LAW 101: Why Get Documents Notarized?

Edmonton estate lawyer notarizing a document

Posted by heritagelawoffices on Aug 1, 2016 in Blog, Notary

“So where is the Nota Republic anyway?” It sounds like a punchline to a bad joke, but notary publics are actually vital to the Canadian legal system. They provide an authentication service that dates back centuries, ensuring the signors of documents always have someone in their corner. Still, you may wonder what a notarized document really achieves– read on for more!


A document that is notarized must be signed or sealed by an official known as a notary public. The person endorsing or signing their name to the document must appear before the notary public and provide adequate identification. Because government recognizes notary publics as trustworthy, their ability to notarize is used to confirm the reliability of your document.


Almost all lawyers practicing in good standing within Canada are approved to be notary publics. There are also non-lawyer notary publics, examples include but are not limited to copyright agents, large trade unions and senior government officials. Once certified by the Canadian government, a notary public “can legally administer an oath, affirmation or declaration… and can also verify that signatures, marks and copies of documents are true or genuine.”*

*from Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General


There are many reasons to have a document notarized:

  • Deters fraud, such as forgery;
  • Provides protection in legal matters, such as contract disputes;
  • Fulfills mandatory requirements, as with deeds, powers of attorney, etc.;
  • Removes need for witness to appear in court (self-authenticating);
  • Elevates the pedigree and inherent value of the document.

As you can see, there is a wide range of reasons that you would get a document notarized– and there’s also more than one way to do it! If you are engaging in legal proceedings of any kind, signing important documents or even making major life decisions, you may want to consult with a notary public to see if you would benefit from their backing. Contact or visit Heritage Law today and your documents will be notarized before you can say, “Nota Republic!”