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Notary for seniors – episode 3: The Will

The Will
Catégorie : Finances  

If you are concerned about how your assets will be distributed, or what will happen to them when something happens to us, making a Will is an important step.

A Will ensures that our loved ones will be taken care of in case something happens to them and that the assets we have left behind are well protected!

What is a Will?

A Will allows you to organize the distribution of your assets during your lifetime and to formulate your last wishes. To be valid, it does not necessarily have to be drawn up before a notary, but certain conditions must always be met so that the authenticity of this document cannot be questioned. In this third and final episode of our web series devoted to the notary, we will discuss the necessity of making a will and why it is important to do so at the same time as the power of attorney and the mandate of protection. We are still in the company of Louis Sirois, CEO of Visavie, and Stéphanie, from ETTIC Société Notariale. Enjoy the video!

English subtitles available


Hello, welcome to our third Visavie capsule, today on the aspect of the will. A legal portion that we want to cover with you today. We are here with Stéphane Roy from the ETTIC Société Notariale group which is based in Laval and Montreal.

So, Stéphanie, we’ve already covered two topics: the power of attorney and the mandate of protection. Now, the will, which, for me, is the simplest and best known. Everyone knows a will. But why make a will?

Stephanie, why do we need to make a will? Of course, if we don’t have one, our estate will still proceed legally. But it’s so much simpler, because we have a will. We can already say how we want our assets to be distributed and to whom exactly.

If we don’t have one, it will follow the legal course of things and it may not respect what we would have wanted to happen with our assets.

We’ve all seen movies where there was no document prepared. And now it’s a bloody mess. Excuse the term. People are fighting for it! This is mine and this is yours.

There, everything is clear, all well established and the person can do it alone or they can do it with their loved ones. It’s their choice. Basically, that’s it. In Quebec, there are three types of wills.

First, the holographic will is made by the will itself. So the person will just write what he wants and simply sign it. So that’s the first form of will. No need for any other formalities than that.

There’s also the witnessed will. So, the only formality for this is that there are two witnesses who see the testator sign and who also sign this will. It can be written by the testator, by a third party, for example one of the witnesses, or another person, or even with a computer or a technological device.

So that’s how we proceed for this one. And then there is the third type of will. The notarial will. Before we think about this type of will. Just mention that for the first two types, so holographic and before witnesses.

The disadvantage with these, although they are simpler to do than perhaps go to a notary and pay the fees. At first, we think it will be easier to do it ourselves, but in fact, it is much more complicated when you die.

Because when you die, first of all, did your relatives know that you had these wills? You have to find them. Once that’s done, you have to go to a notary to have your will probated. This means having it probated by the court, which takes a long time or several months.

It also takes more money than if you had gone to a notary initially to make your will. What you’re saying here is that you don’t save money. No, eventually it catches up with our loved ones.

So, as I was saying earlier with the power of attorney, we are able to get help from the notary who will give us advice. “We do it this way, this is the best way”. And for an elder and the family, it would be best to do all three documents at the same time as the power of attorney.

The power of attorney and the will before a notary, is that what you suggest doing? 100% agree! Doing all three documents at the same time allows you to cover all possibilities. So you cover while you’re still competent, when you’re no longer competent and when you die how your assets are going to be managed.

And by making a notarial will, you will be able to benefit from the advice of a notary for your estate planning. Is it better to leave this property to this person? You will also simplify life for your family at your death.

It will be very easy to find the copies of the will. And as I mentioned earlier, compared to the other two types of wills, the notarial will does not have to be verified by the court upon your death.

So, this is a great advantage. It costs money to deal with a notary, but it saves your family so much time and money when you die that it’s a great gift for them.

We have worked with hundreds of thousands of families to help them find the right residence or home care. But we realize, Stephanie, that when the paperwork is not in order.

Interactions with children, relatives, spouses is much more difficult. So, Stephanie, thank you for concluding our legal section with the three items: power of attorney, mandate of protection and will. We strongly suggest that you work with a notary to prepare them.

Do this in advance, it saves so many problems and we suggest you work with this group ETTIC Santé Notariale. You can call Stephanie. We’ll put the contact information for her at the bottom of the screen. So thank you all.We’ll catch up in another capsule in the future. Thank you.