Frequently asked questions
If you’re wondering whether you should rewrite your will or just add a codicil, your notary can help by explaining why a codicil is not the right solution. For example, if you want to change multiple provisions of your will, the codicil may end up costing as much as a new will because of its complexity. Additionally, a codicil lets everyone involved see both the original will and the updates, which may cause resentment among your loved ones after your death. By drafting a new will, you make sure any changes remain confidential. Furthermore, it is possible that a notary will refuse to receive a codicil even if it is legally possible. The reasons for this can be diverse and it is up to the notary to explain them to you.
The law provides that divorce automatically entails the annulment of legacies made in favour of the former spouse if the divorce took place after 1994. You must make sure that your divorce judgment has actually been rendered by contacting the court office or consulting the Register of Civil Status. However, the testator may have clearly expressed their will that the divorce does not annul the legacy. It is possible some clauses and terms of the will may still be effective. We invite you to consult a notary who will read the will and the divorce judgment and tell you what applies to your case.
The will may provide for the method in which the liquidator may renounce or resign. If not, a liquidator who decides to renounce their responsibilities after accepting them must notify the heirs or replacement liquidator(s) in writing if they are named in the will, render an account of the administration done so far to the heirs and replacement liquidator(s), and obtain a discharge from the heirs. Other parties involved in the succession may have specific requirements in this regard. It is best to check with them.
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.
The person designated as liquidator (formerly called an “executor”) is usually a trusted relative or friend of the testator. The heirs will make this choice themselves if the deceased did not leave a will or if the will does not provide for it.
Notaries, who specialize in succession planning, are the right advisors for a testamentary trust. They will be able to tell you whether this type of planning is appropriate for you.Dans le cadre d'une succession « ordinaire », le legs d'une somme ou d'un bien est éventuellement remis à l'héritier désigné. En matière de fiducie testamentaire, l'objet du legs n'est pas directement remis à l'héritier, mais plutôt à une fiducie. C'est elle qui assumera par la suite la gestion des sommes en fonction des directives que vous aurez prévues dans le testament.
Review your will and protection mandate regularly. Over time, modifications may be required. Consult your notary about this.
This will is executed before a notary and a witness. It offers the greatest benefits.
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 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.
Only the notary who executed the will, or the assignee (if the notary is deceased or retired) may issue a certified copy of a will. You must therefore contact your notary to obtain a new authentic copy of the will. If you do not have the contact information for this notary, you may search the roll of the Order with our Find a Notary tool or call the Chambre des notaires. If you do not know the name of the notary who executed the will, you can perform a will search in the Register of Testamentary Dispositions of the Chambre des notaires du Québec either by making an appointment with a notary or by going in person to the Chambre des notaires with two proofs of identity. Please note that the Chambre des notaires does not hold any notarial deeds. The deeds received by notaries are not transmitted to the Chamber, but rather kept by the notaries in their office. Thus, notaries only declare the existence of testamentary dispositions and mandates of protection to the appropriate registers.
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.