Notary services: now in Sooke
As published in MapleLine Magazine: Feb. 3, 2010
by Mary P. Brooke
It’s 2010, and Sooke now has a notary public. Cheryl Vavra will be opening her town centre Notaries in Sooke office in March. Previously, residents of Sooke have had to drive to Victoria to obtain the services of a Notary.
“Each and every day most Notaries explain what they do,” says Vavra, who handles a lot of real estate conveyancing and much more.
“It’s an old profession,” says Vavra. Notaries Public (the correct plural of Notary Public), were the principal agents, scriveners, and scribes for commercial and judicial law. The tradition of trust goes back over 2,000 years. Notaries laid down the Codex Hammurabi, the oldest evidence of documented law, says Vavra, who clearly enjoys the stature of her profession.
Notaries were also employed by the Catholic Church to be the guiding light of civilization through the Dark Ages, she says. Throughout centuries of upheaval, the Notary’s reputation for trustworthiness ensured that documents remained reliable.
Currently, Notaries in BC are legal professionals providing an alternative to lawyers, practicing within clearly delineated areas of law. BC Notaries are governed by the Notaries Act and by the Society of Notaries Public of BC. Members of the Society have an obligation (upheld by the courts) to provide services that are at least equal in quality to those provided by lawyers. As with lawyers, the professional work of a Notary is covered by an insurance plan that protects the public.
Modern day Notaries do not get involved in litigation or argue cases
before a judge. Their activities are restricted to non-contentious
matters – those where the parties involved are in agreement. A Notary’s
area of practice in BC may include, but is not limited to the following:
Real Estate Transfers
Mortgage Refinancing & Discharges
Manufactured Home Transfers
Wills Preparation & Powers of Attorney
A Notary’s strength is in preparing accurate, reliable legal documents in order to assist the general public in BC. Before candidates can begin training for a career as a Notary Public, they must submit to a scrupulous review of their personal, financial, educational and business background. This screening reviews their character, reputation and integrity.
Training for a BC Notary career requires a bachelor degree and now requires a Master of Arts in Applied Legal Studies (offered only at Simon Fraser University). The candidate writes a set of statutory examinations. Notaries are commissioned for life by the BC Supreme Court.
There are a total of 20 Notaries practicing in Greater Victoria (in Victoria, Saanichton, Brentwood Bay and Sidney as well as now in Sooke). Working in association with Vavra is Notary Vienna Kappell, who practices at Kitto & Best in Victoria. MM
This article first appeared in print on page 30 in the Winter-Spring 2010 issue of MapleLine Magazine (All rights reserved).
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