Posts Tagged ‘Representation Agreement’

When Do You Need to Hire a Notary?​​​​​​​

A notary public (also known as a notary), is a trained professional who can provide limited legal services to the public.

Notaries have been around for a long time. Babylonian notaries chiseled the oldest written law into stone over 4000 years ago. At that time, a notary was a wise and trusted member of society. The role of a notary was to oversee transactions and guarantee their fairness.

The role has since evolved into a professional service, but its essence is still the same. In today’s times, a notary public still guarantees clients the fairness and legality of transactions.

WHEN DO YOU NEED A NOTARY?

woman signing papers

There are a number of scenarios in which you would benefit from a notary. Our team at David Watts Notary Public can assist with:

1. Real Estate Transactions

If you’re on the cusp of either buying or selling a property, a notary plays a pivotal role. A notary public will ensure that all the documentation is in order, legally binding, and properly executed. This is crucial in preventing any future legal hiccups.

2. Property Transfers

Planning to transfer property ownership to a family member? This is another scenario where notarial services are invaluable. A notary public will be able to help you navigate the complex legal landscape, ensuring that the transfer is done correctly and legally.

3. Mortgage Processes

Entering the world of mortgages can be daunting. A notary can guide you through the process, ensuring that all agreements and contracts are legally sound and that your rights are protected.

4. Estate Planning

When it comes to preparing crucial documents like wills, representation agreements, or powers of attorney, working with a notary is not necessary, but highly recommended to avoid potential disputes. A notary public will make sure that your wishes are clearly articulated and legally enforceable.

5. International Travel with Children

If you or your spouse plan to travel abroad with your kids, especially without the other parent, notarized consent is often required. A notary will be able to provide you with the necessary legal backing for such documents.

6. Signing Affidavits

Affidavits are sworn statements used in various legal settings. A notary ensures that these are signed in accordance with legal standards, lending them the required authenticity and validity.

7. Moving Abroad

If you’re relocating to another country, you’ll likely need various documents notarized. A notary public ensures that your documents are accepted internationally, adhering to the legal standards of your destination country.

Many people think that they should hire a lawyer instead of a notary to do these things. I’ve written about the difference between lawyers and notaries in the past, but here’s what you need to know in a nutshell:

A notary public specializes in non-contentious matters, dealing with documents and transactions where there is no dispute or need for legal representation in court. Our expertise lies in ensuring that your documents are legally sound and your transactions are executed smoothly.

British Columbia notaries are experts in the areas we choose to practice.  

If we act for you as a notary in business agreements or residential real estate transactions, our experience will help us to identify issues and deal with them before they become problems.

The Difference Between Lawyers and Notaries

If we do get to a place where litigation is necessary, we are here to help you find a lawyer who can provide legal advice and assistance. We have a community of trusted legal professionals who are experts in litigation.

WHAT CAN BC NOTARIES DO FOR YOU?

woman with notary seal

BC Notaries have professional standards dictated by the Notaries Act of British Columbia. A notary is also governed by the rules, by-laws, and best practices dictated by The Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia.

That means that at David Watts Notary Public we are a team of certified experts and can help you with all your notary needs.

1. REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS

A notary public can help you complete legal documents for real estate transactions such as Purchases, Sales, Mortgages and Family Transfers. By working with a notary, you are ensuring a smooth and legal transition or purchase of property.

2. PERSONAL PLANNING DOCUMENTS

A notary can help clients prepare for the future with Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Representation Agreements. By having these important legal documents notarized, you will help ensure their legitimacy and ability to be held up in a court of law.

3. NOTARIZATION

A notary public can provide General Notarizations and Certified True Copies of Original Documents as well as Notarize your signature on:

  • Travel Letters

  • Affidavits

  • Statutory Declarations

  • Letters of Invitation

  • Passport Documents

  • Various Applications

4. INTERNATIONAL AUTHENTICATION AND LEGALIZATION SERVICES

A notary can get documents authenticated and legalized for use in Canada and around the world.

DAVID WATTS NOTARY PUBLIC: NOTARY SERVICES COST

Below is a list of our fees and additional information regarding our notary services. If you have any questions regarding our fees, please feel free to contact us. 

NOTARIZATION COST

  • Cost for Certified True Copies of documents: $60 ($53.57 + GST & PST)

  • Additional documents or copies: $20 each

MULTIPLE EXHIBITS:

  • For documents with multiple exhibits, we charge $20 per exhibit after the 4th.

INTERNATIONAL OR REAL ESTATE DOCUMENTS:

  • For documents to be used outside of Canada, or involving real estate purchases, sales, or mortgages, please email us for a specific quote.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Ensure to print and bring the documents.

  • Bring 2 pieces of unexpired identification, with at least one being government-issued with a photograph.

NOTARIZED AND CERTIFIED TRUE COPIES

CERTIFIED TRUE COPIES COST:

  • First copy/document: $60

  • Additional copies: $20 each

PROVIDING COPIES:

  • You can bring the original documents, and we can make the copies here.

  • If you prefer, you can bring your own copies.

PRINTING CHARGES:

  • For more than 10 pages, we charge $1.00 per page.

GET IN TOUCH – DAVID WATTS NOTARY PUBLIC

To find out more information about our notary services, receive a quote, or to book an appointment, please call or email us. Our office is conveniently located at 675 W Hastings St Unit #1412 in downtown Vancouver. We are happy to assist you directly or to provide a referral for someone who can help.

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how to protect your family as you age header

How to Protect Your Family As You Age

Age isn’t quite what it used to be. 

60 is the new 50, 80 is the new 70. There’s been a considerable amount of talk in the media about “miracle” technological advances that cure all types of ailments and promise to keep us alive well into the triple digits. 

There’s no doubt that some of these advances are real and are actually extending and improving our lives, but there’s one thing they’ll never be able to change: accidents still happen, especially as we age.

According to a report by the Canadian Medical Association, nearly three-quarters of Canadians over 65 have at least one chronic health condition, and unexpected accidents like falls remain a leading cause of hospitalizations for people over 60.

Despite these staggering statistics, many people remain unprepared to deal with what could happen to them and their families if they suddenly become incapacitated by an accident or illness, or when they die. 

Recent polls show that the majority of Canadian adults lack basic estate documents such as wills, representation agreements, or powers of attorney. And, many of those who have them need to update their documents for them to remain legally binding. 

As you get older, not thinking about the very real possibility that something could happen to you means you are putting an unfair burden on your family and leaving them exposed to a number of headaches and responsibilities. 

So what can you do to remedy that? Here are five things you can do right now to protect your family as you age.

1. Write (or update) a Will

Wills are extremely important documents. If you don’t have one (or if things have changed since you wrote it or you’re not sure what’s in it or where it is) you should definitely consider getting a will (or a new one) as soon as possible.

Wills allow you to express how you want your estate to be divided and help keep an inventory of what you own. This provides a HUGE help for your family and takes the burden of many decisions off of their shoulders.

Perhaps more importantly, wills allow you to select someone you trust to be in charge of executing your wishes. This helps guarantee that your wishes are actually carried out after you die, and helps organize the division of your stuff once you are gone.

2. Write a Power of Attorney Document

Power of attorney documents allow you to authorize someone else to sign financial or legal documents and act on your behalf. This can also be used to buy and sell assets, and sign tax returns if you are unavailable or incapacitated. 

There are two types of power of attorney. While a specific power of attorney is limited to a single transaction, an enduring general power of attorney allows you to choose someone who will take control of all your legal and financial matters if something were to happen to you.

In addition to this, it is a smart thing to do if you are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia, or degenerative diseases and believe that you may need help managing your daily finances now or in the future.

One small note, a power of attorney doesn’t apply to health care decisions (you’ll need a Representation Agreement for that).

how to protect your family as you age checklist header

3. Get a Representation Agreement

Representation Agreements are legal documents that allow a person (or a group of people) to make personal care and health decisions on your behalf.

This allows someone you trust to manage your affairs if you are incapacitated or unable to make your own decisions due to illness, injury, or disability. It also allows you to dictate your specific wishes regarding your physical, emotional and personal needs, including:

  • Choosing who will advocate for you
  • Giving or withholding consent for medical treatments
  • Where you will live (and with whom)
  • Whether to admit or discharge you from a care facility
  • Planning of support and services
  • Who has visitation rights
  • Care staff management
  • Spiritual matters
  • Whether you want to refuse CPR or have a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)
  • End of life decision making
  • Diet and grooming
  • Care of pets
  • Participation in activities and exercise

Without a Representation Agreement, a doctor or health care provider will choose your Temporary Substitute Decision Maker (TSDM) if you can’t make your own decisions.

This person is selected based on the Health Care Consent Act. Your spouse would be the first choice, followed by one of your children.

Your TSDM is required by law to make decisions based on your best interests. However, this person may not necessarily be the person you want, or may not know what type of care or treatment you would prefer.

A Representation Agreement allows you to choose in advance who you want to represent you. Most people choose a spouse, partner, friend or family member in their representation agreement. 

The representative’s main responsibility is to assist a person to make a decision for themselves. This means that before making any decision, the representative is legally obligated to try to determine your current wishes.

If you are completely incapacitated and your current wishes cannot be determined, then your representative will follow what has been outlined in your Representation Agreement.

As a last resort, the representative will make a decision based on what they think is in your best interest while consistent with your values.

4. Get rid of some of your stuff!

Most people tend to accumulate lots of things throughout their lives. While some of these things may hold sentimental value, they also tend to pile up in basements, attics, and closets and are a hassle to deal with as we get older (not to mention a nightmare for those left to do it after you pass).

Downsizing isn’t as easy as “just getting rid of some stuff”. Letting go of your things can be difficult, but it can also be a very liberating process and one that your family (and future you!) will definitely appreciate.

Going over your things with your family members (especially your kids) is a great way to get the ball rolling on downsizing.

5. Get some legal help!

According to the BC Wills, Estates and Succession Act and the BC Wills Variation Act, which legislate estate succession in British Columbia, there are a number of reasons why your estate documents may be deemed invalid by a court.

For example, there could be undo interference (which is when someone influences the writing of another person’s will); formal invalidity (when proper processes aren’t followed); or a lack of testamentary capacity (when someone doesn’t have the mental capacity to legally sign a will).

Regardless of the reason, if a judge declares that a will is invalid, it’s essentially thrown away.

Draftinging or reviewing your documents with a BC Notary can help to ensure your wishes are followed and documents stand up to scrutiny.

The bottom line: if you haven’t created or reviewed your legal documents lately, now is the perfect time!

About David Watts

David Watts is a BC Notary who has practiced in Downtown Vancouver since 2006.  David’s office specializes in working with people to create their Wills, Power of Attorney and Representation Agreements; as well as performing Real Estate Transfers for properties all around British Columbia.  David has trained to receive the Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA) designation. David has been long-serving Director of the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia and is currently 2nd Vice President.

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3 Reasons Smart Baby Boomers Get A Representation Agreement

3 Reasons Smart Baby Boomers Get A Representation Agreement

Representation Agreements let you decide in advance who can make health decisions for you in the event you can’t make them yourself.

The golden years offer very different opportunities then they have in the past.

Many Boomers live long lives and are very active. And while the spirit may still feel young, the body, unfortunately, doesn’t always get the memo.

As people grow older, the chances of having accidents or suffering serious health issues grow significantly.

According to a report by the Canadian Medical Association, nearly three-quarters of Canadians over 65 have at least one chronic health condition. The report also states that 62% of hospitalizations for Boomers are due to unexpected falls.

As you get older you need to be ready for the very real possibility that something could happen. A situation may arise leaving you incapacitated and unable to make health decisions for yourself. 

What is a Representation Agreement?

A Representation Agreement is a legal document that allows a person (or a group of people) to make personal care and health decisions for someone else.

This allows someone you trust to manage your affairs if you are incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions due to illness, injury, or disability.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you need a Representation Agreement, here’s 3 great reasons…

1. You Choose The Person (Or People) To Represent You

Without a Representation Agreement, a doctor or healthcare provider will choose your Temporary Substitute Decision Maker (TSDM) if you can’t make your own decisions.

This person is selected based on the Health Care Consent Act. Your spouse would be the first choice, followed by one of your children.

Your TSDM is required by law to make decisions based on your best interests. However, this person may not necessarily be the person you want, or may not know what type of care or treatment you would prefer.

The Role of a Representative

A Representation Agreement allows you to choose in advance who you want to represent you. The only people who can’t be appointed as representatives are paid caregivers.

Most people chose a spouse, partner, friend or family member in their representation agreement. 

The representative’s main responsibility is to assist a person to make a decision for themselves. This means that before making any decision, the representative is legally obligated to try to determine your current wishes.

If you are completely incapacitated and your current wishes cannot be determined, then your representative will follow what has been outlined in your Representation Agreement.

As a last resort, the representative will make a decision based on what they think is in your best interest while consistent with your values.

2. You Have Control Of The Important Decisions

A Representation Agreement will allow you to dictate your specific wishes regarding your physical, emotional and personal needs. These include:

  • Advocating for you
  • Giving or withholding consent for medical treatments
  • Where you will live (and with whom)
  • Whether to admit or discharge you from a care facility
  • Planning of support and services
  • Who has visitation rights
  • Care staff management
  • Spiritual matters
  • Whether you want to refuse CPR or have a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)
  • End of life decision making
  • Diet and grooming
  • Care of pets
  • Participation in activities and exercise

Peace of mind

Without a Representation Agreement, your TSDM is unable to make any of these decisions on your behalf. Their power is limited to immediate minor and major healthcare decisions such as surgeries and routine treatments.

With a Representation Agreement, you have the peace of mind that your wishes and beliefs will be carried out if you are incapacitated.

3. It’s Less Stress For Loved Ones

When someone you love experiences a serious health issue it’s stressful, and depending on the severity, often heartbreaking. The last thing anyone needs is additional stress during this time.

The benefit in organizing a Representation Agreement in advance is that you have made a plan, selected the right person (or people) for the task and discussed it with them prior to the document being signed.

In the unfortunate event that something does happen that requires the Representation Agreement to take effect, your loved ones are adequately prepared.

You Are Prepared

Types of Representation Agreements

There are two types of Representation Agreements:

Standard Powers (Section 7)

A Section 7 Representation Agreement allows a chosen representative to take control over minor and major health care, personal care, legal affairs and routine financial affairs.

Someone can sign this type of Representation Agreement even if they cannot manage their own affairs or make decisions independently, which is why it’s purposefully limited.

It does not hand over responsibility for larger decisions regarding finance and end of life options.

A Section 7 Agreement requires a lesser degree of mental capacity when signing and may be appropriate for people with diminished capacity who need day to day help.

Enhanced Powers (Section 9)

Section 9 Representation Agreements are much broader in scope and are signed before there is any question regarding a person’s mental capability or competency.

These agreements are comprehensive and grant representative powers regarding all health matters, including end of life decision making.

The 2 Types of Representation Agreements

Next Steps

The important things to consider in moving forward are who you would want to name as your decision maker(s).  You may name an alternate should the person you choose be unable to act when called upon.  Your Notary can help guide you, discuss the process and answer questions when we meet.

To find out more including information about our process and receiving a quote for us to provide this service; please call or email us.  We are happy to assist you directly or to provide a referral for a notary or lawyer in your area.

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