It is well known that the purchase of a property is a significant investment. Real estate transactions rely on the accuracy of the Land Title Office. However, sometimes the actual title can be different from what is registered at the Land Title Office. For example, there could be an interest in the property that was unknown at the time of the transaction. In this kind of situation, there can be significant costs and potentially large losses. This is where Title Insurance comes in.

Title Insurance offers coverage to Lenders or Buyers in the event of a loss in purchasing a property or gaining interest in a property, resulting from different matters. It also could cover potential unknown defects that may impact your interest in the property. Examples of the latter might be defective or inadequate surveys, a construction done without proper permits, building bylaw or zoning infractions, or real property tax arrears of the seller – all of which could impact the value of the property significantly.

Do you need Title Insurance when you buy property in British Columbia?

While it is popular in other places, such as in the United States, Property Title Insurance in British Columbia has been less popular.  The BC Land Title registration system has generally been considered one of the best in North America. In most cases, the BC Land Title Registration Office guarantees the title to a property.
In the case of mortgage insurance, the bank undertakes the risk in most cases. Your lender might require you to purchase a policy as a condition for funding, but such insurance would only protect your lender.

At Uptown Notaries, we offer complimentary owner’s policies when lenders policy is a requirement, and when your purchase price is under 1 million dollars.

Like any insurance that you are not required to purchase, the decision should be made by the purchaser, and in the case of title insurance, it would be highly recommended to make that decision after giving it good thought. How much risk are you willing to take? Is the history of the property very clear and straightforward? Could there be issues unknown or information unavailable to you?

How to purchase title insurance?

At Uptown Notaries we can take care of title insurance for you. It is a one-time fee, there is no renewal or annual premium. It allows you to sleep at night knowing that you’re covered against these hidden issues.

Every real estate transaction involves—among other things—a considerable amount of paperwork. The average person might find it a bit daunting to read, understand, and process it all. For this reason, it is always advisable to have a legal professional help you work through the details.  The question then arises whether it is better to go with a lawyer or a notary for a real estate transaction. This question is often followed by wondering what the exact difference is between the two. It’s a good question well worth asking, and we’ll answer it here by looking at the main points of comparison: education and duties.

Becoming a Notary or a Lawyer

When most people think of lawyers, they imagine what they see on TV: years of study and offices full of law books. Lawyers actually do commit several years to learning their craft, working hard to obtain an undergraduate degree and a law degree. They are also required to pass a provincial examination and article at a law firm for one year before they can practice.

Notaries also require an undergraduate degree, as well as a Master of Arts in Applied Legal Studies. They then go on to write statutory exams and train with the Society of Notaries, where they complete a mentorship and must pass the society’s final exam.

Responsibilities: What Do Notaries and Lawyers Do?

Notaries and lawyers will appear similar in that they both deal with legal matters. When dealing with the average, simple real estate transaction, you will most likely be satisfied with either type of representation. Whether you are dealing with a notary or a lawyer, they will:

• Determine that you are purchasing the property from the rightful owner by conducting a title search.
• Prepare the Statement of Adjustments. This details the amount of money being transferred between the buyer and the seller. This may include the reimbursement of pre-paid bills.
• Prepare the closing documents.
• Contact the seller’s lawyer. This will be done to register the transfer and see to it that the seller is paid.

So, if both notaries and lawyers can complete the tasks, what are the differences between the two?

In the event of a dispute, a lawyer can represent you in court, whereas a notary cannot. The lawyer is also able to provide you with legal advice if issues should arise between the time that the offer is accepted and the possession date. A notary will be unable to give legal advice.

With that in mind, some might automatically think that it is in their best interest to hire a lawyer, but consider the fact that lawyers who mainly practice conveyance (the transfer of property from one owner to another) would be unlikely to bring a court to case themselves. Similarly, if litigation should prove necessary, a notary would be just as capable of referring you to a trusted partner.

Ultimately, while there are differences between notaries and lawyers, both can ensure that all of your needs are met, allowing for a smooth and simple transaction. While lawyers may be able to represent you in court, litigation and conveyancing are two different specialties, and you will benefit from having a specialist notary on your side.  If you need a notary for a real estate transaction in Burnaby, Coquitlam, or New Westminster, you can contact Uptown Notaries on North Road.

A recent BC survey showed that 6 in 10 British Columbians would not know what to do if they encountered someone living with dementia that needed help. While awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is growing, the frustration experienced by the individuals who are affected remains a reality. Additionally, in a separate survey, 61 percent of Canadians thought they would experience discrimination if diagnosed. However, even bigger challenges lay down on the families of people diagnosed with dementia.

I would like you to tell a real-life story of Margot Bentley, an Abbotsford resident. She was a nurse who made her end of life wishes clear – she wrote a note in which she said explicitly — if she got to the point where she couldn’t recognize her family, she wanted to die without having antibiotics, without resuscitation, and no to food or water. The document was signed and witnessed.The 85-year old, who died in an Abbotsford nursing home in 2016, lingered for many years in a vegetative state, her life prolonged through spoon-feeding by nursing home staff, contrary to Bentley’s 1991 living will and her family’s wishes. Bentley lived 17 years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She became a central figure in a right-to-die case that one of her daughters, Katherine Hammond, fought and lost in the courts.

I would like to underline that legal professionals can play a unique role in this process. Because of the realities of the disease, advance planning is imperative for families. In the example of Margot Bentley, the judge specifically referred to the representation agreement which Margot didn’t have and her written statements of wishes didn’t qualify for the formalities of advance directive.

Now I would like to ask you, who do you know have early stages of dementia and need to be helped? Talk to them, and their families. We can help them before it is too late. Call Uptown Notaries to know more about representation agreements, powers of attorney, and wills.

Some documents are more important than others. When a handshake simply won’t do, reach out to a notary. These trustworthy officials ensure all your crucial paperwork is legally signed, sealed, and delivered, taking the stress and burden off your shoulders.  There is a lot more to a notary than you might realize. Read on to learn all the many ways a notary can help you.

#1. Real Estate Purchases and Sales

Buying or selling a home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Once you have gone through the real estate process, it is up to the notary to finalize the transaction. Transferring the ownership of a property can be complex. A notary for real estate transactions will handle all the legal documents, preparing and registering the relevant paperwork, as well as ensuring the funds are sent to the appropriate parties.

#2. Mortgages and Refinancing

Do you need help with new mortgages, home equity loans, or mortgage renewals? A notary provides a wide variety of mortgage and refinancing services to make the entire process run legally and smoothly. They will verify title records, strata records, tax records, and insurance status. Protect your interests with a trusted, qualified notary.

#3. Wills

When you pass away, you want to make sure your loved ones are taken care of. Whether it is appointing a guardian for your children, assigning an executor, or deciding who gets your assets, a notary will help you draft or update your will. Don’t leave Will preparation to just anyone. An experienced notary will make sure your wishes are carried through.

#4. Powers of Attorney

If you are unable to handle your financial and legal matters, you will need help appointing someone who can. Working with a reliable professional provides invaluable power of attorney services. Notaries will ensure a trusted person will handle all your affairs, giving you peace of mind.

#5. Certified True Copies of Documents

Need to use an important document but don’t want to lose the original? A notary will make an exact certified duplicate that can be presented as a genuine document. From birth certificates and passports to driver’s licenses, certified true copies can be extremely useful for applying for a job in a foreign country, applications for immigration, and professional certification.

More than just general notarizations, a professional notary offers up a wide range of crucial services, providing non-contentious legal solutions to the public.

With over 65 years of combined experience, the team at Uptown Notaries has been providing the highest standard of notary public services in the industry. Located on North Road in Burnaby, we regularly serve clients in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Tri Cities, and New Westminster. When it is time to get vital documents signed, sealed, and delivered, contact us.