When an individual or family considers a move to a new neighborhood, they no doubt drive around to take stock of what’s nearby. Is there a supermarket? A mall, perhaps? Schools that are within close proximity? Doctor’s offices? Banks? A park?
Indeed, those are all important things and places. No one wants to drive 10 kilometers to get milk and bread! And having schools nearby is ideal for families with children. And a dog park is a great perk for pooch lovers.
But how about a notary public? It’s not likely that someone will buy a home because they think, “Hmmm, there’s a notary public near me”, but you may not realize just how many times you might have to use the services of a notary and how convenient it is to have one close at hand.
Why do I need a notary public?
So, what kind of tasks are handled by a notary? In Canada, notaries public are responsible for quite a variety of tasks and, in many provinces, notaries must have a law degree. That’s different than in other countries, like the United States, where just about anyone can become a notary.
Some of their responsibilities are quite complicated and involve a lot of legal expertise, but others – the ones that likely happen every day in the office of the notary near you – are much more simple. These include:
- Witnessing and authenticating the signatures on any legal document, like powers of attorney, deeds of trust, leases, international travel documents, and much more.
- Signing and stamping legal documents once their authenticity is verified
- Administering oaths and taking affidavits
- Ensuring that all personal information of the involved parties in a contract is correct
Fun fact: In some Canadian provinces, a notary can function as the officiant at a civil wedding ceremony, but not in British Columbia.
Other reasons to use that “notary public near me”
While the tasks above are the most common for notaries, there are certain others that involve much more work and responsibility.
For example, in British Columbia, a notary can draft a Last Will and Testament for clients that require such services. That’s where their legal expertise comes into play. A Last Will and Testament is important and is a document everyone should have once they reach adulthood and have acquired some assets. A notary public can help you draft your will so that those assets go where you wish after you are deceased. The notary doesn’t just write down your wishes but can also help you make sensible and logical legal decisions about your estate.
Notaries in British Columbia may also handle several different kinds of real estate transactions.
- The notary may represent the buyer in a real estate sale. As a representative of the buyer, the notary acquires information about taxes, mortgages, liens, and more and makes sure that – at closing – all monies are distributed accurately. Many get involved with the buyer at the very beginning of the transaction so that the buyer can be assured smooth sailing from the beginning to the end of this important sale.
- The notary can also assist the seller in a real estate sale. In this instance, the notary works on obtaining a “free” or “clear” title, meaning that all are liens, mortgages, or other charges are removed from the home’s or business’s title so that a proper transfer to the new owner can be made at settlement.
- Notaries in British Columbia can also assist with new mortgages and refinancing. They can offer legal advice about the terms of the mortgage the buyer is considering and help you understand any consequences involved when you default. The notary can also help you “discharge” your mortgage when the time comes to pay it off or sell it and can help acquire a new mortgage for those who wish to refinance.
How much will these services cost me?
Notaries charge various fees for the services they perform and not every notary charges the same amount. You can certainly inquire as to the cost of these services before you commit to using a particular notary.
At Langley Notary Public, we offer you the best prices available combined with top-notch service offered by a staff that cares about the customer. Call us with any questions you may have about our services and we’d be happy to discuss our offerings with you.