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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:
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:
In this case, we’re talking about freezing the value of some company shares. This can be a good option for entrepreneurs at the end of their career or who want to gradually pull out of the company. It allows entrepreneurs to retain their equity while allowing their children or younger partners to reap the future capital gains from the company. This operation must be executed properly and for good reason. Your notary can help you gain a clearer picture.
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).
An up-to-date location certificate is a certificate that shows the current condition of your property. It represents the physical and legal condition at the time of the transaction. All buildings, structures, hedges, fences, entrances, servitudes, flood-prone areas, risk areas, and others must be included. In addition, the land surveyor’s report must mention the regulations and laws currently applicable and indicate how they impact your property. The lot number must also match the actual lot on your property. The need for an up-to-date location certificate depends on different factors, including the purchase offer that has been signed, the creditor, the date the property was built, the buyer and the mandated notary, and is assessed on a case-by-case basis. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
It should contain properly drafted clauses adapted to your situation to avoid misunderstandings and protect you from potential litigation. Watch out for standard purchase offer forms, which can sometimes cause difficulties. The legal accuracy of this type of document is not guaranteed, and certain ambiguous clauses may be open to interpretation. Moreover, without prior analysis by a notary, you may be unaware of the consequences of certain clauses. By signing this type of form, you could, for example, be agreeing to:
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.
As neutral agreement specialists, notaries can help you make informed choices in many areas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A person may only renounce their rights in the family patrimony at the time of the death of the other spouse or upon a divorce judgment, separation from bed and board or nullity of marriage. In all cases, the renunciation must be established by notarial act or by judicial declaration during proceedings for divorce, separation or nullity. It must also be entered in the Register of Personal and Movable Real Rights. The renunciation of the family patrimony has important financial consequences. It is best to consult a notary before making this decision.
This will is executed before a notary and a witness. It offers the greatest benefits.
Since the abolition of the mandatory notarial tariff in 1991, fees have been regulated by the Code of ethics of notaries. This Code provides that professional fees must be fair and reasonable according to certain criteria, including the time and effort devoted to the file, its complexity, and the notary’s experience and expertise. Contact your notary to find out more about their professional fees, taxes and the costs of opening a file.
Review your will and protection mandate regularly. Over time, modifications may be required. Consult your notary about this.
Family patrimony is constituted by marriage or civil union and does not exist for de facto spouses. In short, it includes family residences, the furniture in them, cars for family use, pension funds and other pension plans. Property acquired by either spouse by inheritance or gift during or before marriage is excluded. In principle, the family patrimony is divided equally between the spouses. In practice, there are other matters to consider, in particular with respect to property owned prior to the marriage. We invite you to contact your notary to discuss the particularities that may apply in your case.
The notarized protection mandate ensures you have a customized solution that takes into account your property, family and social situation.
In order to change a judgment on child custody, an application must be made to the court. If both parents agree to change custody rights, the procedure is simpler, and we invite you to contact an accredited family mediation notary to help you reach an agreement in the best interests of all. A number of mediators are affiliated with the provincial program that pays for 2½ hours of the professional’s time in the case of a review. Once an agreement is reached, it is possible to use the Homologation Assistance Service to have the agreement ratified by the court at a lower cost. This service is available at legal aid offices and allows all parents to have a review of their judgment respecting access, custody and support matters, in particular. Note that even if a judgment establishes support, you may represent yourself in court to have it amended after your situation changes. Where an agreement needs to be reviewed, to reach a new agreement, you may benefit from 2½ hours of free assistance in family mediation with an accredited notary from among the notaries who have signed up to this program. It is always a good solution when parents agree to participate. You may find the contact information of mediating notaries on our website, under the Find a notary tab. We also invite you to visit the Justice Québec website to consult the Regulation respecting the determination of child support payments, which sets out the rules to be followed in this matter.
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.
Your neighbour may not erect a fence on your property. However, if they did so and were acting in good faith at the time the fence was built, they must, at your option, purchase the parcel of land on which their fence encroaches or compensate you the temporary loss of use. Under certain conditions, you may also require that they move the fence. Note, however, that the law allows them to erect a fence on the dividing line between lots. Under certain conditions, they may even force you to share the costs with them. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
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.
The law allows your neighbour to erect a fence on the dividing line between lots, taking into account the location and use of the premises. Under certain conditions, they may even force you to share the costs with them. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cases of identity theft and fraudulent sale of property are rare. The strict control mechanisms put in place by the Chambre des notaires to prevent mortgage fraud partly explain this low rate of occurrence. Indeed, notaries are required to verify the identity of persons signing a contract before them by means of a driver’s licence, health insurance card or passport, for example. In addition, the Chambre des notaires has also taken measures to help persons who are victims of real estate fraud. We invite you to contact your notary if you have any concerns about your property.
There is no obligation to accept a succession, especially when it is in deficit. A succession may be renounced as long as no acts of acceptance have been performed. Successors have six months from the date of death to decide whether to accept or renounce a succession. During this period, they may collect the information necessary to determine the composition of the deceased’s patrimony. Acceptance of a succession does not require any formalities, unlike renunciation, which must be made by notarial act. If you think it is in your best interest to renounce a succession, ask your notary what you can do that does not constitute acceptance of the succession.
It is possible to purchase a home remotely by power of attorney, that is, by authorizing someone to represent you to make the purchase on your behalf. In addition, the funds may come from abroad, but the delays are generally longer than if you open an account in Quebec and the funds are transferred to the officiating notary from this account. We invite you to contact a notary for more information.
To determine whether a servitude survives a change in ownership, you must consider whether it is real (in favour of land) or personal (in favour of a person). A real servitude is a right granted to property, regardless of who owns it. It is thus transferable from one owner to another. In contrast, a personal servitude is granted in favour of a person. Such a right is, in principle, extinguished with the sale. Consult your notary to determine whether the servitude in question is real or not. In addition, the act of servitude must be read to determine the duration of the servitude. If it is a perpetual servitude, there is no end date, subject to the right of the landowner to buy back the servitude, that is, pay to have it cancelled. If there is a term mentioned in the servitude, verify if that term has expired. It is possible to modify a servitude by signing an agreement to this effect at the notary’s office with all parties’ consent.
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.
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.
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.
Many clients are unaware of the preventive role of notaries. However, their advice helps you avoid missteps that could lead to costly litigation. Notaries perform several verifications so that you can enjoy your property with complete peace of mind.
A seller is not bound until they have accepted the offer of the first buyer or until the counter-offers have been finally accepted by the buyer. They may thus accept the offer of a second buyer. This also means that there is no priority when a seller receives several offers in a short period of time. If the seller has accepted a first conditional offer, they may also accept a second offer, subject to the cancellation of the first one. If you are a seller, consult your notary to avoid a situation where you have accepted two offers.
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.
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.
Funeral expenses are borne by the succession. The liquidator must therefore ensure they are paid. If successors pay the funeral expenses, they may ask the liquidator to reimburse them. The Régie des rentes du Québec’s death benefit is paid in priority to the person who paid the funeral expenses. If there are not enough assets in the succession to pay funeral expenses, the person who signed the contract with the funeral home may be required to personally pay the debt. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
Any person concerned may apply to the court to request the replacement of a liquidator if the liquidator neglects their duties or fails to fulfil their obligations. Creditors of the succession, heirs, successors and legatees by particular title may also contest the inventory drawn up by the liquidator. Creditors and legatees by particular title who have not received payment of their claim may file an action in liability against the liquidator as well as against the heirs or legatees by particular title who were paid to their detriment. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
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.
Legal proceedings would have to be initiated to institute protective supervision. You can make this application to the court yourself or through an accredited legal professional, i.e. a notary or a lawyer.
It is wise to consult your notary before accepting or renouncing a succession. Liquidating a succession without following the rules of the Civil Code could have negative and costly consequences.
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.
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.
Regardless of the length of time de facto spouses have been living together, neither spouse ever acquires any rights whatsoever in the immovable belonging to their spouse, as family patrimony does not exist in a de facto union. There is also no matrimonial regime governing the shared economic situation of de facto spouses. Each spouse has their own property and income. The only way to acquire an interest in their de facto spouse’s immovable is to buy an undivided share from them. If they are not co-owners, de facto spouses may sign a cohabitation agreement in which they agree on certain partition arrangements should the relationship end. Consult a notary to discuss your situation.
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.
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.
Please note that notaries are subject to physical distancing rules. They should not expose themselves, their clients or their staff to risk. En plus des directives données aux notaires devant tenir des rencontres physiques avec leurs clients, la Chambre des notaires, en collaboration avec des partenaires et le gouvernement, a développé une solution alternative : l’acte notarié technologique accessible depuis le 1er avril 2020.Please note that notaries are subject to physical distancing rules. They should not expose themselves, their clients or their staff to risk. Please note that notaries are subject to physical distancing rules. They should not expose themselves, their clients or their staff to risk. In addition to the guidelines given to notaries who must hold physical meetings with their clients, the Chambre des notaires, in collaboration with its partners and the government, has developed an alternative solution: the technology-based notarial act, available since April 1, 2020.
Married couples are automatically subject to the regime of partnership of acquests.
Some notaries are accredited by the Order to act as identity verification agents (IVAs). These notaries are authorized by some government organizations to certify the identity of clients who want keys or certificates (digital signatures) to undertake electronic exchanges with them.
When a mandatary acts on behalf of a person and administers their property, they must render accounts only to the person who gave the power of attorney, unless, under its terms, it was specified that the mandatary was to render accounts to other persons. However, if the mandator dies while the power of attorney is still in effect, the mandatary must render a final account of their management to the heirs. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
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.
One of the main tasks of a real estate notary is to search for what is called the chain of title to a property. The links in this chain are made up of each successive sale of the property you wish to acquire. The purpose of the search is to establish that these sales fully transferred the right of ownership from the seller to the buyer.
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.
Such a real estate transaction is no different from any other. Any transfer of real estate property must be the subject of an act of sale, assignment or gift. 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. Similarly, you and your spouse must agree on the price to be paid and other conditions. There are no rules on this subject. We invite you to contact your notary for more information.
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.
There is no time limit specifically related to the inventory of a succession mentioned in the Civil Code of Québec. However, attention must be paid to the time limits associated with other steps in the settlement of a succession. This is in particular the case for the six-month period that heirs have to decide whether to accept or refuse the succession. In order to make an informed decision in this regard, the heirs may require the liquidator to carry out the inventory before the expiry of the option period. Once the inventory is completed, the liquidator must inform the heirs of the place where the inventory may be consulted. If it easy to do, the liquidator may send a copy of the inventory to the heirs. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
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.
It is quite common for an owner to require its tenant to guarantee the lease. Do you need to agree to it? You can limit the guarantee to a set amount or substitute it with a deposit, or even have a movable hypothec on the company’s assets for a certain amount. Your notary can fully advise you on the matter.
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.
An RRSP is exempt from seizure if it has the features of an annuity contract, is purchased from an insurance company or trust company and if the married or civil union spouse, children, grandchildren, parents or grandparents are beneficiaries. Moreover, it may not be seized if the beneficiary is irrevocably designated and their consent is required for another beneficiary to be substituted for them. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
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.
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.
In principle, a seller is obliged to warrant to the buyer that the property and accessories that are the subject of the transaction are 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 not have paid the price if the defect had been known. This is what constitutes a legal warranty of quality. However, the parties may restrict the effects of the legal warranty of quality or exclude it entirely in the sale contract. The sale is then made without warranty against latent defects. However, the seller is obliged to report known defects. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
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.
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 father and mother exercise parental authority together and both have the right and duty of custody, supervision and education of their child(ren). Separation does not remove parental authority from the parents, even if custody is given exclusively to one of them. One parent cannot decide unilaterally to leave the country with their children without repercussions if the other parent does not agree. In addition, the Government of Canada strongly recommends that all children carry a letter of consent proving that they have permission to travel. However, if your family situation is particular or difficult, do not hesitate to consult a notary for advice. Each person who is empowered to make important decisions for the child and who is not accompanying the child on the trip should sign such a letter.
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.
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.
In the absence of a will, the law determines who inherits your property. The succession is then called “legal” or “intestate.”
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.
It is difficult to protect oneself against fraud. However, certain protective measures should be applied. When you deal with a notary, you may check whether there have been any complaints against them with the Chambre des notaires. We invite you to contact us to find out if your notary has a disciplinary file. You should also know the Chambre des notaires has very rigorous monitoring and auditing mechanisms for notaries’ trust accounts. There is a compensation fund for victims of a notary who has used the sums in their trust account for purposes other than those for which they were intended.
According to section 20 of the Act respecting duties on transfers of immovables, there is an exemption from the payment of transfer duties if the transfer of immovable is between spouses. This section defines spouses as those who are married or in a civil union, or de facto spouses under certain conditions. To benefit from the exemption provided by law when transferring an immovable from one spouse to the other, you must meet the definition of “spouse” within the meaning of the Act respecting duties on transfers of immovables. You have one year from the date of separation to make the transfer if you are de facto spouses. However, if you are married, you have 30 days from the date of your divorce or legal separation judgment to make the transfer. If you benefit from the exemption provided by law, your municipality may still charge you an additional fee of up to $200. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
A power of attorney is a document that gives a trusted person authority to take care of your affairs and administer your property for a specified period of time. Unlike a protection mandate, a power of attorney takes effect immediately and is not subject to the occurrence of incapacity. It makes it possible to designate a person, the mandatary, to act on your behalf. A power of attorney can be specific or general. It may be given for a particular matter (special or specific power of attorney) or for the entirety of the mandator’s assets (general power of attorney). Unlike a protection mandate, a general or specific power of attorney does not need to be homologated. We invite you to contact a notary for more information.
A mandator may revoke a power of attorney at any time. It is important to note that, even if the term of the mandate is indicated in a power of attorney, a mandator may revoke a power of attorney before the end of its term. We suggest that you consult your notary to make a notarized revocation. You must then inform your mandatary of this revocation: Simply send them a copy of the revocation, preferably by registered mail. You may require your mandatary to deliver the power of attorney to you in order to add the mention that the mandate has ended. We also recommend notifying the financial institutions you deal with of this revocation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the event of a legal separation or divorce, the law provides that you may ask your former spouse for support. However, there is no guide for determining its amount. The income and expenses of each spouse are assessed for the purpose of calculating the amount of your support, as well as the circumstances in which they find themselves. The time needed to acquire sufficient independence may also be considered. We invite you to contact a notary who specializes in family law to find out what your rights are before signing an agreement 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 notary bills you for the work they have done for you. As a seller, you have an obligation to provide clear titles of ownership to your buyer. If your immovable is mortgaged, it is up to you to pay the fees for the notary to prepare your acquittance. In addition to the fees, you must also pay disbursements, including the cost of publishing the acquittance with the land registry office, the cost of obtaining tax certificates and the statement of co-ownership expenses, if applicable, and the cost of trust accounting for cheques issued to persons other than the seller, in particular the payment made to the real estate agent, payment of the location certificate, tax arrears, etc. We invite you to consult your notary for more information on the invoicing of fees.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You may not prune the branches of trees overhanging your property unless you have obtained permission from your neighbour. You may ask your neighbour to prune such branches that seriously interfere with your use. You may even force them to do so by going to court. We invite you to talk with your neighbour to reach an agreement. If they still refuse, consult your notary to find out what remedies are available to you.
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.
A notary must obtain a financial institution’s signature on the acquittance, and some financial institutions take several weeks to review files before signing. The notary must then register the acquittance in the land register so that the creditor’s mortgage rights are officially cancelled. Land registry processing times also vary from one location to another. In general, the time limit to register cancellations in the land register is longer than that to register rights. There are thus many steps to be completed before you receive a copy of the acquittance. The notary’s obligation is to exercise due diligence. We suggest that you call your notary’s office or your financial institution to verify the status of your request. If you have not received your copy after six months, write to the notary in question and give them ten days to send it to you. If you still do not get an answer, you may file a request for an inquiry with the Office of the Syndic of the Chambre des notaires.
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.
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.
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.
As a result of their professional training and position, notaries are impartial legal professionals who must try to avoid conflicts. Their first reflex is therefore to find a middle ground that is advantageous for everyone. If agreements or documents have to be signed, notaries can confer authenticity on them, which makes them more difficult to challenge. The notary must also keep the original.
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.
It is possible to cancel a power of attorney at any time. A revocation must be signed, and preferably notarized.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The professional fees of notaries are regulated by the Code of ethics of notaries in that they must be based on several criteria, including the time and effort spent on the file, its complexity and the notary’s expertise.
In a real estate transaction, the notary acts for both the seller and the buyer, even when the buyer chooses the notary. Therefore, the notary works for both parties.
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.
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.
Identity verification is carried out by means of two pieces of ID from reliable and independent sources, and at least one must include a photo.
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. While you can legally use a codicil to update your will, your notary, who is bound by a code of ethics and professional responsibility, may refuse to write a codicil to a will that he or she has not executed.
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.
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.
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.
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 determine whether it is more beneficial for you to be incorporated, several factors need to be taken into account. For example, do projected revenues justify the basic costs and annual costs of incorporation? Is the entrepreneur’s potential liability worth protecting? Would there be significant tax implications, and if applicable, would sharing earnings and losses be a complex matter? Your notary can carry out the necessary mathematical, financial and legal assessments to guide you in this decision.
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.
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.
Both these professionals undergo basic law training that allow them to practice business law. However, it would depend on their further specialization as well as their hands-on experience that would make either one experts in these fields. Just as not all attorneys are specialized in business law, you would need to check beforehand if your notary practices this type of law. If not, your notary could recommend a colleague as there are a great number of notaries specializing in this field.
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.
Your neighbour must give you access to their property if your passage is necessary to maintain a construction, a work or a plantation. You must, however, notify them verbally or in writing before the work begins. We invite you to contact a notary for more information on your rights and obligations.
The Chambre des notaires does not have a price list. Since the abolition of the mandatory notarial tariff in 1991, fees have been regulated by the Code of ethics of notaries. Fees are based on several criteria, including the time and effort spent on a mandate, its complexity and the notary’s expertise. We invite you to contact your notary for more information on their fees, taxes and the costs of completing a mandate.
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.
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.
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.
The death of a loved one is an emotionally destabilizing situation and the liquidation of a succession often raises difficulties that the deceased could not have anticipated. In addition, the liquidator may not fully understand their role and their responsibilities to other family members.
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.
Yes. Signatures do not have to be reproduced for a copy of a notarial act to be considered authentic. They can be missing altogether or they can be mechanically reproduced (e.g., the document can be signed with the person’s first and last name). By making sure that your signature does not appear on authentic copies, your notary helps prevent forgery of your signature. If any third parties (such as banks or government offices) refuse to accept an authentic copy for that reason, you can refer them to the notice dated October 23, 2015, that the Chambre des notaires sent to all notaries.
In principle, there is no statutory time limit for sending documents. The notary must, however, exercise due diligence. A client who needs copies within a specific time frame should agree with the notary on a time limit to obtain them. If the situation persists, we invite you to send a written request to the notary, giving them ten days to send you the documents. 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.
In principle, there is no statutory time limit for sending documents. The notary must, however, exercise due diligence. A client who needs copies within a specific time frame should agree with the notary on a time limit to obtain them. If the situation persists, we invite you to send a written request to the notary, giving them ten days to send you the documents. 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.
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.
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.
A notary specializing in business law understands the various issues in this field and can help you make informed decisions.
Your Notarial Services / Business
Connexion à l'espace notaire
A subscription to the Notarial Library database allows the subscriber to conduct online searches of the various legal publications that the Chambre des notaires offers to support the profession.
The Chambre’s Services / The Chambre and Your Protection / Notarial Library
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
Your Notarial Services / Real Estate
Your Notarial Services / Families and Couples
Becoming a Notary / Notary Training Requirements and Resumption of Right to Practice
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
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
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 / Patrimoine : votre guide 360 (asset inventory guide; available in French only)
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
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
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
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 disputes
Are you looking to pursue master’s or doctoral studies in a field associated with the notarial profession, or are you a notary interested in an academic career?
Grants / The Chambre and Your Protection / Graduate Scholarship Program
The Chambre and Your Protection
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
The Compensation Fund of the Chambre des notaires compensates a claimant in the event of improper use of money or property entrusted to a notary.
Your Recourses / Protection of the Public / The Chambre and Your Protection / Compensation for improper use of funds
Your Notarial Services
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)
Becoming a Notary / Foreign Candidates
Verify that the person you are consulting has a permit to practise as a notary, using the Find a Notary tool.
Verification Before Choosing a Notary / Protection of the Public / The Chambre and Your Protection / Check if a person is registered as a notary
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 1-800-NOTAIRE service provides the public with free basic legal information in connection with notarial law.
The Chambre and Your Protection / 1-800-notaire
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
Anyone who suspects a case of illegal practice of the notarial profession may report it to the Chambre des notaires du Québec
Protection of the Public / The Chambre and Your Protection / Reporting the illegal practice of the notarial profession
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 / Wills and Successions
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
Your Notarial Services / Protection of Persons