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Executing Wills and Powers of Attorney by Counterpart During COVID-19

Executing Wills and Powers of Attorney by Counterpart During COVID-19

By:

Posted April 23, 2020

Following on the Order in Council made on April 7, 2020, the province has passed a subsequent Order on April 22, 2020 which allows for wills and powers of attorney that are signed in the presence of witnesses using audio-visual communication to be executed in counterpart.  This Order will help to ensure that the process for signing wills during the pandemic is effective and efficient.  A copy of the Order is here.

Practically speaking, this will allow wills and powers of attorney to be executed in one meeting via audio-visual communication technology rather than the two or three that would have been required if counterpart signatures were not permitted.  It also ensures that documents are valid from the time they are is signed by the will-maker/grantor.  This is important particularly in cases where a will-maker/grantor is ill and finalizing the documents in a timely fashion is crucial.

It is essential when signing in counterpart that each party is signing an identical document.  Great care will need to be taken to ensure that everyone is signing the correct document, particularly if the will-maker/grantor and both witnesses are all in different locations.

This blog post was written by Kate Wright, a member of the Family Law, Wills and Estates and Litigation teams.  She can be reached at 613-369-0383 or at kate.wright@mannlawyers.com.

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Kate Wright

Kate Wright

I am a member of the family law, wills and estates and estate litigation service groups at Mann Lawyers. I am an enthusiastic and compassionate advocate for my clients. My experience in family law includes advising clients on property division, support issues, custody and access matters, domestic contracts and private adoptions. I assist clients with preparing wills, estate planning and administration matters, and disputes over estates, including issues related to capacity and dependent’s relief. My approach to dispute resolution is based on the needs of each client and their own particular circumstances. I am trained in Collaborative Practice and am a member of Collaborative Practice Ottawa. I seek to empower clients to resolve issues in the manner that best suits their interests. I graduated from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University in 2008. I articled with a national firm in Calgary and was called to the Alberta Bar... Read More

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