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Whether you are planning for the future or trying to settle an estate now that includes foreign assets, you may be asked to apostille some of your documents. You may also hear terms like authentication, legalization, or attestation. These terms all refer to a process of certifying documents from one country so they will be accepted in another. Read on for more information about the apostille process for Canadian wills and estate planning documents.

What is a Last Will and Testament?

A Last Will and Testament is a document that leaves instructions about how to distribute your personal possessions and land after you pass away. Your will outlines the beneficiaries of your estate, the name of your executor(s), and any special instructions you would like followed.

What are the other Estate planning documents?

Some of the other estate planning documents you may need to gather or prepare include insurance documents, bank statements, property ownership documents, copies of identification, and copies of vital certificates (birth, marriage, divorce). Keeping copies of these documents with your Last Will and Testament can be helpful for the executor of your estate. 

What is an apostille?

An apostille is a type of document certification that confirms the authenticity of a document so that the document will be officially recognized in other apostille signatory countries. Canada recently joined the Hague Apostille Convention, with our participation taking effect in January of 2024.

The apostille certification must be completed by the appropriate Canadian government authority. Once they are satisfied that your document meets their criteria, a certificate of apostille will be applied directly to the document.

If the country where your documents will be used is not a signatory to the Hague Apostille Convention, your documents will require an additional step called document legalization. For further information about document legalization have a look at our document legalization services page of our website.

What is the process to apostille wills and estate planning documents?

The first step in the apostille process is to determine which government body is responsible, based on which province your documents originate from. For further information about the jurisdictions of each apostille office in Canada, feel free to contact our friendly staff or take a look at this helpful article: Canada Joined the Hague Apostille Convention.

Copies of documents such as a will, insurance documents, bank statements, or property deeds will all require notarization by a Canadian Notary Public before they can be apostilled. Original birth, marriage, and death certificates do not require notarization and can be apostilled on the originals through the appropriate apostille office. If you have questions about whether your documents need to be notarized before the apostille process, feel free to contact us.

How can we help with the apostille of Canadian Wills and estate planning documents?

We provide expert assistance with the apostille of Canadian wills and estate planning documents. As Canada’s leading experts in the Canadian document apostille process, we manage all aspects of the process on your behalf. 

Contact our office for a no-obligation consultation. We’ll explain the process, determine the specifics of your situation, and answer your questions. We build your custom detailed quote based upon your needs and deadlines, so you can make an informed decision about the best way to proceed. 

Contact us today by phone toll-free at 1-888-433-1011, or fill out our brief contact us form and we will get right back to you.

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