In 2020 and early 2021, several television reports and newspaper articles mentioned an increase in applications for notarial wills and powers of attorney. Increases in business volume of nearly 40% were announced.

Has this trend continued? Was it a temporary increase? Has this increase in requests for notarial wills been maintained during the pandemic?

To learn more, we sent a request for information to the Chambre des notaires du Québec and the Barreau du Québec to find out the number of entries in the registers of testamentary dispositions from April 1 to March 31, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021. We also consulted the annual reports of the Chambre des notaires du Québec and the Barreau du Québec.

Decline in the number of requests for wills in 2020-2021

Whether for a notarial will or a will received by a lawyer (which must be probated, because a will received by a lawyer is equivalent to a will in the presence of witnesses), we observe a decline in the number of wills received.

 

2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
Register of the

Chambre

des notaires

du Québec

Register of the

Barreau

du Québec

 

Register of the

Chambre

des notaires

du Québec

Register of the

Barreau

du Québec

 

Register of the

Chambre

des notaires

du Québec

 

Register of the

Barreau

du Québec

 

 

Register of the

Chambre

des notaires

du Québec

Register of the

Barreau

du Québec

Will 215,576 1,076 208,498 860 202,775 1,292 181,973 622

Wills received by a notary

For notarial wills, we observe:
• a decrease of 3.28% between 2017-2018 and 2018-2019
• a decrease of 2.75% between 2018-2019 and 2019-2020
• a decrease of 10.26% between 2019-2020 and 2020-2021

Wills received by a lawyer

For wills received by lawyers, we observe:
• a decrease of 20% between 2017-2018 and 2018-2019
• a increase of 50.23% between 2018-2019 and 2019-2020
• a decrease of 51.86% between 2019-2020 and 2020-2021

Observations on requests for notarial wills

In our firm, the demand for notarial wills and codicils did not increase more than our normal annual growth rate. We attribute this to the fact that in March 2020, few notaries were equipped to receive notarial deeds remotely. This backlog has since been made up. The population as a whole is not yet informed of the technological possibilities that notaries have of performing certain acts remotely. This could mean that intentions to write a will with a notary have been postponed until after the pandemic.

Support for your notarial will

Mtre Mona Salehi and her team are available to help you with writing your notarial will. The most complete form of will, a notarial will does not have to be verified, unlike wills received by a lawyer or made via an online service. Some online services offer notarial wills, but access to the notary is often limited to 20 minutes.

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