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Frequently asked questions > Marriage > Civil union > Why choose a notary as officiant?

Why choose a notary as officiant?

There is, at the moment, thousands of persons authorized to celebrate a marriage in Quebec.

To the priests, ministers and rabbis, traditionally authorized to celebrate religious marriages, came to be added, since 1969, the persons authorized by the Quebec government to celebrate civil marriages.

Today, according to the Ministry of Justice of Quebec, the clerks and assistants clerks of the Superior Court who were appointed for that purpose can also celebrate marriages.

Also, the mayors, members of municipal councils or borough councils as well as the municipal officials appointed by the Minister of Justice can act as officiants, but only on the territory defined in their instrument of appointment.

Finally, every person to whom the Minister of Justice gives the authorization to celebrate a civil marriage can celebrate this marriage. Indeed, some people can wish that their marriage is celebrated by a significant person for them, but who is a member of none of the categories enumerated previously. We shall think here of a relative or friend of the spouses.

In these categories of officiants, it is necessary to add societies of a spiritual nature, but without a religious denomination, which received the authorization to celebrate civil marriages before 1994, the effective date of coming into force of the new Civil Code, and which kept this right since.

Finally, since June, 2002, the notaries authorized to receive notarial acts can also act as officiants.

Even if we do not take into consideration religious officiants, you still have a vast choice of officiants legally authorized to celebrate your civil marriage.

Yet only one is familiar with the new legal realities which are going to arise from your marriage or your civil union and has the legal obligation to advise you, it is the notary.

None of these officiants, with the exception of the notary, has the obligation to inform you about the important legal changes which will ensue for you from this civil marriage or civil union.

None of these officiants, with the exception of the notary, is authorized to receive your marriage contract or your civil union contract if you decide to have one.

None of these officiants is better placed than the notary to explain these new legal realities. Thus, as an example, as from the marriage or civil union, your testamentary situation will be governed by the provisions of the Civil Code of Quebec if you do not have a Will. Who, other than the notary, will answer your questions on these subjects?

Whether it concerns the marriage or civil union, this leads to the constitution of a family patrimony and a matrimonial regime, the possibility of compensatory benefit, of an eventual obligation to support, etc. Do you feel at ease with these new rights and new obligations?

When you choose a notary to celebrate your marriage or civil union, you have the opportunity to meet a professional of the law. You can then discuss with him of your new legal situation and submit to him your questions about marriage contract or civil union contract, Wills, family patrimony, separation as to property or partnership of acquests.

Beyond the obligations required by law for the celebration of marriage, there is nothing which prevents you from integrating into your celebration the elements coming from religious, spiritual or esoteric traditions which would be significant for you. You could also integrate into your celebration the elements inspired by your national traditions. In all these cases, the notary will be an officiant attentive to your expectations and your proposals. He will be so much more than that because he also knows to what extent you are anxious to build your union on solid and well understood legal bases ...

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