It is quite likely that at one point or another, you will need to have a document notarized. You must then decide whether to use the services of a lawyer or a notary public. Contrary to popular belief, a lawyer can also notarize documents, not just notaries public.
A notary public and a lawyer have similar roles when it comes to notarizing documents.
Notaries public are typically hired to deal with legal matters in which there is no dispute. These matters range from real estate transactions and business contracts to wills and estates and powers of attorney.
Based on the binding and sometimes permanent nature of legal documents, it is in your best interest to ensure that the preparation, signing and execution of these documents are done accurately.
If problems arise in a legal transaction, a notary public may need to refer you to a lawyer for legal advice. A lawyer is also a notary public and can provide the same services as a notary public, but a notary public cannot act as a lawyer.
The cost of hiring a lawyer
At the mention of the word lawyer, many persons begin doing calculations based on the preconceived notion that lawyers are expensive. But that is not necessarily the case. For notary services, a lawyer’s fees are often competitive with that of a notary public’s fees for similar procedures and the client can obtain the benefit of independent legal advice.
Do you need the services of a notary public in Richmond, BC?
If you have documents that need to be notarized or certified copies of a document, we can help at Bernard Lau and Co.
At Bernard Lau and Co., we are able to assist you with the notarization of any English or Chinese document that requires a lawyer, a notary public, or a commissioner for oaths to witness, including travel consent forms, government documents, bank documents, ICBC and insurance documents, or personal documents that require legal and formal witnessing. We can also certify copies of any original documents. And should any issues arise while notarizing your documents, we can provide you with the legal guidance you need.
If you own assets or have young children, a will is perhaps one of the most important documents you will ever create. A will is a legal document through which you can communicate how your possessions are to be distributed after your death. A will may be written as part of a larger estate plan, which also includes your wishes regarding your finances and care should you no longer be able to make those decisions while alive.
More than half of Canadians have delayed creating their wills, claiming, among the reasons, fear of facing their mortality, being too young and just not having the time to do so. Regardless of the reason, postponing the process of writing or updating your will can result in dire consequences for your loved ones once you have passed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus, the immediate need for people to create or update their wills. As the death toll has risen among all age groups across the world, there has been a surge in demand for wills in countries hardest hit by the virus. Some people are only now realizing the wisdom of hiring a wills and estates lawyer and having an estate plan in place. Approximately 8,700 Canadians have died so far from the virus, and sadly, this number may continue to increase.
Due to the uncertainty of life, as demonstrated by the global pandemic, it is imperative that you do not postpone creating or updating your will.
The importance of a will
A will affords you the ability to:
- continue caring for your loved ones in the event of your death.
- decide who gets what property and how each person will benefit from your finances.
- have your favourite charities or clubs inherit from your estate.
- decide on the guardianship of your children who are minors and determine who will control their inheritance until they are of age; provided that both parents are dead. Without a will, the courts will decide on guardianship.
- choose an executor who will handle your affairs once you have passed. You can decide on whom you think most capable and trustworthy to do so, rather than have someone appointed by the courts.
If you are under the misconception that only the wealthy need a will, revisit that notion. Once you have possessions, there is no reason you should not have a will. Regardless of what you own, you can decide who should inherit your belongings.
A person who dies intestate, meaning, without a will, forfeits the control of how his or her property is distributed after death. The intestacy rules must then be applied to determine who benefits from the estate.
If you already have a will, but it is outdated, dust it off! It is important that your will is updated as your circumstances change. Any change in marital or financial status, births and deaths ought to be included.
Do you need help creating a will?
A will is easy to create but must comply with your provincial laws to be valid.
If you are uncertain about will preparation and require the assistance of a wills and estates lawyer in Richmond, contact us at Bernard Lau and Co. Law Corporation. Our experienced team will guide you through the process.