With the Covid-19 pandemic in our midst, individuals and families are realizing that it is most important to have their lives in some sense of order. From a legal perspective, being organized means having current and/or updated wills and Powers of Attorney documents in place. The Ontario government has also recognized that this necessity is most important. However, the normal legal requirement for completion of valid wills and Powers of Attorney documents is that they must be signed in the physical presence of two witnesses. To prevent further transmission of the Covid-19 virus, physical distancing is an absolute necessity. So how do individuals sign their estate documents.
On April 7, the Ontario government passed an emergency regulation designed to enable the conducting of certain estate-related matters in the absence of the ability to meet in person. By relaxing the legal rules of signing estate documents in the physical presence of two witnesses for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis, wills and Powers of Attorney documents can now be signed in the presence of two witnesses, both of whom participate in the signing process by way of audio-visual technology (ie. Zoom, Skype, FaceTime). The only requirement is that one of the witnesses by a lawyer, licensed to practice law in the Province of Ontario and is in good-standing with the Law Society of Ontario.
While the Covid-19 pandemic continues, it is now, more than ever, most important to complete wills and Powers of Attorney documents. As an estates lawyer, I and my law firm, Indech Law Chambers Professional Corporation, have acquired the technology and know-how to expedite this process under the new practice regulations. I cannot express more strongly and clearly the necessity to take action to complete your estate plan. For further information or a complementary consultation, please contact me to discuss your estate matters or any other legal issue, either directly by telephone or by email. May we quickly see the end to the Covid-19 pandemic and a return to happier times. Wishing health and safety only.”
INDECH LAW CHAMBERS PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
Gary D. Indech, B.Sc., M.A., LL.B., J.D.
Barrister, Solicitor & Notary
4646 Dufferin Street, Suite 6
Toronto, Ontario, M3H 5S4
Office: 416-665-7735 x323