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Did you know that it’s important not to wait too long before signing your will and/or your protection mandate?

[:en]Normand is 70 years old and feels at the top of his game. He has been postponing the moment when he would have to prepare his will and protection mandate. He knows very well that these documents are not only useful, but also essential, but he keeps telling himself that he is young and still has time to do it later.

Years pass and the first signs of cognitive losses associated with Alzheimer’s disease appear. In the beginning, he only seems to be suffering from inoffensive memory lapses, but the situation quickly deteriorates. Before it is too late, Normand’s son makes an appointment with their notary. Following the first meeting, the notary demands a medical certificate confirming that Normand is still capable of understanding the legal nature of the documents before proceeding with their signature.

Did you know that it is important not to wait too long before signing your will or your protection mandate? A notary can only proceed with the signature of those documents if the person is still able to give a free and informed consent. Consequently, the notary has the duty to verify his clients’ capacity to provide such a consent. The notary is not, however, a doctor. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to detect the presence of a cognitive disease that could impair the client’s ability to give a free and informed consent.

The fact that Normand suffers from Alzheimer’s disease does not constitute, in and of itself, a reason for the notary to refuse his client’s mandate. It all depends on the disease’s stage. Only a doctor will really be able to decide on the client’s capacity, in consideration of this stage. It should not come as a surprise if a notary asks for a medical assessment to confirm the client’s capacity, especially is said client is considered vulnerable. It is a precaution that ensures the act’s validity and makes it, at the same time, more difficult to challenge in court.

Should you be facing a similar situation and/or in need of advice, do not hesitate to contact our notary.

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