REMOTE NOTARIAL DEED: Since April 1st, notaries are allowed to sign a notarized document remotely. This is not compulsory and notaries are free to use this additional tool or not. Consult the steps and application procedures.
CHAMBRE DES NOTAIRES OFFICES: The Chamber's offices are open, but due to the circumstances related to the coronavirus some services are offered remotely. Additional delays apply for requests for searches in Registers of Testamentary Dispositions and Mandates, as well as for requests for a Certificate of Quality and Authenticity.


Home > Families and Couples > Other > What is the role of a notary?

What is the role of a notary?

The notary: legal advisor for Québec families!
A notary is an agreement specialist who fosters good will and helps prevent conflict. Notaries offer important services to people at key moments of their lives. Their advice is directed to the couples and families of today: single parents, blended families and traditional families. You have important decisions to make over your lifetime: your union or its breakdown, purchasing a house, the arrival of a child or the acquisition of a business and, finally, your successors upon your death. The plethora of laws and their growing complexity make it difficult to fully understand or assess the legal implications of your decisions. With their legal training, notaries can help you make informed choices. Notaries are available throughout the province. There are approximately 3,800 notaries in Québec, with 48% practising in rural areas.

Notarial consultation: a preventive measure
A notary's services differ from those of other legal experts in that they are preventive. Notaries use their knowledge of the law to prevent litigation. Notaries may also act in cases that are not contested. For some procedures, they can represent a person in court. Before making an important decision or signing a document, it is wise to consult a notary. It can prevent misunderstandings and help you avoid problematic and often costly consequences.

Notarized deed: a recognized, unalterable and easily located document
Notaries are not only legal advisors but also public officers recognized by the government. Notarized deeds are authentic; in other words, the veracity of their content, dates and signature stand in court with no need for further authentication. In addition, when the original of the notarized deed is kept in the notary's office, the deed cannot be lost or altered. Notarized deeds are held in perpetuity so that the notary or his or her successors can issue copies. . To obtain a copy of a deed made by a notary who is no longer practising, use the tool Find a notary to find the name of the authorized successor.

As public officers, notaries have a duty to act in the interests of all parties by avoiding any bias in the documents they receive. They ensure that all parties have understood the terms and agree on each clause in the document. The parties are thus assured of giving informed consent.

The government requires certain documents to be notarized because of their importance. For example, only notaries can receive real estate mortgages, declarations of divided co-ownership, donations and marriage contracts.

Fields of practise: traditional and less traditional
Many people think that notaries only draft wills and settle successions, or only handle the buying and selling of property, but today's notaries practise in areas that go beyond the traditional fields of notarial activities.

As legal advisors, notaries are authorized to provide advice in all areas of law within their expertise, including:

  • family law
  • real estate law
  • law of succession
  • business law
  • tax law
  • co-ownership
  • agricultural law
  • financial planning
  • commercial mediation
  • family mediation
  • environment issues
  • arbitration
  • air law
  • maritime law
  • immigration and adoption procedures
  • etc.