Why use a lawyer instead of a notary public?
A lawyer has much more training and expertise in the law and can give you service that is more complete in a wider range of areas. For example, if a will or real estate transaction turns out to be complicated, a notary may need to send you to a lawyer for legal advice. Notaries are only entitled to give legal advice in the areas of law that they are entitled to practice, which is fairly limited.
Most lawyers get a university degree before they go to law school. At law school, they study law full-time for three years. Then they take 10 weeks of intensive training and must pass a series of bar admission exams. All law students must also apprentice for 10 months with an established lawyer before they can work on their own. Most BC notaries were licensed before 2008 and had to take a part-time correspondence course and pass government-regulated examinations to qualify.
Things that look simple may actually be complex. People sometimes think that because procedures and forms look simple, the legal service is also simple. But legal transactions are often complex. Lawyers analyze how the law applies to your case. They do this groundwork before advising you how the law applies to you and which procedures or forms you need. You face substantial risks and disadvantages if you use the legal system without fully understanding the law and its effects.
Wills and real estate: two important examples
Your will is likely the most important legal document you ever make. It must be right because if there’s a mistake, it may be too late to fix it. Buying, selling and mortgaging your home often involve the most important financial contracts you ever sign. Not to mention it is also the single greatest investment you will make in your lifetime. Both real estate transactions and wills have to be treated with extreme caution and done very carefully.
We always hope things turn out for the best but it’s smart to be prepared. Lawyers are trained to find and fix legal problems. They also know of many tax implications associated with your case and can advise you on them.
Laws change daily and so do their effects. Lawyers understand, apply, and explain those laws to you. Why not be prepared for all situations by using a lawyer from the start?
Are lawyers’ fees competitive?
Yes. Competition helps keep legal fees reasonable. Lawyers’ fees can be competitive with notaries’ fees for similar procedures. At Silver Law, our prices match those of notaries.
Lawyers give complete legal advice—something notaries can’t give.