the verifications and disbursements made on its behalf.
Whether under a power of attorney or protection mandate given in case of incapacity, a mandatary must act with prudence, diligence, loyalty, honesty and in the best interests of the mandator, within the limits of their mandate and in accordance with the powers vested in them. A mandatary appointed in a protection mandate must, in particular, protect the incapable person, ensure their moral and material well-being and administer their assets. They must also have the mandate of a person who is incapable homologated by a court so that it can become legally effective. If a mandatary can no longer act for any reason, they must take the necessary steps to name a replacement. At the end of their mandate, they must render accounts to the mandator or the liquidator of the mandator’s succession. Furthermore, it is preferable for the mandatary to make an inventory of the mandator’s assets upon beginning administration. For the rest, they must refer to the power of attorney or protection mandate to determine the mandatary’s rights and obligations. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
With the entry into force of this law, the curatorships will be transformed into tutorships. The legal representative—the curator who has now become a tutor—will retain the same rights and obligations as before, but will no longer have full administration of the property and will henceforth simply be in charge of the administration of the property.
The will may provide for the method in which the liquidator may renounce or resign. If not, a liquidator who decides to renounce their responsibilities after accepting them must notify the heirs or replacement liquidator(s) in writing if they are named in the will, render an account of the administration done so far to the heirs and replacement liquidator(s), and obtain a discharge from the heirs. Other parties involved in the succession may have specific requirements in this regard. It is best to check with them.
It is possible to cancel a power of attorney at any time. A revocation must be signed, and preferably notarized.
A liquidator is an administrator of a succession’s property. They are responsible for ensuring the complete execution of the deceased’s wishes and performing each of the steps in the liquidation of a succession. Any succession, whether it be testamentary or legal (without a will, also known as an intestate succession), must be settled by a liquidator. The person designated as liquidator is usually a trusted relative or friend of the testator. In a legal succession, this role is given to the heirs. They can perform their duties collectively, share the tasks, or designate one heir to act as liquidator. If the heirs do not agree among themselves, the court will appoint the liquidator of the succession. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.Dans une succession légale, ce rôle est dévolu aux héritiers. Ces derniers peuvent jouer collectivement ce rôle, se partager les tâches ou encore désigner l'un d'entre eux pour agir à titre de liquidateur. Si les héritiers ne s'entendent pas entre eux, c'est le tribunal qui désignera le liquidateur de la succession. Nous vous invitons à communiquer avec un notaire pour plus d'informations sur vos droits et vos obligations.
Adopting a child is a long and rigorous process that must be carried out with the best interests of the child in mind and in accordance with the child’s rights.
No rights arise from a de facto union. In other words, in the event of a separation between de facto spouses, there will be no mandatory partition of property without a prior agreement. A cohabitation contract covers the various familial and financial aspects of persons who live together, both during their union and upon separation. It may, for example: – Establish several aspects of shared life – List the property belonging to each person before they lived together and that acquired while they lived together – Specify aspects related to shared ownership – Provide for compensation when one of the spouses stays at home or works part-time to care for the children A cohabitation contract may be modified at any time, provided that both spouses agree. We invite you to consult a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
The notary can support you throughout the process for the purchase of a business, with your financing needs and even in the acquisition of a building to house your company.
Under tax laws, a non-resident who sells property in Canada must notify tax authorities of this transaction to request the issuance of a certificate of compliance and send a percentage of the estimated capital gain to the federal and provincial tax authorities at least 30 days before the transaction. If there is a difference between the notice and the transaction, the seller has 10 days to send the missing information and payment to the tax authorities. If these notices are not sent, the tax authorities will turn to the buyer who will have to pay a percentage of the total amount of the transaction (not only based on the capital gain). The buyer is therefore authorized by law to withhold these sums from the sale price and may mandate a notary for this purpose. The notary is thus required to withhold a percentage of the sale price until they have obtained a certificate of compliance from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Québec.
Spouses who have not established their matrimonial regime by contract before the celebration of their marriage are subject to the regime of partnership of acquests. In short, the assets of each spouse will include the proceeds of their work, property acquired during the marriage, and the fruits and income from all their property. Property owned by each spouse before the marriage and property inherited or given to them during the marriage will not be subject to partition.
According to the Civil Code of Québec, a seller is required to deliver the property and warrant its right of ownership and quality (legal warranty). In terms of quality, this is the seller’s warranty that property and its accessories are, at the time if the sale, free from latent defects that render them unfit for their intended use, or so diminish their usefulness that the buyer would not have bought them or would have paid a lesser price if the defect had been known. It is therefore important for the seller to declare all defects that are known. For those that are unknown, the seller remains liable if they correspond to what is mentioned above. If a seller wants protection against claims for latent defects, it may be stipulated in the purchase offer and subsequently in the act of sale that the sale will be made without legal warranty, at the buyer’s risk. It will then be presumed that the buyer renounces the warranty of quality against latent defects. To find out if you have a latent defect claim, refer to your contract to see how the clause was drafted. The possibility to sue under legal warranty exists only against those who sold with a legal warranty. A buyer may sue the person who sold to them or one of the previous sellers in the chain of title. However, when a seller sells a property without a legal warranty, only subsequent owners may be sued. There are exceptions to this rule, in particular where there has been bad faith. We invite you to consult your notary to determine if this applies to your situation.
To make a will, you must be able to understand and express your wishes. An incapable person is not able to care for themselves or administer their property as a result of an illness, disability or impairment caused by age, impairing their mental or physical capacity. But a person who is incapable is not automatically incapable of making a will—it all depends on the degree of incapacity. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
Drawing up a will or a protection mandate is a juridical act that only notaries and lawyers are authorized to do for others. If a person offers you their services to draw up your will or power of attorney and they are not a notary or lawyer, they are exceeding their rights. The Chambre des notaires must be informed of the existence of such a practice. Do not hesitate to contact us.
The inspection clause included in purchase offers is used to determine the condition of a property. The inspection will make it possible for the buyer to decide whether or not to purchase the property or request a price reduction should the inspection reveal problems as described in the clause. In all cases, the terms of the inspection clause contained in the offer must be followed. Even if inspection is not a legal obligation to benefit from latent defect remedies, a prudent and diligent buyer should require one to supplement their construction knowledge and better evaluate the short, medium and long-term expenses that the purchase will entail. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
The answer to this question requires reading the deceased’s will. We invite you to contact your notary to see what has been planned if one of the heirs dies before the testator. Depending on what the will provides, it is possible that the deceased heir’s share may be redistributed to the others or that the children of the deceased legatee may receive that share through what is called representation. Consult a notary to have them analyze the situation and answer your question.
The responsibility for settling a succession rests with the liquidator (formerly the “executor”) named in the will. In the case of a legal succession (where the deceased did not leave a will, also known as an intestate succession), it is the heirs who collectively act as liquidator. They can then divide the tasks among themselves or designate one of them or any other person as liquidator. The liquidator may use the services of a notary, who may manage the entire process and assist the liquidator in his task. Given the complexity inherent to the liquidation of a succession and the legal risks associated with certain actions (such as liability for the payment of the deceased’s debts), it is more prudent to consult a notary.
In principle, a buyer is responsible for property, municipal and school taxes as soon as the contract is signed at the notary’s office or on the date of taking possession of the immovable, as provided for in the promise to purchase. For taxes already paid, an adjustment will be made between the seller and the buyer at the notary’s office. The buyer will then pay the taxes directly. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
The law makes no mention of this subject. The mandate itself must thus be consulted to determine whether the rendering of accounts is provided for, and, if so, to whom it must be made. We invite you to read the protection mandate carefully. If the document is not clear, contact a notary for an opinion on the matter. For now, it is preferable to include a rendering of accounts clause in a protection mandate. With the entry into effect of the Act to amend the Civil Code, the Code of Civil Procedure and the Public Curator Act, mandataries will be required to render account of their administration to a designated person. If no person is designated in the protection mandate, one will be selected by the court. The designated person may be a relative or a professional. If there is no person who may be appointed to act, the Public Curator may be appointed to receive the accounts of the mandatary.
A notary will send the creditor the loan repayment, have the acquittance signed and then file it in the land register so that the mortgage discharge can be registered. There are administrative delays with the creditor for reviewing the draft acquittance and with the land register for processing the application for registration of the acquittance. It is thus normal for several weeks to go by before you receive the signed published document. If you are a seller and your notary has withheld funds in their trust account for the payment of their fees, be aware that they may not collect them until the acquittance is published. Once this is done, they should send you the invoice, marked “Paid,” to inform you that the work has been done and paid for. In practice, the seller does not necessarily receive a copy of the acquittance, as it will be sent to the buyer with the titles of ownership. However, if you wish to obtain one, we invite you to contact your notary. If you have not received anything after several months, send a written request to the notary in question, indicating that they have ten days to comply. If you still do not get your documents, you may file a request for an inquiry with the Office of the Syndic of the Chambre des notaires.
Formerly known as a mandate in case of incapacity, a protection mandate is a document that makes it possible to determine, in advance, how assets will be managed or protected and how decisions regarding personal protection (e.g., medical care, lodging, spiritual guidance) will be taken should incapacity be declared.
During the marriage ceremony, the officiant reads certain sections of the Civil Code of Québec to the intended spouses in the presence of two witnesses, who will then all sign the declaration of marriage.
In Quebec, a declaration of heredity may be required when a person dies without a will. Its purpose is to identify who are the heirs of the deceased. It does not necessarily have to be a notarial act, although many institutions require that to ensure that the declaration is made in accordance with the law. If there is a will or a testamentary clause in a marriage contract, there is no need for a declaration of heredity. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
In Quebec, the sale of a secondary residence is taxable, regardless of how you use the proceeds. However, Revenu Québec and Revenu Canada allow you to designate your secondary residence as your principal residence, which will avoid having to pay capital gains tax when you sell it. You may designate a property as your principal residence if you, your spouse or former spouse, or your child normally used the property as a place of residence in the year. In addition, the designation of a property as a principal residence may only be made if all the conditions prescribed by law are met. Note that you and your spouse are entitled to only one principal residence per year. Therefore, if you own another property that also qualifies as a principal residence, you will have to choose which one you wish to have the principal residence exemption for. We invite you to contact an accountant or tax specialist to find out if you meet all the conditions prescribed by law. They may fill out the principal residence designation forms on your behalf.
Support may be changed by a new judgment or an agreement ratified by the court. A change in either spouse’s circumstances is grounds for a request for review. You may make a joint application to the court if an amicable settlement is possible. The Homologation Assistance Service was created to assist parents who are in agreement with each other to obtain a modified judgment at a lower cost. If no agreement can be reached, you will have to file an application for review with the court and a judge will then rule on the matter.
Where the buyers’ contribution is different at the time of purchase, a notary may draw up an agreement so that the sale amount is distributed according to established proportions. If no mention is made in the contract at the time of purchase, it is presumed that the property is held in equal shares and the proceeds of the sale will be partitioned in two equal shares. However, sellers may give written and signed instructions to the notary to distribute the proceeds of the sale otherwise. Where there are conflicting instructions from the sellers, the notary may not proceed with the partition and will rather hand over a cheque made out jointly in the name of both vendors.
It is possible to contest the rendering of accounts submitted by the liquidator, request clarifications, consult supporting documents and make a proposal for partition. If you contest the rendering of accounts, the discharge of the liquidator and the delivery of the property to the heirs will be postponed because the liquidator may only proceed after the final account has been accepted. If the rendering of accounts and acceptance cannot be achieved amicably, the law provides that it will be necessary to go to court. Your notary is the one who can inform you about this.
There are two ways to remove a dishonest mandatary. First, a report may be filed with Public Curator, who will investigate and intervene with the mandatary or apply to the court to have the mandate revoked. Second, any interested person may apply to the court to have the mandate revoked if it is not faithfully performed or for other serious reasons. If the mandate is revoked, protective supervision will be instituted.
The notarial will and any amendments made to it before a notary do not have to be verified through a probate procedure. Since the law recognizes notaries as public officers, they confer authenticity that obviates the need for verification on the wills they execute. This is why a notarial will takes legal effect at the very moment of death.
Generally, the last step to settle a succession is the final rendering of accounts. The various steps to settle the succession that have been completed are set out in a document, which may include details on the partition between the heirs. It will also include an acquittance signed by the heirs, releasing the liquidator from their administration and responsibilities, as the heirs have received their inheritance. We invite you to contact your notary to determine what step you have reached and how you should proceed thereafter. They will also help you with your rendering of accounts. Note also that the law provides that the liquidator must report on their administration annually if the liquidation of the succession lasts more than one year. In the annual rendering of accounts, the liquidator must inform the heirs of the steps that have been taken and those that remain to be taken.
Since the entry into force of the new Code of Civil Procedure, notaries are required to inform the heirs and persons who would have inherited in the absence of a will of a deceased’s will. If a liquidator refuses to provide you with a copy of the will and it is a notarial will, you may contact the notary who executed the will. If the notary also refuses to give you a copy, consult a lawyer to apply to the court to have a notarial act issued. If it is a will that has been probated, you may request a copy from the notary who probated or the court office.
In the event of a separation, the assessment of each spouse’s share is made on a case-by-case basis. There is no mathematical formula to establish it. The agreement reached between the parties will prevail, and if no agreement is reached, negotiations will be required. The best way to estimate the market value of a property is to have it appraised by a chartered appraiser. However, it is possible to agree on the value to be attributed to a property.
The marriage contract allows you to determine how your property will be managed for the duration of your life as a couple. The rules may be established by the spouses, but they must comply with the provisions of the Civil Code of Québec. That way, if you separate or divorce or if one of you dies, you will have already established how your property will be partitioned and who will be liable for debts. To be completely valid, this official document must be notarized.
Unless the will stipulates remuneration, the liquidators, if they are also heirs, are not remunerated and are entitled only to the reimbursement of their expenses. If they are not heirs, the law provides that they are entitled to reasonable remuneration. That said, remuneration may vary. It may be a percentage calculated on the gross assets of the succession, an hourly rate, a lump sum or simply a gratuity. The percentage may also vary. We invite you to contact your notary who will advise you on this subject.
By choosing a notary to officiate your marriage, you will benefit from personalized legal advice about the undertaking and can rest assured that the rules surrounding its legality will be respected.
Liquidating (settling) a succession involves several steps that must be carried out in accordance with the law. They begin on the day of death and continue until the final handing over of the property to the heirs.
To find an acquittance, you may ask your notary to perform a search in the index of immovables in the land register. You may also perform this search yourself by identifying yourself as an occasional user on the Land Register of Québec website or going to the land registry office in person. You will see the registration of the mortgage to be cancelled in the index of immovables, but not the acquittance. You will, however, find its registration number on the same line as the mortgage itself. If this number is underlined, clicking on it will take you directly to the acquittance, which you can then read and print if necessary. If it is not underlined, you will have to look it up by consulting acts and indicating the registration number. You will find the lot numbers required for such a search on your purchase or mortgage contract. They can also be obtained from the property assessment office of the municipality where the property is located. If the acquittance has not been published in the Land Register, only the notary who was mandated to prepare it is able to fulfill your request.
Yes, a copy of a will always bear a seal. It may be a dry seal that embosses the paper or a coloured, gummed seal. A notary always keeps the original of a will in a safe place. What is given to the testator, and what the heirs will consult later, is an authentic copy of the original. The word “authentic” is used because the copy prepared by the notary is not a simple photocopy, but a document bearing, in addition to the seal, a statement that the copy is true to the original. Finally, an authentic copy bears the handwritten signature of the notary.
Couples, whether or not they are married or in a civil union, often buy property and then become co-owners through joint ownership. In this situation, it is recommended that the main rules surrounding things like the management of the property be set out in writing. Notaries can advise the spouses on the scope of the agreement and draw up the act to that effect. This act may also provide for:
In principle, when a person is recognized as incapable and does not have a protection mandate, protective supervision will be instituted and a person or persons will be appointed as administrator(s) of the person’s property. (Under current law, this is a tutorship or curatorship of a person of full age. After Bill 18 comes into force, a tutor will be appointed to the property and the person recognized as incapable may retain certain rights to administer property). Thus, all property is received in the name of the incapable person, but is administered by the tutor or curator (after Bill 18 comes into force, the tutor). If protective supervision has not been instituted, the incapable person’s family should contact a notary to begin the process.
Couples cannot decide for themselves the amount of child support, and must comply with the scale established by law.
Anyone can make a notarial will in Quebec, whether or not they are domiciled or own property there. However, to facilitate the liquidation of their succession, such person must ensure that their will can be found by their liquidator and that the will is recognized outside Quebec. We invite you to contact a notary for more information.
Mediation may require from three to five meetings lasting one or two hours each, and sometimes more depending on the complexity of the case.
Previously known as the “mandate given in anticipation of incapacity,” a protection mandate is a document that allows you to determine the management and/or protection of your property in advance in case you are ever declared incapable. It also covers decisions about personal protection, such as medical care, accommodation and spiritual guidance.
A patrimonial inventory is an inventory of your assets and liabilities, including bank accounts, investments, insurance policies, residential property, and all other elements of your estate and debts. This inventory also identifies the location of your property, digital assets and investments, including the name and address of the institutions where your bank accounts are located and other important documents and details.
Wills are confidential documents. Upon the death of the testator, only the persons affected by the succession may consult it. An heir may ask the liquidator for a copy of the provisions of the will that concern them. If a person is named as a legatee by particular title of material property identified in the will, they have the right to obtain information concerning their legacy. If they are designated the legatee of a share of the entirety of deceased’s property, they may request a full copy of the will, not just a part of it. Note, however, that since the entry into force of the new Code of Civil Procedure, notaries are required to inform the heirs and the persons who would have inherited in the absence of a will of the existence of a deceased’s will. If a notary refuses to do so, an application may be filed with the court. We invite you to search the Register of Testamentary Dispositions of the Chambre des notaires du Québec and the Barreau du Québec to find the name of the notary who executed the last will.
Notaries have the expertise to guide and protect you throughout the process of buying or selling a property. Their advice will help you avoid many missteps, especially in the following situations.
Unlike a power of attorney, a protection mandate has no legal effect as long as the mandator is considered capable of making decisions. The entry into effect of the protection mandate also requires the legal procedure of homologation (ratification).
In order to benefit from the protections of the law, the settlement of a succession requires that each of the steps be carried out in accordance with the law, from the day of death until the final delivery of the property to the heirs. Standard procedures include, but are not limited to, the following: - Obtaining proof of death - Performing a will search - Having the will probated - Opening an account at a financial institution - Analyzing testamentary dispositions - Appointing a liquidator if there is no will - Making the inventory - Exercising the heirs’ option - Claiming life insurance, pension and annuity benefits - Completing tax formalities - Liquidating the family patrimony and matrimonial rights - Publishing notices - Managing the succession’s assets - Paying debts and specific legacies - Rendering of accounts - Partitioning the succession’s assets - Delivering the property Where the succession is solvent, the heirs may unanimously decide to liquidate the succession without following the prescribed rules. However, if they do so, they will be required to pay the debts of the succession in excess of the value of the property they will take. We recommend that you be cautious and consult a notary in this regard.
The Chambre des notaires du Québec invites the public be cautious and consult a notary before performing any act that could be considered an act of acceptance of the succession. This is particularly important if you are not yet sure whether or not you will accept the deceased’s succession. A notary will protect you by explaining what you may and may not do. Additionally, until the will search is complete, you may not have the deceased’s last will. If you are not a liquidator or heir under the last will, you could be disposing of property that belongs to others.
Acts and contracts relating to immovable property (sales, mortgages, acquittances) are published and accessible at the land registry office. The land register is a public register accessible to all. It may be consulted online at https://mern.gouv.qc.ca/english/land/register/register-system.jsp and in Services Québec offices. However, consulting the register is not free. As an occasional user, you will need to provide information about yourself and pay by credit card. The land register works with a property’s cadastral identification, not its address. It can be obtained by consulting the assessment roll of the municipality where the property is located. The first consultation is done in the index of immovables. On this page, transactions (sales, mortgages, etc.) will be identified under a registration number. To consult the one you are looking for, you will have to consult the acts by identifying the document you want by its registration number. You will be able to read and print it. However, if you need an authentic copy, you will have to contact the notary who executed the act. A notary can help you with this research, as can Services Québec employees.
In Quebec, when a person is married and their spouse dies, the family patrimony must first be partitioned and the matrimonial regime dissolved. Once the partition is done and the succession is defined, it will be liquidated according to the deceased’s last wishes, if there is a will. The spouse is not necessarily the heir of the deceased’s property; it is necessary to consult the will’s provisions. In the absence of a will, the law that determines who the heirs will be. The surviving spouse inherits alone only in the absence of descendants, living parents, brothers and sisters, and nephews and nieces. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
Quebec law recognizes three forms of wills: notarial wills, holograph wills and wills made in the presence of witnesses. A notarial will is drawn up according to your instructions by a notary. With the notary’s professional legal drafting skills, your last wishes will be expressed clearly and in accordance with the requirements of the law. A notarial will takes effect upon death and is not subject to probate. The law recognizes notaries’ status as a public officers, which enables them to invest wills with authenticity. Once they execute the will, the notary will also register your will in the Register of Testamentary Dispositions of the Chambre de notaires du Québec. As the notary must keep the original in a safe place, it is protected against loss or damage and may easily be traced after the testator’s death. A holograph will is a document entirely handwritten and signed by the testator. When the succession is opened, the holograph will must be probated by a notary or a court. This procedure requires a sworn declaration by a person who is not mentioned in the will and is familiar with the deceased’s handwriting and signature. It also generates significant costs in addition to considerably delaying the liquidation of the succession. A will made in the presence of witnesses is a document that need not be written by the testator, but must be signed by the testator and two witnesses at the same time. It must also be probated by a notary or the court after the testator’s death. One of the witnesses will be called to confirm that the formalities are compliant. We invite you to contact a notary for more information.
In Quebec, there is no obligation to make a formal reading of the deceased’s will. If a reading of the will is imposed by the will, you must read the clause to find out how this should be done. If the will does not require a reading, doing so is at the liquidator’s discretion, as the law does not provide for mandatory reading; it simply obliges the liquidator to notify the heirs of their rights. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
In the absence of a will, the law determines who the heirs will be. It depends on different factors, including whether children, a spouse, parents or siblings have survived the deceased. The law is based on filiation (except for the surviving married or civil union spouse) to identify potential heirs and, in general, the closest relatives have precedence. When a person dies having no will, it is recommended that you check with a notary to find out if you are a potential heir under the law. If this is indeed the case, you must contact the other heirs to proceed with the following steps. Note that in the case of a succession without a will, the liquidator’s responsibilities are automatically vested in all the heirs, who may, however, appoint a liquidator by a majority vote.
It is possible to end a marriage in an atmosphere of agreement through an amicable separation. An amicable separation has many advantages when compared to a judgment obtained in an atmosphere of confrontation or contestation. This kind of separation takes less time, reducing costs and professional fees.
As a result of the pandemic physical distancing rules, it has been possible to sign notarial acts remotely using the technology-based notarial act since April 1, 2020.
To find out if you are an heir or not, we invite you to read the deceased’s will to see how legacies are provided for. If you have difficulty understanding the will, we invite you to contact a notary for advice. To find out whether a will exists, you must perform a will search in the Register of Testamentary Dispositions of the Chambre des notaires du Québec. You will obtain a search certificate and, if applicable, the contact information of the notary holding the document you are looking for. To conduct your search, you need the deceased’s death certificate issued by the Registrar of Civil Status. It is possible for you to order it directly from the Registrar of Civil Status without the need to contact the new spouse of your mother or father. Note that you must make two will search requests: one with the Chambre des notaires du Québec and the other with the Barreau du Québec.
If you operate your business through a company, the decisions made by the company, over the course of the years, will be compiled in a book or binder that we call a minutes book. This book will also contain the original copies of your articles of incorporation, including share capital details, a copy of the by-laws, the register indicating the names of the directors, another register for the shareholders.
The notarized protection mandate ensures you have a customized solution that takes into account your property, family and social situation.
Although there is no obligation to perform a will search, doing so is almost unavoidable. First, the deceased may have a will that is several years old or a more recent one that they preferred to keep secret. Second, financial institutions and government agencies require proof of a will search and a copy of the deceased’s last will before proceeding with the transfer of assets. A search in the Register of Testamentary Dispositions is the best way for the liquidator of a succession to fulfill their obligation to search for the deceased’s will. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
Usually, in real estate transactions in Quebec, a notary may dispose of the funds two to three business days after the act of sale is signed. However, in some situations, this period may be pushed back by a few days. If there is to be a holdback, the notary will have to assess various factors to determine the amount of the holdback and the period during which it will be held in their trust account. In principle, a holdback agreement will be signed by the parties, and you must comply with the agreement before the notary will release the funds. To find out the particulars of your case, we invite you to contact your notary. They will give you more information on holding funds.
Contrary to popular belief, an offer to purchase is indeed a contract. It can be very difficult to change its terms or cancel it. It is therefore essential to ensure that the promise to purchase you are offered contains clauses adapted to your situation. Notaries ensure that the clauses are drafted precisely and clearly to avoid any misunderstandings that neither you nor the seller could have anticipated.
Notaries, who specialize in succession planning, are the right advisors for a testamentary trust. They will be able to tell you whether this type of planning is appropriate for you.Dans le cadre d'une succession « ordinaire », le legs d'une somme ou d'un bien est éventuellement remis à l'héritier désigné. En matière de fiducie testamentaire, l'objet du legs n'est pas directement remis à l'héritier, mais plutôt à une fiducie. C'est elle qui assumera par la suite la gestion des sommes en fonction des directives que vous aurez prévues dans le testament.
Quebec law recognizes three forms of wills: notarial wills, holograph wills and wills made in the presence of witnesses. A notarial will is drawn up according to your instructions by a notary. With the notary’s professional legal drafting skills, your last wishes will be expressed clearly and in accordance with the requirements of the law.
According to the Civil Code of Québec, a testator is free to dispose of their property as they wish, as long as they are lucid. This is the principle of freedom to make a will. There is no reserved share as in France, where certain property must absolutely be bequeathed to the deceased’s children. A person is therefore free to bequeath, by will, all their property to whomever they wish, regardless of how or when it was acquired. Only a few rights may subsist in favour of children while they are still dependent (for example, the survival of the obligation of support for children after death). If a parent wants to disinherit a child, they may do so, with or without reason. To contest the will, the child must prove that their parent did not know what they were doing because of incapacity, or because someone fraudulently influenced them. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
It is possible to provide for more than one liquidator in a will. Where this is the case, the way in which decisions will be made is generally provided for. If there is no such provision in the will, then the law will be applied and they will have to act together. It is also possible to designate one or more replacements in case the persons designated die before you or refuse to accept the responsibilities of liquidator. We invite you to contact your notary, who will advise you on this subject.
The Chambre des notaires does not publish document templates online, as notarized documents are written according to the needs of individuals and may vary from one person to another. For example, a will is a personalized document that must accurately reflect the testator’s last wishes. There are indeed models and forms. Legally, however, they are the same as holograph wills or wills made in the presence of witnesses and are thus subject to a probate procedure after death. This procedure entails additional costs and delays. As for a notarial will, it has the advantage of being drawn up by a notary who ensures that the document faithfully reflects the testator’s last wishes and that it meets all validity conditions required by law. In addition, a notary keeps the original in a safe place and records the existence of the will in the Register of Testamentary Dispositions of the Chambre des notaires. Finally, a notarial will takes effect upon death, without any probate procedure.
The time limit for renouncing a succession is six months from the date the succession is opened (i.e., from the date of death). In some cases, an heir may benefit from an extension of this period. This is the case when the inventory is produced at the end of the six-month period, among other situations. The law provides that the six-month period may be extended by the same number of days necessary for the heir to have a period of 60 days from the date of inventory closure. This means that if a liquidator produces the inventory at six months minus one day, the heir will have an additional 59 days to accept or renounce the succession. It is also possible to obtain an extension of time from the court if the heir was acting in good faith and was unable to renounce within the time limit. A notary can help you prepare such an application. When the time limit expires, if the heir has not renounced the succession by notarial act or judicial declaration, they will be deemed to have accepted the succession. If the liquidator refuses to make an inventory or fails to do so within six months, the heirs have 60 days to make the inventory themselves or apply to the court to have the liquidator replaced or ordered to make the inventory. If the heirs do not deal with this issue, they may be required to pay the debts of the succession that exceed the value of the property they will receive, from their own assets.
If you do not renounce the succession, you are presumed to have accepted it. If the value of the succession’s assets is greater than the value of the debts, there is no problem, but if the succession is in deficit, you will be held personally liable for the deceased’s debts. Given that the succession’s assets will not be sufficient to pay its liabilities, your personal assets will be used to do so. To avoid this liability, you must take all the legal steps to settle an insolvent succession, such as producing the inventory and obtaining judicial authorizations before paying any of the debts. Consult a notary if you find yourself in this situation and want to limit your liability for the deceased’s debts.
In Quebec, there is no succession tax. However, the law considers the deceased to have sold all of their property at fair market value immediately before death, cashed out all of their RRSPs, and so forth. Therefore, income and capital gains that result from a deemed sale or cashing out must be included in the deceased’s income tax return for the year of death. The tax payable will depend on their total income for the year of death, in respect of graduated taxation rates. If the deceased had a house and it was their principal residence, the succession will not have to pay tax on the capital gain—it will normally benefit from the principal residence exemption. An heir does not have to declare in what they inherited in their tax return. However, if they receive income from these assets (e.g., interest), the income must be declared. We invite you to contact a notary for more information.
Death puts an end to the marriage and civil union, resulting in the division of the family patrimony and the matrimonial or civil union regime. The spouse must be given the money from the partition of the matrimonial regime (community of property or partnership of acquests) and the family patrimony. It is important to consider the other special protections stipulated by law for the surviving spouse, such as the payment of a compensatory prestation, alimony and certain preferential allocations. This division will affect the composition of the deceased’s patrimony.
After a person dies, the interests that person had in an immovable must be transferred to their heirs. The transfer is made by a declaration of transmission by death signed before a notary and subsequently published in the land register. Further to the publication of the declaration, the municipality and the school service centre will be informed of the transfer and will change the name of the owners on the tax roll. This notarial act includes information such as the names of the heirs and the liquidator of the succession, information about the will if there is one, and the date of death. It also specifies who is the owner of the immovable and who has the right to sell it.
The objective of family mediation is to help spouses reach a fair agreement with respect to the effects of the separation. It is carried out in the presence of a mediator who will help them reach this agreement. Mediation fosters communication between the parties. Mediation may be limited to the partition of property or the custody of children.
If the procedure is carried out by an accredited notary and is not contested, it will take about six months. The legal professional responsible for carrying out the procedure must abide by certain time limits for service and notification. At the end of the process, the file is submitted to the court office for judgment.
Generally, if a beneficiary is named in a life insurance policy, the proceeds of the policy do not form part of the succession. However, if the insurance is payable in general terms to the legal heirs or the succession, or has no named beneficiary, the proceeds of the policy form part of the succession. If a will contains a beneficiary designation that is different from the one appearing on the insurance policy, you will have to determine which one will take precedence. If in doubt, consult your notary.
Notaries will inform you of all the authorizations required to sell a property and take the necessary steps to obtain them.
Only the notary who executed the will, or the assignee (if the notary is deceased or retired) may issue a certified copy of a will. You must therefore contact your notary to obtain a new authentic copy of the will. If you do not have the contact information for this notary, you may search the roll of the Order with our Find a Notary tool or call the Chambre des notaires. If you do not know the name of the notary who executed the will, you can perform a will search in the Register of Testamentary Dispositions of the Chambre des notaires du Québec either by making an appointment with a notary or by going in person to the Chambre des notaires with two proofs of identity. Please note that the Chambre des notaires does not hold any notarial deeds. The deeds received by notaries are not transmitted to the Chamber, but rather kept by the notaries in their office. Thus, notaries only declare the existence of testamentary dispositions and mandates of protection to the appropriate registers.
A notary normally issues a cheque in the name of both co-owners at the time of a sale. They will then divide the amount received among themselves. If the former spouses wish to proceed otherwise, or if they have signed an agreement that provides for certain partitioning rules, we invite them to contact their notary.
The protections stipulated by the Civil Code of Québec for legally married couples do not apply to de facto (common law) spouses. This is why it is important to have a written document that ensures the spouses’ legal protection. It allows them to set out their rights and obligations towards each other in advance, as well as the manner in which they would like to partition their property in the event of a separation. It also sets out each spouse’s contributions and responsibilities in their life together (“community of life”), including how expenses will be shared, for example. A de facto union agreement drawn up by a notary specializing in family law therefore provides excellent protection against the vicissitudes of life as a couple. C’est pourquoi il est important d’avoir un document écrit, qui assure la protection légale des conjoints. Elle leur permet de prévoir les droits et obligations l’un envers l’autre, et la façon dont ils souhaitent établir le partage de leurs biens en cas de rupture. Il prévoit aussi les contributions et les responsabilités de chacun durant leur vie commune, de quelle façon les dépenses seront partagées par exemple. La convention d’union de fait rédigée par un notaire, spécialiste du droit familial, vous assure donc une excellente protection contre les aléas de la vie à deux.
Prior to the entry into force of the Act to amend the Civil Code, the Code of Civil Procedure and the Public Curator Act, it is preferable to establish only a limited power of attorney with rendering of accounts. Your notary will be able to find solutions tailored to your situation.Après l’entrée en vigueur de la Loi modifiant le Code civil, le Code de procédure civile et la Loi sur le Curateur public, la mesure d’assistance pourra être appropriée pour les personnes qui ne souhaitent pas faire une procuration, mais qui veulent être assistées. En effet, cette mesure permet à l’assistant de représenter l’assisté, mais sans lui donner accès à son patrimoine. Par exemple, cela permettra à l’assistant de recueillir des informations bancaires pour veiller à ce qu’il n’y ait pas de transactions suspectes sur les comptes de la personne assistée. L’assistant pourra également négocier certains contrats, par exemple un bail d’habitation, pour s’assurer que l’assisté n’est pas exploité.
The value of the assets that make up the family patrimony will be partitioned between the spouses upon divorce.
Marriage contracts concluded after July 1, 1970, and civil union contracts are subject to a notice of registration in the Register of Personal and Movable Real Rights. The notice indicates the name of the notary who executed the contract, among other things. You should contact them or their successor to obtain a copy. Marriage contracts concluded prior to July 1, 1970, containing gift clauses are registered at the land registry office of the registration division of the spouses’ domicile at the time of their marriage. If there was no gift clause in the marriage contract, it may be more difficult to find, since it would not have been published. It will thus be necessary to identify the deceased’s notary in order to get an answer. In this case, a copy may be prepared either by the employees of the land registry office or by the notary who executed the contract. To obtain a copy from the notary or their successor, use the Find a Notary tool. If the deceased owned property at any time, it is possible to consult the land register to find the declaration of civil status that the deceased made when he or she bought, sold or mortgaged the property.
Married couples are automatically subject to the regime of partnership of acquests.
Marriage ceremonies are subject to many rules aimed at ensuring their legality. Choosing a notary to officiate the ceremony may be advisable, especially when a couple wants to know the legal consequences of such an undertaking and to find out more about the possibility of entering into a marriage contract.
There are two types of matrimonial regimes: the regime of separation as to property (by marriage contract) and the regime of partnership of acquests (with or without a marriage contract).
Under the law, the seller is bound by legal warranty to the buyer. This warranty includes two elements:
Property is said to be held in divided co-ownership when it is split into two or more fractions. Each fraction may belong to one or more people. The best known example of divided co-ownership is a condominium building.
By making your advance medical directives before a notary, you can be confident you have the information you need to make the right choices.
The notary is a legal professional. Their role is to advise you in the preparation of the legal document that will contain your advance medical directives.
- Ensures that you have received all the necessary information before preparing your instructions and that you are well informed of the consequences of refusing care
- Discusses your situation and needs with you, without taking the place of a health care professional
- Verifies that there is no conflict between your wishes expressed elsewhere and your advance medical directives
- Takes the time to answer your questions
- Forwards your instructions to the Advance Medical Directives Register and your physician for inclusion in your medical record at your request
The notary can direct you to different resources if you need more information about the care you want to receive, including the impact on longevity and quality of life.
Finally, the notarial act is ideal since its authenticity gives it a high degree of reliability.
The notarial act guarantees:
- The person’s identity
- That the person is of full age and capable of giving consent to or refusing certain medical care
- That consent is informed and given freely and without undue pressure
With the coming into force of the Act to amend the Civil Code, the Code of Civil Procedure and the Public Curator Act (Bill 18) by June 2022, the curatorship and advisorship to a person of full age will be abolished. The only protective supervision for incapable persons will henceforth be what is known as a “modulated” tutorship.
If you need a notary but do not know one, ask for references from people you know or use the online Find a notary tool, where you will find the names of notaries based on your search criteria and their proximity to your home.
Each undivided co-owner is free to sell or transfer their share in the property, unless otherwise stipulated in the agreement. With some exceptions, however, the law allows the other undivided co-owners to turn away the new buyer by refunding the sale or transfer price and expenses. The undivided co-owners must exercise this right within one year of the sale or transfer of that share.
Legal hypothecs can arise from different situations and benefit different persons, such as those involved in the construction or renovation of a building. When buying a building that is either new, under construction, being planned or recently renovated, it is important to speak with your notary about the best ways to protect yourself before signing a purchase offer. Given that legal construction hypothecs exist as soon as sums are owed and that there is no requirement to publish them against the property, is difficult to know of their existence before the work is completed. The beneficiaries of legal hypothecs have 30 days from the date of completion of the work to register the notice of preservation of their hypothec. If they fail to do so, their hypothec disappears. To protect you, a notary may, for example, take the precaution of including a holdback on the sale price until 35 days after the work is completed in your purchase offer. Once the purchase offer is signed, it may not be modified without the consent of both the seller and the buyer. If a holdback (or other means of protection) has not been negotiated and provided for, the notary may not apply it unless the seller agrees. This is why it is important to consult the notary before signing a promise to purchase. As an additional protection, the taking of possession and transfer of ownership may be pushed back to let the 30-day period expire. Depending on the particularities of your case, your notary will be able to tell you what other protections are possible. Other legal hypothecs are those in favour of the state (Revenu Québec, Hydro-Québec, etc.), a syndicate of co-ownership and persons who have obtained a judgment ordering you to pay them a sum of money. Unlike legal construction hypothecs, these hypothecs must absolutely be published in order to exist. This makes it easier to find out about them.
The signing of a promise to purchase constitutes a contract binding on both parties, the promisor-buyer and the promisor-seller. If the promise to purchase contains conditions, the offer may still become void if any of the conditions are not met. However, if all the conditions are met and you want to cancel the promise, you have to reach an agreement with the other party. If he or she refuses to release you, you will have to apply to a Superior Court judge to have it cancelled. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
The law establishes that the transfer duties for the year 2019 are: - 0.5% of the first $50,900 of the basis of imposition - 1% on the part of the basis of imposition between $50,900 and $254,400 - 1.5% on the part of the basis of imposition exceeding $254,400 For the part of the basis of imposition exceeding $500,000, municipalities may set a higher rate of up to 3%. You should thus check with the municipality where the building is located to find out what applies in your case. Know that the basis of imposition will often be the higher of the agreed price and the standardized municipal value.
It is always possible, with the consent of both spouses, to change the matrimonial regime during the marriage. To do so, a marriage contract must be signed and the rights resulting from the former matrimonial regime must be liquidated. The amendment will apply upon the signature of the marriage contract. It is important to note that family patrimony rules apply to all married or civil union couples, regardless of whether or not they have a marriage or civil union contract. Your notary can explain the implications and advise you.
To be recognized as de facto spouse, some laws require that couples must have lived together in a marital relationship for one year, while other laws require three years of cohabitation or that a child be born of the union, regardless of how long they have lived together. It thus it depends on the law that will be applied to your couple or situation.
In Quebec, it is possible to proceed with an amicable divorce when the couple is separated. This procedure may be done by the former spouses themselves, or by a lawyer or a notary. The process is complex and your notary will ensure an equitable partition of property in addition to drafting the agreement and the application for divorce on the basis of a draft agreement. In short, a written agreement signed by both spouses must be presented to the judge with the application for divorce. The agreement must cover all the financial and familial aspects of the divorce. It must also take into account the consequences of the dissolution of your matrimonial regime (separation as to property or partnership of acquests) as well as the family patrimony rules that apply in the event of a divorce, regardless of your matrimonial regime. If you do not know a notary who specializes in this field, use our Find a notary tool or call us.
The notary can support you in this likely confidential process. The notary can also prepare the purchase offer, analyze the means of ownership and what will be sold (assets or shares), as well as financing options.
If you are married or in a civil union and the residence is the couple’s family residence, the intervention of your spouse is required to sell it. If your spouse refuses to give consent, you may attempt mediation with your spouse or apply for a court order to sell your home on your own. The intervention of a lawyer will then be necessary. If you are de facto spouses, no intervention by the other spouse is required. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
The law allows a person to apply for a change of their first or last name under certain conditions. Such a change will only be granted where a serious reason within the meaning of the Civil Code of Québec is demonstrated. There are two ways to apply for a change of name: by application to the court or administrative application to the Registrar of Civil Status. Note that only the court may authorize a change of name for a child in the event of a change in filiation, abandonment by the father or mother or deprivation of parental authority. All other cases fall within the purview of the Registrar of Civil Status.
A purchase offer concluded and accepted by the seller and the buyer whose conditions have been fulfilled becomes a contract binding on both parties. It may no longer be cancelled, unless both parties agree. A written record of the cancellation should be signed by the seller and the buyer as evidence. It is important to note that cancelling a purchase offer can have significant legal consequences. It would be prudent to consult a notary before signing anything. It is also possible to go to court to have a purchase offer cancelled. However, there must be serious reasons for doing so. Consult your notary, who will assess the situation and tell you whether your reasons meet the criteria established by law and jurisprudence for the cancellation of a contract.
The mandatary must personally perform the mandate entrusted to them, which they have accepted, unless the mandate provides otherwise. In this case, the limits it sets out must be respected. Subject to certain exceptions, a mandatary may, however, be assisted by a person and delegate authority to that person for that purpose. In such a case, they will be liable to the mandator for the actions of the person providing assistance. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
The general rule is that a power of attorney may only be used when the person who has given it is capable of consenting and can express their will. However, further to a diagnosis of incapacity, the mandatary appointed to the power of attorney may continue to use it for the duration of the procedure for homologation of the mandate. Pending the beginning of the procedure and provided that it is is imminent, the actions necessary for the preservation of the assets of the incapacitated mandator may be performed in case of urgency. In addition, it is possible for the spouse of a person who is incapable to continue to act under what is commonly known as a domestic mandate. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
It is possible to transfer a property by act of sale, gift, transfer, exchange, etc. Any act of transfer of ownership must be filed in the land register. In the settlement of a succession, the transfer of an immovable is made by a declaration of transfer, which must be notarized and published in the land register. Finally, there are other ways of transferring ownership of an immovable, such as taking in payment or sale under judicial authority. Discuss your project with your notary. They will be able to identify the transfer method that best meets your needs.
We invite you to consult the table established by the government for child support. In principle, the calculation takes into account the income, the custody time of each parent and specific or special expenses (e.g., child care expenses). If discussion is possible with the other parent, you can participate in family mediation to make mutual agreements on all these matters. Since December 2012, the government pays the mediator’s fees for up to five hours of mediation for the separation process and up to 2½ hours for the amendment of an existing agreement if you have dependent children. This includes mediation sessions and work performed outside the sessions to draft the agreement. Administrative costs (file opening, photocopies, etc.), overtime and work to obtain a judgment are not covered. We invite you to consult the Quebec government website for more information. If no agreement is possible, you will need to contact a lawyer.
Financial institutions offer various types of financing. They generally require securities, and your notary can help you understand the risks related to such securities versus the benefits your company will reap. Even if you already have all the necessary capital to buy the coveted business, it may be a good idea to finance a portion of the purchase. In such case, it would be important to negotiate the balance of the payable sale price in three or five years. It is a good way to protect yourself against unpleasant surprises that can arise after purchase by securing the seller’s cooperation.
In the practice of their profession, a notary will often be called upon to temporarily hold sums of money in their trust account. This is the case when selling a property. It is the notary’s duty of care and their civil liability to withhold all the proceeds of a sale while they publish the act of sale and ensure that everything is in order. In principle, a seller should recover the sums owed to them a few business days after the transaction. A notary may withhold the funds for longer because of particularities specific to a case. Consult your notary for more information.
The process of analyzing a situation to determine whether there is any liability on the part of a notary is complex and a matter of legal opinion. The facts of a case may influence the answer and must be analyzed. If you believe that a notary has committed professional misconduct, we invite you to consult a notary or a lawyer for their opinion on the matter. You may have the notary’s liability recognized and be compensated by going to the civil court that has jurisdiction (Small Claims Division, Court of Québec, Superior Court, depending on the amount claimed). You will have to prove that the notary failed to act in a prudent and diligent manner and that this directly caused you harm. All notaries and former notaries in Quebec are insured for professional misconduct committed in the course of their professional practice. They are insured by the Professional Liability Insurance Fund of the Chambre des notaires du Québec (FARPCNQ). Thanks to professional liability insurance, the client of a notary is assured that the notary can deal with the financial consequences that may arise from their professional misconduct or errors, subject to the conditions stipulated in the insurance contract. Notaries are in breach of their professional ethics when they fail to fulfill their obligations through their conduct, their lack of integrity or diligence or any other infraction of the Professional Code, the Notaries Act, the Code of ethics of notaries or the other regulations to which they are subject. If you have doubts about a notary’s ethical conduct, you can report a breach of professional ethics by a notary to the Chambre des notaires du Québec. You must provide all the information and documents supporting your report and provide your contact information so that you may be contacted. To submit a request for an inquiry, complete the inquiry request form online or on paper, and send it by fax or mail with all supporting documents.
In principle, when an error must be corrected in a notarial act, it must be done by an act of correction. The parties who signed the act will also have to sign the act of correction. However, an error may be of no consequence and a correction may not be required. Ask your notary to assess the situation.
A client may always terminate a mandate entrusted to a notary. You must notify the notary as soon as possible after your make your decision. Your notary will then bill you a fee for the hours already worked on your mandate. It is not possible to retrieve the originals of notarial acts signed with a notary to take them to another notary. The notary who executed an act always keeps the original. To avoid paying duplicate fees, we invite you to make sure that this is the only possible option before making a decision.
The choice of notary is determined at the time the purchase offer is signed. In fact, if the choice of notary was a condition of the sale and you signed the purchase offer, you agreed to do business with that notary. Such a contract is legally binding on the seller and buyer, and neither may change its terms without the consent of the other. If the purchase offer is not yet signed, you may discuss with the contractor and agree on the choice of notary. In any event, it is important to remember that a contractor’s notary is subject to a duty of impartiality like any other notary. As such, they are required to protect your interests in the same way they do for the contractor. For more information, we invite you to contact your notary who will be able to explain your rights and obligations.
Before signing a contract, a notary must verify the identity and capacity of the parties in the act. They will do so by requesting documents (such as identification) and speaking with the client. However, a notary is not a physician and it may be difficult, if not impossible, to detect cognitive illnesses that would impair the client’s ability to give free and informed consent. In addition, they may have never met the client before the transaction. Therefore, they cannot assess whether the client’s capacity has deteriorated over time. However, when a notary has a doubt about the capacity or identity of one of the signatories, they may request additional evidence, such as a medical assessment.
Under the Civil Code of Québec, you may give your property to whomever you wish, unless you render yourself insolvent by doing so and thereby cause harm to your creditors. Any transfer of real estate property must be the subject of an act of sale, assignment, gift or exchange. The act must be prepared by a notary, signed in the presence of the notary, and a copy of it sent to the Land Register of Québec so that the transfer of ownership may be published. If the immovable is mortgaged, the mortgage creditor’s authorization must also be obtained before any transfer. Know that when a transaction is made between certain persons who are not dealing at arm’s length within the meaning of the tax laws, there is a presumption that the transaction was made at the fair market value of the property, regardless of the price stipulated in the contract. Persons related by blood are not considered to be at arm’s length. In other words, if the transfer is between related persons, the law presumes that the transfer was made at fair market value and there will be taxes to pay on the deemed capital gain. We invite you to consult a tax specialist to find out if these rules apply to your situation before making a decision.
The choice of notary is determined at the time the purchase offer is signed. If the purchase offer is not yet signed, you may discuss with the buyer and agree on the choice of notary. In the absence of an agreement, the Notaries Act sets out whether it is the seller or the buyer who chooses the notary. In principle, if the buyer pays cash, they have the choice of the notary. If the seller finances the buyer instead of the bank, then the seller has the choice of notary. In any event, it is important to remember that a contractor’s notary is subject to a duty of impartiality like any other notary. As such, they are required to protect your interests in the same way they do for the contractor. For more information, we invite you to contact your notary, who will be able to explain your rights and obligations.
It is often relatives (child, spouse, brother, sister, etc.) who are appointed as mandatary. If this is not possible, a professional may act as mandatary, as it is not necessary that the mandatary be related to the mandator. If the situation requires it, an institution may be appointed mandatary, but only to manage your property, such as a trust company. Your notary will be in the best position to guide you and help you choose the mandatary.
Is it not possible to obtain a copy of previous wills revoked by the testator. First, a search of the Register of Testamentary Dispositions will only show the last will registered there. Second, subject to a court decision, only the testator may obtain a copy of the previous wills that they have revoked. Such wills are protected by professional secrecy. Therefore, a notary may not produce a copy.
A probate application may be made to a judge or a special clerk of the judicial district where the deceased was domiciled or had their residence. The application may also be submitted to a notary. For presentation before a court, a notary can act as the applicant’s representative and prepare the file for them. Any person affected by a succession may initiate the procedure leading to the probate of a holograph will or one made in the presence of witnesses. However, the Civil Code of Québec expressly provides that the liquidator has the obligation to establish whether the deceased had made a will and, if so, to have it probated. The purpose of the probate procedure is to ensure that the document has all the conditions to be recognized as a will. The probate procedure does not touch on the wishes expressed in the document; it only deals with the formalities required by law for the document to be recognized as a will.
Advance medical directives are written instructions in which you express in advance your acceptance or refusal to receive certain medical care in specific clinical situations. In the event that you are no longer able to consent to care, health care professionals would be obligated to abide by your instructions.
Quebec law allows same-sex couples to use assisted procreation and to adopt children.
The person designated as liquidator (formerly called an “executor”) is usually a trusted relative or friend of the testator. The heirs will make this choice themselves if the deceased did not leave a will or if the will does not provide for it.
The private and common portions of a divided co-ownership are governed by a notarized declaration of co-ownership. The buyer must always read and understand it before making a commitment. A notary will help you understand the contents of this very important document.
A will is the best way to make your wishes known after your death. In this document, you will be able to indicate your wishes regarding the distribution of your property by designating the person or persons to whom you wish to bequeath it and each of their shares. Making a will is not mandatory, but it is preferable. If you do not have a will, the law will decide on your heirs and the share they will receive. This is what we call “legal succession” (or “intestate” succession). However, the persons designated by law are not necessarily the ones you would have designated yourself. Moreover, in notaries’ experience, the risk of conflicts between heirs is higher in this context.
A will allows you to express your wishes regarding the distribution of your property after your death. You can designate the person or persons to whom the property will be bequeathed and the share that each will receive. If you do not have a will, the law will decide on your heirs and their shares.
This will is executed before a notary and a witness. It offers the greatest benefits.
A codicil is the name that was, at the time, given to a document evidencing a change to an existing will, without cancelling or replacing the will in its entirety. We now refer to this as an amendment. The will remains valid except for the change made to it by amendment. If you have difficulty understanding the scope of an amendment to a will, we invite you to consult a notary, who will read it and give you answers on the subject.
At one time, the very first step towards the complete liquidation of a succession was the reading of the will. This was a solemn task, performed by the notary in the presence of all the heirs. This practice was eventually abandoned, but today, notaries are advocating its reinstatement.
Any person interested in the succession who produces a copy of the death certificate issued by the Registrar of Civil Status may a request a will search with the Register of Testamentary Dispositions of Québec. However, the Civil Code expressly provides that the liquidator is responsible for establishing whether or not the deceased had made a will. You may also ask a notary to perform the necessary research. Finally, note that to respect the confidentiality of the process, the Register only shares the results of the search with the person who requested it.
In Quebec, there are two registers of testamentary dispositions: that of the Chambre des notaires du Québec and that of the Barreau du Québec. Provided that an application is filed with all required documents, the time limits for obtaining search certificates are calculated in the same way for both registers: • If the death occurred less than two weeks ago, your search certificates will be mailed within three weeks of receiving your application. • If the death occurred more than two weeks ago, your search certificates will be mailed within two weeks of receiving your application.
There is no obligation to use the services of a notary to settle a legal succession (without a will, also known as an intestate succession) or one with a will. However, if the succession includes immovable property (house, cottage, land), the declaration of transmission of the immovable to the heirs must be executed by notarial act en minute. It is possible that parties involved in the succession file (e.g., a financial institution) may request that certain documents be signed before a notary. Given the complexity of the liquidation of a legal succession, it is always advisable to consult a notary.
No. Only the testator or a notary mandated for this purpose who has the testator’s authorization may obtain a copy of a person’s will while they are still alive. A testator can obtain a copy of their will by contacting their notary directly. If the testator does not have their notary’s contact information, they may contact the Chambre des notaires. If the testator does not know the name of the notary who executed their last will, they will have to request a will search in the Register of Testamentary Dispositions of the Chambre des notaires. If the testator lives in the Montréal area, they may apply in person by providing two pieces of photo identification and paying a fee of $23.00 (taxes included). If the testator is unable to travel or if they live in a remote area, they may contact the notary of their choice who will send a request for a search in the Register on presentation of two pieces of identification. The testator will obtain a search certificate bearing the name of the notary and the date of the last will from the Registrar. Note that a search request for a living person cannot be made by mail. Le testateur peut obtenir une copie de son testament en communiquant directement avec son notaire. Si le testateur ne connaît pas les coordonnées de son notaire, il peut communiquer avec la Chambre des notaires. Si le testateur ignore le nom du notaire qui a reçu son dernier testament, il devra présenter une demande de recherche auprès du Registre des testaments de la Chambre des notaires. Si le testateur habite dans la région de Montréal, il peut présenter sa demande en personne en fournissant deux pièces d'identité comportant une photo et en payant les frais de 23 $ (taxes incluses). Si le testateur ne peut pas se déplacer ou s’il habite en région éloignée, il peut s'adresser au notaire de son choix qui, sur présentation des deux pièces d'identité, pourra transmettre une demande de recherche au Registre. Le testateur obtiendra du Registre un certificat de recherche portant le nom du notaire et la date du dernier testament. Notez qu'une demande de recherche pour une personne vivante ne peut pas être présentée par la poste.
From a legal standpoint, de facto (common law) spouses have no obligation towards each other regardless of the time spent living together, unless they have entered into a cohabitation contract. However, de facto spouses have obligations towards their children, namely the exercise of parental authority and support obligations. Children born of a de facto union have the same rights and obligations as children from a marriage or civil union. Whether or not they are married, the parents must:
The revocation of a will is done by signing an act of revocation. An act of revocation signed at a notary’s office must be registered in the Register of Testamentary Dispositions of the Chambre des Notaires du Québec. If the act is not notarized, additional steps will be required to validate the act of revocation at the time of your death. On the other hand, making a new will will nullify the old one, save for some exceptions. You do not have to deal with the notary who executed the will to have it annulled, and you may use another notary. Also, if you want to have a deceased person’s will annulled, you will have to go to court. You will have to prove that the deceased person did not have the legal capacity to make a will or that they were coerced. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.Par ailleurs, si vous voulez faire annuler le testament d'une personne décédée, vous devrez vous adresser au tribunal. Il vous faudra faire la preuve que la personne décédée n'avait pas la capacité légale de faire un testament ou qu'elle a été influencée. Nous vous invitons à communiquer avec un notaire pour plus d'informations sur vos droits et vos obligations.
A decision regarding organ and tissue donation (acceptance or refusal) may be recorded in a notarial act, usually in a will or a protection mandate. The notary may also proceed by act of deposit. But regardless of the act chosen, it is its authentic (or notarized) character that is of interest as it assures relatives that the decision was made freely.
Note that the Chambre des notaires does not hold any notarial deeds. Deeds executed by notaries are not sent to the Chambre, instead notaries keep the deeds in their own records and only report the existence of testamentary dispositions and protection mandates to the appropriate registers. If you would like to search for a will or protection mandate, we invite you to read the relevant procedure.
Depending on the situation, deeds can also be kept by a provisional custodian, an assignee or the Superior Court.
To obtain a copy of a notarial deed, you must:
If you know the name of the notary who executed the notarial deed, use the Find a notary search tool (second tab called “Check whether a notary is registered on the Order’s listing”).
o Make sure to enter the exact spelling of the first name and last name, as registered in the Order’s roll, otherwise you will not get any results.
o The search results will indicate the contact information of the notary and/or the holder who can deliver an authentic copy of the deed, subject to providing the required proofs and professional secrecy.
o If there are multiple holders, refer to the year of the deed you are looking for to get the contact information of the current holder.
If you don’t know the name of the notary who executed the notarial deed, use the Find a notary search tool (first tab called “Find a notary in private practice”) to find a notary nearby who can help you with the process.
A change must be made by a will, in one of the three accepted forms. A testator may set their wishes down entirely in handwriting and sign their testament. This is called a “holograph will.” A testator may also make a will made in the presence of witnesses (like the one prepared by a lawyer). In this case, the changes are written by hand by someone other than the testator, or using a typewriter or on a computer. The testator must sign the document in the presence of two witnesses. Finally, there is the notarial form, where the testator goes before a notary, who will prepare the will and have it signed. It is important to note that for the first two forms, the validity of the will must be verified by a notary or judge after death through a probate procedure. Doing so is time-consuming and costly, not to mention the fact that the changes will be rejected if they do not meet the conditions established by law. A notarial will is often the most cost-effective solution in the long term, because there are no formalities to be completed to validate the will after death given that it is valid by its signing alone. We invite you to contact a notary for more information.Il est important de noter que pour les deux premières formes, il faudra faire la vérification de la validité du testament par un notaire ou un juge après le décès. Cette procédure est longue et coûteuse sans mentionner le fait que la modification sera rejetée si elle ne respecte pas les conditions établies par la loi. Le testament notarié reste souvent la solution la plus économique à long terme, car au décès, il n'y a aucune formalité à accomplir pour le valider puisqu'il est valide par sa seule signature. Nous vous invitons à communiquer avec un notaire pour obtenir plus d'informations.
When you are leasing commercial space, there is no standard commercial lease form and the rules around this type of lease do not fall under the authority of the Administrative Housing Tribunal (formerly the Régie du logement [Quebec rental board]). Only the basic rules of the Civil Code of Québec apply, the rest is to be determined by the agreement between the parties. That’s why it is crucial to consult a legal advisor, such as a notary, before signing anything, whether it be an offer to lease or an official lease. If not, you can end up agreeing to unfavourable clauses and by then it will be too late.
In June 2002, the concept of civil union was introduced into our Civil Code. Since then, all couples, regardless of gender, can choose a civil union rather than a de facto union or a civil or religious marriage. Before this law was adopted, heterosexual couples had to choose between a de facto union and marriage, and homosexual couples only had access only to de facto unions. The civil union has become an additional option that is available to all couples.
In the absence of a protection mandate (formerly called a “mandate in case of incapacity”), the family of the mentally incapable person must initiate legal proceedings to institute protective supervision. You may file this application with the court yourself or through an accredited legal professional, i.e., a notary or a lawyer. Even for proceedings before a court, it is recommended that you retain the services of a notary to represent you. If the family does not initiate legal proceedings and the situation requires protection of an incapable person, a report will be made to the Public Curator of Quebec. If no one in the family wants to take on this role, the Public Curator will. In order to declare a person incapable, medical and psychosocial assessments that establish incapacity are required. A three-member tutorship council will be formed to oversee the administration of the tutor or curator, and the Public Curator of Quebec will also perform a supervisory role. We invite you to consult a notary to help you institute protective supervision.
Partial or total mental unfitness is formally established by a physician’s medical assessment and a social worker’s psychosocial assessment. As part of the assessment process, the physician and social worker will meet with the incapable person and conduct some tests. Once these assessments are obtained, an application for homologation may be submitted to a judge or clerk of the judicial district where the mandator is domiciled or has their residence. The clerk or judge will receive the assessments and render a judgment. The application may also be given to a notary, who will file the application with the court to have the person declared incapable and confirm that the designated mandatary should take up their functions. The notary or court clerk will also meet with the incapable person. It is only when the mandatary has obtained the judgment that they may begin administering the property and taking care of the incapable person. An application for homologation must be filed by the mandatary. We invite you to consult a notary to assist you with these steps. There are notaries who specialize in this area of law, which you may find by using our Find a Notary tool.
No. If the person becomes physically incapable but is still mentally capable (not cognitively impaired) and their physical incapacity does not prevent them from communicating their wishes, the protection mandate may not be used. If the person needs help because of their physical limitations, they can give a power of attorney to someone (after Bill 18 is enacted, the assistance measure could also be provided for). Given that there is no cognitive impairment, it will be possible to oversee the mandatary’s administration and to revoke the power of attorney if it is not satisfactory. A protection mandate is made in case the capacity to make decisions regarding care or the administration of assets is lost. If the person who signed the mandate becomes legally incapable, the appointed mandatary will need to have the mandate homologated in order for it to have full legal effect. Proof of incapacity must then be established through medical and psychosocial assessments. It must be shown that the person has validly consented to the mandate. To do so, the mandatary may apply to a notary accredited to act in such matters. The notary will take all the necessary steps to have the mandate homologated. The mandate given in case of incapacity will take effect when the judgment to homologate the mandate is rendered.
Notaries are required to keep the original patrimonial inventory in a safe place and to enter it in a register at the Chambre des notaires du Québec, which makes it much easier for the liquidator or mandatary to find the document. The notary will keep your patrimonial inventory safe, which is wise given the risks of fraud and identity theft.
You may contest a protection mandate when the application to have it homologated is heard. The law provides for certain formalities when contesting an application for the homologation of a mandate. Generally, you will need to file a written document to this effect. The application to make a mandate executory will be served to the mandator and notified to the mandatary, substitute mandatary, Public Curator and one of the persons capable of giving consent for for care of the mandator, regardless of whether the application is brought before a judge or presented to a notary. This gives these individuals time and the opportunity to comment on or contest the application for homologation. If there truly is contestation, the case will be sent to a judge who will hear the parties before rendering a decision. For example, a valid and genuine contestation as to the alleged incapacity or its severity could be made by a family member or the person in question. However, a family member’s disagreement with the choice of the mandatary or the person chosen to be the legal representative does not necessarily amount to a valid and genuine contestation that would force a notary to withdraw.
The liquidator is responsible for settling the succession. As administrator of the property of the deceased, the liquidator must act with prudence, diligence, loyalty, honesty and in the best interests of the heirs. They must also act within the limits that the law and those that the will imposes. The liquidator must, in particular: - Find out if the deceased made a will and, if so, have it probated - Make an inventory of the succession’s property and liabilities, unless exempted from doing so - Publish the notice of closure of the inventory and inform the heirs, unless exempted from doing so - Administer the succession and sell certain assets according to the powers provided by law or the will - Render accounts to the heirs once a year and once the succession is settled - Pay creditors and federal and provincial taxes - Deliver the property to the heirs - Apply for the certificate authorizing the distribution of succession property from Revenu Québec and its equivalent at the federal level (clearance certificate) Attention must be paid to time limits for certain steps. For example, the inventory may help the heirs to decide whether to accept or renounce the succession. In principle, the heirs have six months from the date of death to make their decision. If a liquidator fails to fulfil their duties, any interested party may apply to the court to have them replaced. In addition, a liquidator who is at fault may be prosecuted. Without legal recourse, it will be difficult to force an uncooperative liquidator to act.
It is preferable to have a notarized protection mandate in case of incapacity, as the mandator thus benefits from the notary’s advice, which will result in a document that is well adapted to their wishes and needs. No witnesses are required. The original will be kept in the notary’s records. The notary can then issue authentic copies when necessary. There is thus no risk of losing this valuable document. In addition, its existence will be recorded in the Register of Mandates of the Chambre des notaires du Québec. This will make it easier for the mandator’s family where necessary. Note also that there are two components to the homologation of a protection mandate signed in the presence of two witnesses only. Incapacity must be proven and the validity of the mandate must be also be proven before a judge can authorize a mandatary to act. There are additional steps to be taken with respect to the homologation of a notarized protection mandate, as the procedure for homologation of a notarial mandate is only intended to establish incapacity and authorize the mandatary to act.
If the testator is still alive and capable, you may contact them to ask them to change their will. They are not obliged to do so, but they will be aware of your refusal and the consequences this could have for their succession. If the testator is still alive but incapable, you will have to wait until their death to renounce the task of liquidator, as only the testator can change the will and they are no longer capable of doing so.
Property held in undivided co-ownership has a single cadastre, i.e. a single lot number, but it belongs to several people, the undivided co-owners. None of these undivided co-owners owns a private portion of the property; each owns a fraction of the whole.
Review your will and protection mandate regularly. Over time, modifications may be required. Consult your notary about this.
If you are not married, the father will have to sign the form. Only in the case of marriage or civil union can either spouse enter their name and the name of their spouse to designate the mother and father of the child.
Rest assured, your protection mandate will still be valid. However, if a rendering of accounts clause is not included, the court, when it renders its homologation judgment on the mandate, will appoint an auditor to whom the mandatary will have to render accounts annually. The mandatary will also be required to make an inventory within 60 days of the judgment homologating the mandate, even if the protection mandate provides for an exemption on this subject.
A liquidator is usually appointed to a succession in the will. If there is no will, the responsibility falls, as of right, to the heirs, who will designate a liquidator by majority vote. The Civil Code does not require such appointment to be made by notarial act. However, a notarial act is certainly the best way for the appointed liquidator to prove their legitimacy to act with the financial institutions and creditors of the deceased. Finally, the court may also, at the request of an interested party, appoint a liquidator.
A testamentary trust is a tool that makes it possible to give capital or income to certain persons without giving them control of the property or income, for control, tax or protection reasons. A testamentary trust makes it possible to give instructions, while you are alive, regarding the management of the sums bequeathed to one or more persons upon your death. It is often used to protect relatives who are more vulnerable. In the context of an “ordinary” succession, a bequeathed sum or asset will ultimately be handed over to the designated heir. With a testamentary trust, the legacy is not given directly to the heir, but rather to a trust, which will then be responsible for managing the sums according to the instructions in your will.
During the marriage, the rules on the partition of family patrimony do not deprive the spouses of their powers over the property that belongs to them.
Liquidating (settling) a succession is a complex and delicate process. The law provides that the property of a deceased person be passed on to their heirs and imposes precise rules for liquidating the succession. A notary can ensure that the procedures prescribed by law are properly followed and that any legal problems that may arise are appropriately resolved.
Starting a business alone
The simplest business form is sole proprietorship. If you want to operate under your last name and first name, you don’t even need to register with the Quebec Registraire des entreprises.
If you are a small supplier (currently less than $30,000 in revenue per year), you do not need to register for taxes (GST, QST). All your company’s profits, minus expenses paid, are earned by you and you will be taxed in your income tax return.
Starting a business with other people
If there are several partners, you can establish a general partnership, a limited partnership, a joint venture, an association, a cooperative, but the most common form of business vehicle in Quebec is incorporation.
It is a legal person (company or corporation) that exists by itself and has its own assets and liabilities (distinct patrimony).
Tax laws make it incumbent upon the seller to inform the authorities of the disposal of a property using prescribed forms. These forms may be sent before or after the deed of sale is signed at the notary’s office. In either case, a certificate of compliance will be issued if the applicable duties have been paid. If this is not done, the buyer becomes personally liable for providing the authorities with an amount equivalent to 37.875% (25% federal and 12.875% provincial) or 80% (50% federal and 30% provincial) of the selling price, depending on the circumstances. It is up to the notary to ensure compliance with these tax law provisions in order to properly protect and advise the buyer client—this is done by holding back the proceeds in the notary’s trust account if the certificates of compliance have not been issued before the signing of the deed of sale.
The law does not require the mandatary to sign a mandate or power of attorney. However, by signing them, they acknowledge having read them. With their signature, they also undertake to represent the mandator according to the wishes expressed in the documents.
Mandataries will be required to render account of their administration to the person appointed as auditor.
To obtain a copy of a marriage contract, you must contact the notary who executed it. If you do not have the contact information for this notary, you may search the roll of the Order with our Find a Notary search engine or call the Chambre des notaires. If you do not know the name of the notary who executed it and you have had notarial acts executed since your marriage, for example to buy property, or for a mortgage or a sale, these may contain information about your marriage contract. Moreover, if your marriage took place after 1994, you may consult the Register of Personal and Movable Real Rights (RPMRR). If your marriage took place before 1994, the RPMRR is less reliable, but you should still be able to find the information. Otherwise, it will be difficult for you to find.
It is very important to make an inventory of the deceased’s property before deciding to accept or refuse the succession. Moreover, the liquidator has the obligation to make an inventory of the succession’s property. The liquidator may only be exempted from the duty with if all heirs and successors consent. It is more prudent to wait until the liquidator has published the notice of closure of the inventory before accepting or refusing a succession, because the inventory is precisely intended to establish whether or not the succession is in deficit. Note that, in fact, the heirs are liable for the debts of the deceased up to the value of the property they inherit when an inventory has been made. If the successors exempt the liquidator from making an inventory, they are deemed to accept the succession without limits and thus become personally liable for all the debts of the succession, particularly if these exceed the value of the property they take. They will therefore have to pay these debts out of their personal assets. Once the inventory is completed, the liquidator informs the heirs, the successors who have not yet accepted or refused the succession, the legatees by particular title and the creditors of the notice of closure of the inventory and of the place where the inventory may be consulted. A notice must be published in a newspaper circulated in the locality where the deceased resided and in the Register of Personal and Movable Real Rights (RPMRR) to inform interested persons of the place where the inventory may be consulted.
In principle, it is up to the heirs to accept or renounce your lessee’s succession. They must do so within six months of the death. If they accept the succession, they will have to dispose of the property in the dwelling. If the heirs renounce the succession, they will have to sign a notarized renunciation. They must then notify Revenu Québec, Unclaimed Property, of the death, and provide it with the renunciation. You will then have to contact this service regarding the lessee’s succession. As a lessor, you do not have the right to dispose of your deceased lessee’s property. However, you may apply to the Tribunal administratif du logement to repossess the dwelling if the rent is not paid. We suggest that you consult a legal professional before taking any steps.
For transactions involving a sum of money, the notary will let you know that they must carry out certain verifications before transferring the amount to you.
The law considers certain actions to be equivalent to an acceptance of a succession, that is, of both its liabilities and assets. Before acting, it is recommended that you consult a notary, especially if you suspect that the succession is in deficit. Your notary can determine what you may and may not do before performing a will search. On the other hand, even if there is no doubt that the succession is solvent and the problem of presumed acceptance linked to certain actions does not concern you, there is still the possibility that you are neither the liquidator of the succession nor the heir of the property in question. It is thus preferable to ascertain this before taking any action. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
Before making a decision in this regard, it is important to first become aware of the legal issues associated with settling a succession. Even though the settlement of a succession has been a sensitive and complex process since the Civil Code of Québec came into force, this is now more than ever a reality. The law provides rules for the transmission of the property of a deceased person to their heirs and imposes precise steps for liquidating the succession. In addition, accepting a succession without an inventory entails a significant risk for the heir, namely that of being required to pay the deceased’s debts out of pocket. Getting a notary’s input as a legal advisor or mandating them to manage the settlement of the succession ensures peace of mind in terms of the procedure to be followed and the resolution of legal issues. They can advise the liquidator in all matters, such as the search for and probate of the last will; the preparation of the inventory; the acceptance or renunciation by the heirs; the claiming of annuities and benefits; the liquidation of the family patrimony; the filing of tax returns; and the transmission and partition of property.
Both the supplier and the entrepreneur with whom it is doing business will likely want to maintain a good relationship. To avoid ending up in court, experiencing long delays or paying huge fees, using a mediator notary is a good option. The mediator notary will be able to find an appropriate solution where both parties come out a winner. As the mediator notary does not represent either party, the mediator can remain neutral and impartial. The mediator notary does not give any legal advice or opinion and will not settle the dispute or impose a solution. The parties themselves are responsible for resolving the dispute, while the mediator notary facilitates the process.
In Quebec, no rights arise from a de facto union. In other words, in the event of a separation between de facto spouses, there will be no mandatory partition of property without a prior agreement. Each spouse retains ownership of their property. You may thus have to agree on the partition of the property that you co-own. There are many ways to protect your investment and each has advantages and disadvantages. For example, you can draw up a cohabitation contract to determine what each will pay during your relationship, each person’s share of the sale of the house, or any other terms that are important to you. You may also assign a percentage of the house to your spouse, but you will need your mortgage creditor’s permission to do so. We invite you to consult a notary to determine the most appropriate solution in your case.
You are not bound to any notary. If you have dealt with a notary for your will, for example, you do not have to go back to them for your protection mandate, a new will or the purchase of a property. The liquidator of a succession is also not obliged to deal with the notary who executed the will to settle the succession. They have a choice. If you do not know a notary, consult your family and friends or use our Find a Notary tool to obtain the names of notaries according to different search criteria and in your area.
Unfortunately, the Chambre des notaires is unable to trace notarial wills executed before that date. If the will is that of a person who died before 1994 and that person owned immovable property, a copy of the will may be obtained by consulting the land register. Indeed, before 1994, wills were published in the land register at the same time as the declaration of transmission of the immovable. Otherwise, you may search by identifying the notaries who practised in the municipality where the deceased resided and calling each of them.
Undivided ownership arises from co-ownership of property with at least one other person. The law provides for certain rights and obligations for each of the co-owners. However, sometimes the provisions of the law do not meet the needs of co-owners and an indivision agreement is necessary to provide a better framework for the undivided co-ownership. An indivision agreement makes it possible to agree on the sharing of costs related to the property, its selling price, the contribution of each party to the costs and repairs, the management of the residence, what happens if the property is sold, granting priority rights of purchase in the event of sale, separation or death, and to establish conditions. It also serves to establish other rights and obligations that will manage the relationship of the co-owners with respect to the property. We invite you to contact a notary for more information.
In principle, the responsibility of notifying the heirs of their rights rests with the liquidator of the succession and not with the notary who drafted the will. If a notary has been mandated by a liquidator to settle certain stages of the succession, their mandate is limited to what the liquidator has asked them to do. They have no obligation to communicate with the heirs if they were not mandated to do so.
There are no special rules concerning the calculation of market value unless these are specified in writing in a document. It will therefore be a matter to be negotiated between the parties. In addition, it is possible to obtain a market value evaluation by a chartered appraiser. In the report, the appraiser will tell you what the estimated market value of your property is, that is, the price that an independent buyer would be willing to pay to buy your property. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
Under the law, parents have different options for appointing a tutor for their children. They can do so in a will or a protection mandate or by sending a letter to the Public Curator of Quebec. However, there are significant advantages to making a will. For example, you might decide that your children will not receive their inheritance until they are 25 years old instead of when they reach full age at 18. You could also leave a sum for tutors to compensate them for being responsible for your children’s care or to make it possible for them to move to a larger home so that your children have the space they need to thrive. Note also that the rules of tutorship do not allow them to take possession of a portion of the children’s property.
At the time of the sale of a property, sellers may benefit from the principal residence exemption, if they meet the criteria established by law. To do so, they must fill out the prescribed tax forms and elect the property sold as their residence for each and every year that they owned the property. These forms must be attached to their tax return for the year of sale. If they do so for only one year or for a number of years, they will only be entitled to a fraction of the exemption. It is also important to know that only one principal residence may be elected per year. Thus, if you own another property, you may not benefit from the exemption for both. We invite you to consult a notary or a tax accountant who will evaluate the situation and advise you. If you do not qualify for the exemption, one-half of the capital gain realized at the time of sale will be taxable.
The presence of a mediating notary ensures that the solutions chosen are fair and equitable to both spouses and that they comply with the laws in force. The mediating notary remains neutral, providing all the legal information necessary for the parties to make informed decisions.
Web Pages49 results
Becoming a Notary / Access to Notarial Practice
Upon a death, the existence of a will of the deceased must be verified in the Register of Testamentary Dispositions of the Chambre des notaires du Québec.
Search the Registers / The Chambre’s Services / The Chambre and Your Protection / Search for a will
The notary can assist you with the often confidential approach steps. He will also be able to prepare the tender offer, analyze the means of holding and what will be bought or sold (assets or shares), as well as financing possibilities.
Business / Your Notarial Services / Lease, purchase, financing
The Board of Directors exercises all the powers and prerogatives of the Order.
Governance and Organization / The Chambre and Your Protection / Board of Directors and Departments
Shining a light on the methods and procedures in place to guarantee a secure experience.
A digital professional / Your Notary / Notarial security in the digital age
When there is a dispute between a client and a notary about an account for fees (bill), whether it has been paid or not, the client can use the conciliation process for accounts for fees offered by the Chambre des notaires du Québec.
Your Recourses / Protection of the Public / The Chambre and Your Protection / Fee mediation
Your Notarial Services / Wills and Successions
Are you legally protected? Death, incapacity, disputes between business partners or co-owners, separation or divorce...these are all good reasons to take precautions. This test will provide a snapshot of your situation to guide your next steps. Answer as honestly as possible.
The Chambre’s Services / The Chambre and Your Protection / Protect-O-Maître
Submit a job offer, internship or volunteer offer
The public may have access to documents and information held by the Chambre des notaires for the purpose of supervising the practice of the profession.
The Chambre and Your Protection / Protection of personal information and access to information
Providers of technology-based solutions for notaries
Terms and conditions of use
This section allows you to learn more about the steps involved in applying for equivalence and the pathway to access the notarial profession.
Pathway to the profession / Becoming a Notary / Individuals who graduated from a university outside Québec
The Chambre and Your Protection
Notaries are authorized to give advice in all areas of law within their scope of expertise.
Role of the Notary / Your Notary / Diversified fields of expertise
Consult the brochures of the Chambre des notaires and contact your notary for your protection and that of your loved ones.
The Chambre’s Publications / The Chambre and Your Protection / Brochures
The Consent Registry for Organ and Tissue Donations of the Chambre des notaires du Québec was created on November 1, 2005, to record consent or denial of consent to donate organs and tissues as set out in wills or protection mandates executed before a notary.
The Chambre’s Services / The Chambre and Your Protection / The Consent Registry for Organ and Tissue Donations
This section allows you to learn more about the path to the notarial profession.
Pathway to the profession / Becoming a Notary / Individuals who graduated from a Québec university or the University of Ottawa
Your Notary / A digital professional
Take an inventory of your property and documents in the event of death or incapacity. Heritage: your 360 guide, a tool offered free of charge by the Chambre des notaires.
The Chambre’s Services / The Chambre and Your Protection / Patrimony : your 360 guide (asset inventory guide)
The Chambre des notaires has created a pilot project to provide these organizations with an opportunity to innovate in activities to advance the law and the notarial profession.
Grants / The Chambre and Your Protection / Financing program for the profession’s representative bodies
Notaries are specialists in succession law and have all the required expertise to draft acts. They ensure that your will complies with the laws in effect and that it legally reflects your last wishes.
Wills and Successions / Your Notarial Services / The will
Anyone who suffers harm due to the professional error of a notary may submit a claim to the Professional Liability Insurance Fund of the Chambre des notaires du Québec
Your Recourses / Protection of the Public / The Chambre and Your Protection / Professional misconduct or error
Quebec citizens residing in France and French citizens residing in Quebec can sign a notarial deed by proxy without having to travel.
The Chambre’s Services / The Chambre and Your Protection / Cooperation Agreement Between Notaries in France and Quebec
Terms and conditions of use of The Chambre des notaires du Québec's website
Terms and conditions of use
The Chambre des notaires du Québec, through its Notarial Studies Fund (NSF), provides financial support to communities, organizations and society stakeholders for initiatives aligned with its mission: Protection of the Public.
Grants / The Chambre and Your Protection / Applications for financial assistance (NSF)
The registers of testamentary dispositions and mandates of the Chambre des notaires allow the public to trace the last will or protection mandate.
The Chambre’s Services / The Chambre and Your Protection / Search the Registers
Certification – validation of documents – checks related to a professional
Notaries are in breach of their professional ethics when they fail to fulfill their obligations through their conduct, their lack of integrity or diligence or any other infraction of the Professional Code, the Notaries Act, the Code of ethics of notaries or the other regulations to which they are subject.
Your Recourses / Protection of the Public / The Chambre and Your Protection / Recourse for breaches of professional ethics or disciplinary infractions
Certify the original signature of a notary on a document intended for foreign countries with an authenticity or quality certificate issued by the Secretary of the Order.
The Chambre’s Services / The Chambre and Your Protection / Quality and Authenticity Certificates
Verify that the person you are consulting has a permit to practise as a notary, using the Find a Notary tool.
Protection of the Public / The Chambre and Your Protection / Check if a person is registered as a notary
As legal professionals in family law, notaries can be precious allies.
Protection of Persons / Your Notarial Services / The protection mandate
Your Notarial Services / Protection of Persons
Tributes and recognitions / The Chambre and Your Protection / The Conseil interprofessionnel du Québec (CIQ) Merit Award
In accordance with its mission to protect the public, the Chambre des notaires ensures that notaries provide quality services to the public and that they maintain their skills throughout their careers, in four ways:
Protection of the Public / The Chambre and Your Protection / Professional Support
The notarial profession is not recent. It dates back to Europe almost 1,000 years ago. The notarial profession currently exists in nearly 66 countries, including France, Italy and Japan.
The Notarial Practice / Your Notary / History of the Notarial Practice
In order to ensure the protection of the public and of users of notarial services, the Chambre des notaires offers various remedies depending on the type of problem encountered.
Protection of the Public / The Chambre and Your Protection / Your Recourses
In the event of divorce or separation, a notary can accompany you through several stages, including the establishment of alimony and child custody and the preparation of a draft agreement. As a mediator, a notary will help you reach fair agreements and avoid conflicts. Under certain conditions, a notary may also represent spouses before the court.
Families and Couples / Your Notarial Services / Separation
Decisions of the Disciplinary Council of the Chambre des notaires in connection with any ethical breach by a notary can be accessed online.
Protection of the Public / The Chambre and Your Protection / View the Disciplinary Council’s disciplinary rulings and schedule of hearings
As true local and family legal practitioners, notaries are present at every important milestone of a person’s or corporation’s life.
Role of the Notary / Your Notary / Preventive law specialists
Your Notarial Services
How is a technology-based notarial deed prepared and signed? We will demystify it all for you.
A digital professional / Your Notary / Signing a technology-based notarial deed
Comment faire une recherche au registre des mandats de protection de la Chambre des notaires en cas d’inaptitude.
Search the Registers / The Chambre’s Services / The Chambre and Your Protection / Search for a protection mandate
The notary can assist you with implementing the tutorships of a person of full age, tutorships of a minor and assistance measure. The notray will help you understand the duties and obligations involved.
Protection of Persons / Your Notarial Services / Tutorship and assistance measure
As legal professionals in family law, notaries can be precious allies. They can analyze your situation and counsel you regarding your choice of matrimonial regime. A notary can also officiate your marriage and draw up your marriage or community of life contract. If you decide on a de facto (common law) union, the notary will also explain the protective measures that can be taken.
Families and Couples / Your Notarial Services / Marriage, civil union and common law union
A notary will help you choose the matrimonial regime (partnership of acquests or separation as to property) that best suits your situation and needs. They can even adapt it to your needs, in compliance with the applicable rules.
Families and Couples / Your Notarial Services / Matrimonial regimes and family patrimony
It is better to talk to each other before you slip. Because the notary does not represent either party, he will remain neutral and impartial.
Business / Your Notarial Services / Mediation
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation : The Chambre des notaires du Québec supports and is committed to a process of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples
Transaction immobilière par un non-résident
Me Hélène Potvin élue à la présidence de la Chambre des notaires
Adoption du projet de Loi no. 8 : le législateur confirme sa volonté de mettre la justice au service des citoyens
Vivre le changement : La pratique notariale à l'ère de la distanciation
Volume 29, Number 2-3 Été-automne 2020
Technicien(ne) en droit principal - Greffe civil
Ministère de la Justice du Québec
Sep 19, 2023
Associé en gestion de fiducie privée
MD gestion Financière
province de Quebec
Aug 31, 2023
Technicien(ne) en droit
Ministère de la Justice
Sep 15, 2023