Lawyer Or Notary Public – Whom Do I Need?

By Yasin S. Amlani, Amlani & Associates

The question of whether to use a lawyer or notary public when purchasing or selling a house is a common one, as many are unfamiliar with the similarities and differences between the two.

A lawyer is a person whose profession is to advise others in matters of the law, giving legal advice and assistance to clients, and representing them in a transaction or court of law. In order to become licensed to practice law, a lawyer must graduate with a law degree from a recognized university, article with a law firm and pass the Law Society’s Bar Admission course and examination. Cheap Vancouver car rental .  Because of the nature of the duties and obligations required to maintain Law Society membership, lawyers are automatically also notary publics.

A concise definition of a notary public is an official witness. Notaries verify the identity and competency of those who sign documents and take oaths, thereby certifying the authenticity of these documents. To become licensed, notaries must complete formal training which lasts anywhere from six months to two years, in addition to writing an examination set by their society. Notary publics have been given authority to engage in certain types of transactions.

Another difference between the two is that a lawyer’s job is primarily to look out for the best interests of his client, while utilizing his knowledge of the law to perform the transaction at hand. In contrast, the level of legal advice a notary public may provide is minimal. A notary public may not give legal advice or practice law, unless he or she is also a lawyer.  That being said, many transactions are fairly straightforward and can be handled effectively by notaries. For those that require a deeper understanding of the law and the significance and consequences of a particular action or inaction, a notary would defer to the expertise of a lawyer, so it may be of a greater benefit to use one from the start.

Yasin Amlani primarily practices in the areas of residential and commercial real estate transactions as well as business and corporate law.  He has Bachelor of Science and Law degrees from U.B.C., as well as a Masters in Business Administration from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts.  He was called to the B.C. Bar in 2000.  He may be reached at (604) 434-9898 or