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Property FAQs



Do I need a will?

Everyone should have a will whether prepared by a lawyer or handwritten.  Should a person die without a will they have died in what is referred to as intestate which mean their estate, their goods and property, are divided among the heirs according to Alberta law.

The result can be that your estate is divided in ways with which you might disagree.

You should consult a lawyer if:

  • you have a substantial estate, one with considerable assets (property, investments, etc.),
  • children, or
  • complicated family relationships.


Can I hand-write a will?

Alberta is one of the few jurisdictions that still accepts a hand-written (holograph) will so long as the will is signed and the signature is witnessed.


How do I apply for a passport?

Passports are issued by the Government of Canada, rather than the Government of Alberta, and you must apply directly to Passport Canada. You can apply on-line, at the Government of Canada’s website, or at a local passport offices in some communities.


What is an oath?

An oath is a solemn declaration of the validity of a statement.  In order for an oath to be valid it should be taken before a Commissioner for Oaths or a Notary Public


What is the difference between a commissioner for oaths and a notary public?

A commissioner for oaths is qualified and authorised to administer oaths and affirmations and take affidavits that will be used within Alberta.

Notary publics have these powers as well but may also deal with documents that will be used outside of Alberta (for example an affidavit that will be used in another province or country).

Notaries are also able to certify true copies of a document.

A notary must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who actually resides in Alberta.  A notary can make a certified copy of a document but a commissioner of oaths cannot do so.

A member of the Law Society of Alberta is, by virtue of that membership, a notary public for Alberta.


Why does a notary public use a seal?

A notary’s seal is their indication that they have performed their duties. When a notary public administers an oath or takes affidavit affirmations or declarations for the use within Alberta they may, at their option, affix their seal to the document.

Documents notarised for use outside of Alberta will bear the notary’s seal.

A notary public is always required to legibly print or stamp their name and, where applicable, the termination date of their appointment.


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