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The Notary and Senior Citizens

At the dawn of a new stage in life, you surely have the satisfaction of having contributed to building our society, in your own way. You deserve peace of mind so you can fully enjoy this time of life. Your notary can help you resolve any legal concerns.


Going on a trip? Have to stay at the hospital? It is reassuring to know that a person can take care of your business and administer your assets during such a time. Your spouse, one of your children or a trusted friend can do it. Here’s how.

All you have to do is sign a document called a proxy or power of attorney. The power of attorney allows the designation of a person, the proxy, to act on your behalf in these circumstances.

The power of attorney may provide for a series of acts you wish to entrust to your proxy.

So if you plan to leave the country for a long time, you might want to have a proxy who can do all the things that you would do yourself, as if you were there.

Your proxy can, for example, pay your rent or make your mortgage payments, make deposits and withdrawals from the bank, renew your insurance, etc.

Sometimes it is preferable to impose clear limits on the power of attorney. Thus, you can allow your proxy to only perform certain specific acts, such as selling your property according to the conditions you have set.

Your notary is in a position to advise you properly on the content of a power of attorney. It can then be prepared according to your needs. The power of attorney terminates in the event of your death or your proxy’s death.


If you no longer trust your proxy, you can revoke the power of attorney. From then on, the proxy will be forbidden to act on your behalf.

To exercise this right, you must sign another document, preferably notarized, called a revocation. In summary, this document contains a statement from you that you no longer want the proxy to represent you or act on your behalf.

You must then let your proxy know about the revocation: it will suffice to mail a copy of the revocation to the proxy, preferably by registered mail. You will be able to compel your proxy to give you the power of attorney so you can write on it that the proxy is terminated. If the proxy has been executed by notarized deed, it is important to notify the notary. Also, for greater security, you can also notify the financial institutions where you do business.


With age, your intellectual faculties can decline to the point where you can become incapable of managing your own affairs and caring for yourself (loss of memory, deficient judgment, etc.).

If, while fully aware of your intellectual abilities, care was taken to sign a mandate for incapacity, the designated mandatary may take over. Most of the time, instead of having to file an application before the court to have the mandate endorsed, that mandatary will be entitled to send a request to a notary accredited by his professional order to determine, in accordance with the procedure as provided by law, the coming into force of this mandate. See our article Mandate in Case of Incapacity for more information.

Where, prior to your incapacity, you had not taken care to establish such a mandate, the law then allows the opening of a protection regime. Depending on your degree of incapacity, the system of open protection may be curatorship, guardianship or advisor to the person of full age.

A curatorship is opened when your inability to take care of yourself or your property is total and permanent. A guardianship is opened when the incapacity is only partial or temporary. Finally, you will have an advisor when you are generally able to take care of yourself and your property, but you need assistance in doing certain things. These plans are re-evaluated according to the provisions of the law. Therefore, you have no control over the protection regime that will be assigned to you or the choice of the person to be appointed as curator, guardian or advisor.

Again, instead of an application to the court, a notary accredited by his professional order to act on the matter can be asked to open or review a protection regime.

As opposed to opening a protection regime, the mandate given in anticipation of incapacity allows you to choose the person who will administer your property and will take care of your person in the event of your inability, as well as the powers to be conferred on that person. The choice of this person is a decision too important to be left to the discretion of others ... To make sure your choice is respected, consult your notary.


You will want to end your lease if, fortunately, you get the low-rent housing you were hoping for or if, unfortunately, the occurrence of a disability means that you can no longer occupy your current home.

You will also want to terminate your lease if, as an elderly person, you are permanently admitted to a residential and long-term care centre or a shelter.

You will only have to notify your landlord in writing of your intention to terminate the lease and generally it will end three months after written notice has been sent. This notice must be accompanied by a certificate from the organization where you will be staying. The landlord cannot evict you before the expiry of this three-month period even if he claims to have rented your home to another person.

But be careful because in some cases the lease can be terminated much more quickly. In addition, the original lease may contain specific provisions in this respect. Consult your notary for more information.


You will spare your loved ones a lot of trouble if you have taken care to make your will.

Regardless of the financial value of your property, a well-prepared will is the only way to ensure the distribution of your assets in accordance with your wishes.

You can replace or change a will at any time. Be sure, however, to inform a trusted person of the existence of this will and mention the burial of your choice: often, the will is only read after the funeral.

The article on Wills sets out the three forms of will that are recognized by the law: the holograph will, the will made before witnesses and, of course, the notarized will. Do not hesitate to ask your notary for a copy of the brochure on this subject.


More and more people are expressing the desire that they do not want to be kept alive by artificial means. Naturally, people want to die with dignity. The idea of the living will is now making some headway. It is a dated and signed document in which a person of full age, of sound mind, healthy or sick, makes known how they would like to be treated and cared for during the last moments of their life.

Its value is strictly moral and, although it is a good indication of the will of the patient, the living will does not create any legal obligation for the doctor or the hospital. This document may, however, be given to your attending physician and become an important part of your medical record.

Even a notary cannot make a living will undisputable or enforceable, but it reassures the doctor about its authenticity and removes any doubt in the minds of your loved ones as to the authenticity of your wishes.


You have been appointed liquidator of the estate of one of your relatives. This is a great show of confidence! Your responsibility is to settle the estate of the deceased.

Some steps are needed. In short, these are:

  • Look after the funeral 
  • Proceed to the opening of the safety deposit box 
  • Open an account at a financial institution 
  • File tax returns and pay income taxes 
  • Make an inventory of assets 
  • Identify successors 
  • Ask the tax authorities for the authorizations to distribute the goods 
  • Pay the debts of the estate and pay the particular legacies 
  • Report on your administration 
  • Suggest sharing a succession, etc.

Your notary is your best partner in accomplishing the many tasks that await you. He can assist you, advise you wisely and avoid a lot of problems...

For more information on the settlement of an estate, we invite you to consult our article on the subject.


It could be a good idea to organize your own funeral, in advance. This will ensure that your last wishes are strictly observed.

The Consumer Protection Office applies the law to regulate this sector of activity: do not hesitate to contact the office in your region for information.

Do you have any other concerns? Do not let worries or uncertainty take over your life.

Source : Chambre des notaires du Québec (Translation)

Consultez votre notaire : il ne laisse rien au hasard.


65, Rue Richelieu, J8Y 4X8


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Business Hours in Gatineau

Monday to Thursday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Friday, 8:30 AM to 12 PM

Business Hours in Shawville

Monday, by appointment only

Tuesday to Thursday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Friday, by appointment only

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