FREQUENTLY ASKED NOTARY QUESTIONS
What is a Notary / Notary Public?
A notary’s strength is in preparing accurate, reliable legal documents – our work is covered by an insurance plan that protects the public. Most people don’t realize how much a notary can do - a BC notary can provide non-contentious legal services and draft a wide range of legal documents.
The position of notary as a member of one of the branches of the legal profession is sanctioned and safeguarded by law. In British Columbia, notaries are appointed by the BC Supreme Court. The Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia is the regulatory body overseeing and establishing standards for this profession.
What is the difference between a Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is only valid while the person is capable of making his or her own decisions. An enduring Power of Attorney is valid even if the person were to become incapable of managing his or her own affairs (assuming they were competent at the time the Power of Attorney was created).
What is the difference between General and Specific Powers of Attorney?
A general Power of Attorney is very broad and allows for complete control by the designated person of all your finances and property. A Power of Attorney can be designated and applicable only to a single “specific” transaction, or “specific” time frame, such as during travel.
What is the difference between a Representation Agreement and an Advance Directive?
A Representation Agreement addresses your health and personal care needs. It appoints a person or people to make health care decisions for you. This is what has also been known as a “living will”. An Advance Directive is a document that gives instructions to Health Care workers. It will take effect at a later date if you are no longer able to communicate regarding major and minor health care decisions, along with decisions about life sustaining procedures.
Where should I keep the original copies of my personal planning documents, including my Will, Power of Attorney, Advanced Directive and other important documents?
Your Will: It is important to store your Will in a safe place, but also where it can be accessed by your Executor. If you have a safety deposit box this is a good location to store your Will. If not, then a fires proof safe or box at your home is a good alternative. Make sure that your Executor knows where you keep the key or has the combination to the safe.Your must ensure that your Executor knows where you keep the key or has the combination.
Your Power or Attorney or Representation Agreement: The person or people you appoint in these documents must have the original in order to act on your behalf. You should either give them the document, or make sure they are aware of where you are keeping the originals.
Your Advanced Directive: This document should be given to your doctor, or to an individual you trust to give to health care workers on your behalf.
When or how often should my Will be updated?
- Change in relationships status (i. e. marriage, divorce, separation)
- A named beneficiary dies
- Purchase or sale of major assets, such as a vehicles or real estate
- A name change occurs for you or anyone else included in the Will
- Change in family status: you have a child or your children reach the age of legal independence
- You relocate to a different province, state or country