Tax & Estate Planning

Virtual Witnessing of Estate Planning Documents (COVID-19)

Tax & Estate Planning

Virtual Witnessing of Estate Planning Documents (COVID-19)

The Provinces of Alberta and British Columbia have recently passed Ministerial Orders which will temporarily allow for the virtual witnessing of Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, Personal Directives (Alberta), and Representation Agreements (BC), provided certain requirements are met. Notably, the BC Order requires that the relevant document be witnessed by a lawyer or notary public, while the Alberta Order requires that the individual making the document receives advice from a lawyer respecting the making, signing and witnessing of the document.

Effective from May 15, 2020 (in Alberta) and May 19, 2020 (in BC), individuals who wish to make or update their estate planning documents may now do so with the assistance of a lawyer but without having to attend any meetings in person. Once the documents have been prepared, the individual’s signature may be witnessed by any electronic method of communication which allows for the individual and the witnesses to see, hear and communicate with each other in real time.

Thanks to these Ministerial Orders, Nerland Lindsey’s Estates & Trusts Group is now better able to assist clients with their estate planning needs. If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers, please contact Catie Attwood at (403) 984-0378 or cattwood@nerlandlindsey.com to schedule a time for a call.

Disclaimer: Please note that the foregoing is information for general discussion purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice to any one person or company. If the issues discussed herein affect you or your company, you are encouraged to seek proper legal advice.

Share This Article: