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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Property Transfer Tax?
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that governs how your estate is distributed following your death. A Will is valid if it is made by a person of sound mind who is 16 years of age or older and it may deal with the disposing of property on death, the guardianship of minor children, the management of assets, and the deceased’s wishes for their funeral arrangements.
Why do I need a Will?
By making a Will, you can specify who administers your estate, who your beneficiaries are, and who will be the guardians of your minor children following your death. Without your direction, the law will dictate the distribution of your assets, the administrator of your estate, and who the Court thinks is the best guardian for your minor children.
What happens if I die without a Will?
Your estate will be distributed according to the current intestate laws set out by the government. An administrator may be appointed by the Court and guardians may be assigned for minor children.
There may also be tax implications that were not accounted for in your estate plan.
Currently, if you are married and have children, your estate will be divided between your spouse and children. If you do not have a spouse, then everything will be divided among your children. If you do not have a spouse or children then your estate will be divided equally between your parents. If you do not have a spouse, children, or parents then everything goes to your siblings. If your do not have a spouse, children, parents, or siblings then everything goes to your nieces and nephews.
What happens to my children if I die without a Will?
The Court may assign legal guardians for minor children based on who they think is best suited.
Can I change my Will?
Yes. Any time there is a change to your situation or you would like to change the way your assets are to be distributed, you can make a new Will which will revoke any prior Wills.
Can I leave one of my children out of my Will?
Yes. You choose how you want your estate to be distributed following your death. However, your spouse or children may challenge the Will if they feel they have not been provided for fairly.
A Court may look at other gifts such as life insurance or property owned jointly, when assessing if gifts left in the Will to family members is sufficient.
The Courts believe that a legal and moral responsibility is owed to spouses, minor children, and adult disabled children. Although there is no legal responsibility to provide for adult children, there may be a moral responsibility depending on the:
Size of the estate
Child’s financial circumstances
Relationship between the child and the Will-maker
What are Probate Fees?
The process of probating a Will includes making it valid in order for your Executor to begin distribution of your assets.
If the value of your estate is deemed to be less than $25,000, then probate fees will be waived.
For estates with a value of $25,000 or more, probate fees may be between 1.1-1.5% of the gross value of the estate plus a $208 administration fee.
Who should I choose as my Executor?
It is best to choose someone you can trust who will protect and manage your estate for you the way you would want it to be handled. They will be responsible for paying out taxes, fees, funeral expenses, etc., carrying out all directions you have laid out in your Will, and paying out beneficiaries according to your wishes.
It may be more plausible to choose someone who is in your proximity and is willing to take on the responsibility of administering your estate as the process may be very time consuming.
An Executor is entitled to remuneration of up to 5% of the gross value of your estate.
Who should I choose as a Guardian?
The Guardian of your minor children should be someone who is willing to take care of your children and possibly shares the same values as you. It may also be a good idea to choose someone local to prevent your children from being removed from their school and surroundings while dealing with loss.
How long will it take for my Beneficiaries to receive their gifts?
The timeline will vary depending on the administration process but it may take 6 months to 1 year before the Executor is able to carry out the Will-maker’s requests.
What information do I need to bring in to my Will appointment?
The Notary will require you to bring in any previous Wills you have made and will confirm:
Your full legal name and address
Executor and alternate executor information (who you wish to act as your representative)
A description of any specific gifts or sums of money you wish to leave to beneficiaries
Full names and addresses of beneficiaries and alternate beneficiaries
Full names and addresses of the person(s) you wish to designate as guardian of your minor children
A description of your funeral wishes
How long does it take to make a Will?
An appointment with the Notary may take 30-45 minutes depending on the complexity of instructions to be outlined in your Will. The Notary will draft the final copy of the Will within 1-2 days to be signed and witnessed at your convenience.
How much does it cost?
A basic Will is just $350 and couples Wills are only $300/each. If there are complexities including blended families, etc., the Notary will quote an hourly fee at the time of the appointment.
POWER OF ATTORNEY
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a written authorization that gives the authority of one person to act on another person's behalf in financial decisions or legal matters.
An Enduring Power of Attorney may be used when an able-body becomes mentally incompetent due to age, accident, or illness and is unable to make certain legal and financial decisions soundly. In this situation, an attorney may be granted authority to act on behalf on the person granting the Power of Attorney either when the grantor is still capable or has become incapable of making their own decisions.
Why do I need a Power of Attorney?
If you would like to grant authority to someone to make personal and financial decisions on your behalf, a Power of Attorney is a great tool to give your family the ability to manage your affairs if you ever become unable to manage them yourself.
Who can be my attorney?
You can choose almost anyone to be your Attorney.
They must NOT:
be under 19 years of age
provide you with personal care or health care services for compensation
be an employee of a facility where you reside and where you receive personal care or health care services.
What does an Attorney do?
Your attorney can do almost anything that you can do in terms of making legal and financial decisions on your behalf. Common tasks include:
Dealing with government agencies (such as Canada Revenue Agency)
Dealing with property (selling your property if you are moved to a home)
Your Attorney does not have the authority to make a Will on your behalf.
Can I have more than one Attorney?
Yes, you can appoint multiple Attorneys and you can decide if you would like them to work together or separately when managing your affairs.
If I have a Will, do I still need a Power of Attorney?
It is a good idea to have both documents in place. A Will does not come into effect until your death whereas a Power of Attorney may be used while you are still alive but incapable of carrying out certain legal and financial tasks on your own.
A Power of Attorney is only valid while you are alive and the Will will take effect upon your death.
Can my Attorney make health care decisions on my behalf?
No. A separate legal document called a Representation Agreement can be drafted by your Notary in addition to the Power of Attorney to ensure that your wishes for health care are met along with your financial and legal matters.
A Representation Agreement allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf.
How much does it cost?
A Power of Attorney for one Attorney is just $175. Multiple Attorneys and multiple functions may require an additional charge that will be quoted by the Notary at the time of the appointment.
What is a Notarization?
The act of officially certifying a legal document by a Notary Public. The purpose of having a legal document notarized is to ensure the authenticity of the signatures that appear on the document.
What type of documents can be Notarized?
Any document that is required to be witnessed by a Commissioner or Notary Public in and for the Province of British Columbia can be notarized at our offices. Common documents that are typically required to be notarized by a Notary Public include:
Travel Consent Letters for Minor Children
Contracts and Agreements
Certified True Copies
Insurance Loss Declarations
Letters of Invitation for Foreign Travel
Passport Application Documentation
What do I need to bring?
Before your signature can be attested to, you must provide 2 pieces of identification, of which at least one is government-issued (such as a driver’s license).
How much does it cost?
Notarizations are just $35/each and $75/each for Land Title or Power of Attorney documents.
If the Notary is required to draft the document, there may be an additional charge depending on the time and complexity.
REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS
What is a Conveyance?
A conveyance is the legal process of transferring property from one owner to another. A Notary Public will register the title at the Land Title Office and will remove any encumbrances affecting a clear title.
I just got a Mortgage, why do I need a Notary?
In order to secure the mortgage, a charge must be registered against the property at the Land Title Office. Your lender will not release the funds until the Notary provides proof of the registered charge.
This is my first time buying a house. Anything I should know?
The Notary will consult you on your purchase to ensure that the title is transferred into your name by way of a smooth, seamless transaction. You may be required to obtain financing and insurance for the transfer to complete.
You may qualify for a first-time home buyer’s grant which the Notary will discuss with you and apply to your purchase.
What is Property Transfer Tax?
When you purchase or gain an interest in property that is registered at the Land Title Office, you are responsible for paying property transfer tax. It must be paid when an application for a taxable transaction is made at any Land Title Office in British Columbia to register changes to a certificate of title.
Family Transfers may qualify for a property transfer tax exemption.
How much does a property transfer cost?
The cost will vary depending on whether it is a purchase or sale, whether there are one or more mortgages, whether it is a house, condo, or strata, etc. Please call the Notary for a quote.
Arti Sood Notary Corporation prides itself in low disbursement costs due to its affiliation with The UPS Store Ironwood and Ironwood Insurance Agencies Ltd.