To counter the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the government of Quebec has ordered all services and activities that are not a priority to be reduced to a minimum, starting Wednesday, March 25, until April 13, 2020.
Legal services such as lawyers, bailiffs and notaries have been considered as priority services and appear on the government of Quebec’s list of priority services and activities.
As noted by the Chambre des notaires du Québec, the Union des notaires du Québec and the Association des jeunes notaires du Québec, the fact that the profession of notary is on the list of essential services does not mean that notaries are obliged to keep their notarial chambers open and render all of their services. It rather means that each notary is free to choose whether or not to stay open during this period.
Should notaries be open or closed during the economic pause?
Certain notaries have decided to stay open during the economic pause period. They will be able to receive clients but will have to respect certain rules such as social distancing and avoiding physical contact such as shaking hands.
Also, certain notaries are reducing access to accompanying persons and intermediaries who are not essential to the legal deed, such as real estate agents at a sale transaction, for example.
Other notaries prefer to close their chambers, to play an active role in combating the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and to actively protect their clients, employees and families. Notary firms that have closed must take the necessary measures to reduce the impact on their clients.
Notaries with documents to be received during the economic pause period must postpone the meetings if possible or else send their files to another notary who will draw up the deed.
Notaries who have decided to close their firms can, however, work remotely using telephone or video conferencing, emails, etc. Mtre Mona Salehi, notary, and her team work remotely and are able to continue a large part of their operations.
Thus, Mtre Mona Salehi, notary, and her team remotely open files for civil marriage, notarized wills, amicable divorce, etc. You can reach them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 514-903-8560.
Doing business with a notary remotely
Notaries can provide legal advice, open files or receive documents remotely.
Concerning the possibility for notaries to perform certain authentic deeds remotely, this has been raised several times in the past and more recently with the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Quebec, Ms. Sonia LeBel, announced in a press release in the afternoon of March 28, 2020, that a temporary measure would allow notaries to conclude a notarized deed remotely through the use of technology.
As indicated in the press release from the Minister of Justice, for the notarized deed to be concluded remotely, the following conditions must be respected:
The notary must be able to see and hear each party;
Each party or stakeholder must be able to see and hear the notary;
Where the context requires it, witnesses must be able to see and hear the parties and the notary;
The signatories and the notary must be able to see the deed or, as the case may be, the part of the deed which concerns them;
Signatories other than the notary must sign by a technological means that allows them to identify them and confirm their consent;
The notary must affix his official digital signature.
The notary must ensure the integrity and confidentiality of the shared documents and the process leading to signing the deed. The integrity of the deed must also be maintained throughout its life cycle, in particular to ensure its conservation.
The Chambre des notaires du Québec ruled on the tools to be used and the processes to be followed by notaries to ensure the security and integrity of the information and documents that will be exchanged remotely and Mtre Mona Salehi and her team are ready to support you remotely for your notarized deeds.