As we blogged here, on April 23, 2020, the Ontario government introduced an Order in Council (Ontario Regulation 129/20) under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (“EMCPA”) to allow Wills and Powers of Attorney to be signed virtually in counterparts. This was done in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the declared state of emergency came to an end on July 24, 2020, the Ontario government enacted the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (“ROA”). All of the orders made under the EMCPA were continued under the ROA, for an initial 30 days to August 23, 2020.
The new Ontario Regulation 129/20, which permits the virtual signing of Wills and Powers of Attorney in counterparts, formerly made under the EMCPA, can be found here.
Under the ROA, orders can be extended for a period of 30 days at a time until July 24, 2021, being the first anniversary of when the ROA was enacted. The Ontario government extended the orders under the ROA to September 22, 2020, which was announced in a news release on the government of Ontario’s website.
Most recently, the Ontario government, on September 17, 2020, enacted Ontario Regulation 458/20 which further extended the orders under the ROA to October 22, 2020.
In light of this most recent extension, we are able to continue signing Wills and Powers of Attorney virtually in counterparts until October 22, 2020. This is undoubtedly positive news especially with the second wave upon us.
We will continue to keep you posted.