While preparing such a transaction, the notary not only performs a title examination — a difficult task in which he or she is specialized — but also checks for outstanding municipal and school taxes on the property, verifies what mortgages and other encumbrances might affect it, confirms the parties’ civil status and matrimonial regimes and establishes the rights respective to each party. And this is only a part of the work involved. All these precautions, added to the authentic status protecting the notarized deed of sale from most legal challenges, make for a much more secure transaction.
But more than that: notaries are experts on offers to purchase as well. Ask your notary to draw up your offer, or to examine that of a potential buyer.
At Desnoyers Laroche, we will be glad to help you through the process of buying your property. Our assistance will save you headaches, as well as legal worries.
Refinancing your property
There are a whole lot of reasons to refinance your property. You might want, for instance, to contribute to your RRSP, invest in real estate or renovate your home. In addition to preparing the legal documentation, your notary can advise you on your options and answer your questions on the subject.
Discharging your mortgage
Once your mortgage is entirely paid up — you might have made your last payment or sold your property, for example —, it needs to be discharged. Your notary will prepare the discharge, have it executed by your financial institution, and submit it to the land register for registration. Since the discharge liberates whoever was responsible for paying the mortgage, the fees associated with its preparation, execution and registration are paid by that person.
Title examinations are one of the notary’s specialities. It consists in the verification of a property’s chain of ownership, from its inception to the present day. Your notary will confirm the validity of every deed of sale making up the chain, going as far back as the original cadastre’s implementation.
This will allow him or her to determine:
- if the Vendor’s title on the property is complete;
- if they have the legal authority to sell it;
- if the consent of the Vendor’s spouse or of any other party is necessary;
- if there are easements or other rights on the property.
Likewise, upon receipt of the certificate of location, your notary will confirm, among other things:
- that the property’s dimensions are correct;
- that no buildings encroach upon a neighbouring property;
- that the property complies with zoning laws and regulations;
- that its window placement complies complies with the law.
A title examination will reveal any charges or rights that may affect, limit or devalue your title on the property, such as hypothecs, easements, writs of seizure or judgments.
Judicial Recognition of Ownership
Notaries can petition courts in non contentious matters. For instance, they can assist you in:
- Filing a motion for the recognition of your right of ownership by prescriptive acquisition;
Having an entry on the land register or on the Registre des droits réels et personnels mobiliers (RDPRM) reduced or removed.
Will and Estates
Any major person can make a Will. A will can be holograph (handwritten), signed in front of witnesses or notarial. However, only the notarial will not require to be probated by a notary or by the Court, which will avoid delay and cost to your estate.
Trust Wills are not for everyone but can be ideal in certain situations. It is indicate in particular to protect vulnerable heirs (e.g. an heir with a disability) and to control the use of the estate (e.g. an heir with consumption or gambling problems).
We can be valuable for several steps of the Estate’s settlement, both for a testamentary estate or legal estate (death without leaving a Will), in particular, for Will searches, publication of the stipulation of exemption from seizure, transfer of the property, publication of the inventory notice and the rendering of account with discharge by the heirs.
We also offer the service of a complete estate liquidation or customized depending on your needs. In addition, we can help you with the liquidation and disposition of foreign estates’ Québec property.
Probate of a Will
A deceased person’s notarial will requires no probate, as it is an authentic act. However, a holograph or witnesses will, even one executed before a lawyer, must be probated by the Court or before a notary to establish its validity.
Persons et family
The Protection Mandate, formerly called the mandate in case of incapacity, is made in prevision of a person’s loss of autonomy. In this document, you designate the person who will represent you (mandatary) in case of incapacity, and you can also include: a living will, the provisions relating to the mandatary’s accountability, the dispositions for the mandatary’s compensation.
You can also include a Power of Attorney that will be in force until the mandator is officially declared incapable, at which moment the protection mandate proper will be homologated.
In the absence of a mandate, if you become incapacitated, the designation of the representative will be made by petitioning the competent court, following either a procedure before the notary or before the tribunal and all the decisions of your representation will be subject to the supervision of a tutorship council formed by people close to you and the public Curator. The lack of a Protection Mandate could lead to longer delays and additional cots at the time of your incapacity.
Homologation of a Protection Mandate
To have a protection mandate is one thing, but to homologate it is another: the legal process involves multiple steps and takes some time. During this process, the mandator’s incapacity is established, and the court confirms the mandate’s existence and validity.
Wedding or Civil Union's ceremony
When a couple decides to tie the knot by a wedding or a Civil Union, multiple formalities must be observed. While the ceremony can of course be organized to the future spouses’ liking, there are legal requirements to satisfy. One of them is the selection of a competent officiant and, as a notary, we can act as officiant.
Acting as your officiant and your legal advisor at the same time, we will ensure all legal requirements, as well as the solemn nature of the occasion, are respected.
Marriage or Civil Union Contract
When comes the time to tie the knot, it is advisable to consult. As a notary, we can help you regarding marriage and civil union contracts, particularly regarding the economic and legal consequences of getting one and of not getting one.
These two types of contract must be received by a notary. Their purpose is to plan for the partition of a couple’s assets in the event of their marriage or union’s dissolution or because of the death of one of the partners. In the absence of a marriage or civil union contract, the default rules set out by the Civil code of Québec will apply.
Matrimonial regime modification
During their union, spouses and civilly united partners are governed by various provisions from the Civil code of Québec. When their union ceases, matrimonial regime and family patrimony’s rules will decide how their property is divided between them. Without a marriage or civil union contract, the default matrimonial regime of the Civil code of Québec, the partnership of acquests, will apply.
It is possible during the union with a notarial contract to modify the matrimonial regime in order to provide for different property division rules.
Common Law spouses' Agreement
Common Law spouses are not protected by the Civil Code of Québec. By a contact, the spouses can define their rights and obligations during their union, but also in the event of an end of the relationship.
The contract may provide for the management of properties and debts, the payment of expenses and in the event of an end of the relationship, the divisions of their properties.
In the event of a separation, your notary can assist you in many respects, such as:
- Property division;
- Assignment of a property between ex-partners or spouses;
- Liquidation of matrimonial interests and rights;
- Determination of child and spousal support;
- Preparation and execution of a separation agreement (on accessory measures).
A tutorship council is a group made up of several family members and friends of a minor. It is charged with monitoring the acts and decisions of the minor’s legal representative.
There are cases where the law requires that a tutorship council be constituted. It does so, for example, when the value of a minor’s property exceeds $25,000. We will advise you if you are in such a case. We can also prepare the Court application necessary for its constitution.
Tutorship of a Minor
A minor person is unable to exercise all their civil rights and administer their property. They therefore need adequate representation, which is exercised by a tutor. Tutorship can be legal or dative.
A minor child’s parents automatically assume their legal tutorship. Should a parent pass away, the other will assume legal tutorship alone. If both pass away, a dative tutor will need to be appointed. Parents can designate such a tutor in their Wills or Protection Mandates.
Another possibility is that parents become unable to assume their responsibilities as tutors because a Court of law declared them incapable or stripped them of their parental authority. The appointment of a dative tutor is also required in such cases. We can advise and guide you through this process.
Businesses and Corporations
Corporations are a legal form under which entrepreneurs can launch a new project or continue their business. They are an interesting option in that they offer a protection for those who invest in it. With proper planning, a corporation can contribute to your business’s sustainability, as its flexibility allows it to handle the changes in needs, priorities and ownership that naturally present themselves over time.
Incorporation might be of particular interest to:
- Sole proprietors;
- Companies who wish to diversify their activities;
- Professionals whose regulating bodies allow them to incorporate themselves.
In order to enjoy certain fiscal benefits, entrepreneurs will sometimes start a business together under a legal vehicle called “General Partnership”, which is cheaper and easier to operate than a corporation. In such a case, a partnership agreement is necessary to properly set out each partner’s rights, clarify the partners’ shared purpose and their respective contributions and responsibilities, as well as everyone’s share in the enterprise’s profits and losses.
Shareholder agreements regulate a corporation’s inner workings. They govern matters like share ownership, but also plan for potentially problematic situations. By settling in advance things such as the withdrawal or the death of a shareholder, revenue sharing, and sometimes even the exercise by shareholders of powers normally attributed to the Board of Directors, conflicts can be avoided, making the company’s future that much more secure.
Purchase and Sale of a Business
The purchase and sale of a business are milestones in the life of an entrepreneur. With proper legal planning, a better return on investment can be achieved, and the bad surprises that may present themselves after the transaction can be minimized.
Dissolution of a Corporation
Like all good things, every corporation must eventually come to an end. But certain steps must be taken beforehand for it to rest in peace. Indeed, it must first be wound up: its debts have to be paid, and the net product must be distributed to the shareholders. This process can prove complicated, which is why we offer you our advice and assistance in this matter.
Launching or upscaling a project requires financial support. A financial institution might accept to lend you the necessary funds, but it will require you to meet certain requirements in return. Your notary is the advisor you need to help you clarify those requirements, and will ensure everything is done properly for you to fulfil them.
Throughout its life, a business’ needs may fluctuate according to various factors and events. Certain situations might even call for a legal restructuring in order to optimally adapt it to a new reality. Should that be the case, we will ensure everything goes smoothly while minimizing possible legal impacts. We will also communicate with other stakeholders (e.g. professional accountants and tax experts) so that the new structure is sound across the board.
A corporate reorganization might be of particular interest to growing businesses, as well as in the following situations:
- The merger of sister or competing corporations;
- The arrival of a new shareholder or business partner;
- The vertical integration of a competitor;
- The horizontal integration of a supplier.
Business Transition & Tax Planning
Corporations and business also have to pay taxes. But those taxes can be minimized with proper planning. Tax planning is done with a goal in mind — the intergenerational transfer of a business, for example —, and typically involves complex steps that must be followed closely in order to minimize the corporation’s tax burden. We can offer you the support you need in that respect. Furthermore, we always collaborate with our clients’ accountants and tax experts to optimize the process and its results.
Tax planning might be of particular interest to:
- Individuals wishing to transfer property to their corporation;
- Business owners wishing to transfer their business to the new generation;
- Corporations wishing to safeguard their gains;
- Entrepreneurs wishing to split business income with family members.
Corporate Vault Service
We offer our clients a corporate book safekeeping and updating service. This includes the keeping of the book in our fireproof vault, as well as the control and monitoring of its circulation. We also take care of the corporations’ mandatory annual resolutions and reports, together with their assigned accountants. In other words, this service guarantees that your corporate book will stay up to date and compliant with relevant legal requirements.
We can advise you on various subjects, including:
- Documents you received and the nature and effects of which you are uncertain;
- Particular subjects, without having you provide us with all the documentation involved;
- Guidance and steps in the event of an incapacity or death;
- Receipt of signatures from people residing outside Outaouais;
- Matrimonial rights and obligations in the context of a separation or divorce;
- Matrimonial rights and obligations in the context of a new marriage or civil union.
Our services and areas of practice are varied, and some of our notaries are recognized for their expertise in specific subjects.
We are therefore pleased to provide conferences on the following subjects:
- Retirement planning;
- Marriage preparation;
- Wills and liquidator selection;
- Protection mandates;
- Estate planning;
- Married life;
- Sale of commercial real property;
We can also provide customized conferences on request.