Counterpart Execution of Wills & Powers of Attorney now available
In an earlier post, I talked about the provisions enacted by the government during the current pandemic which allow for Wills and Powers of Attorney to be executed “in the presence of” each other by “audio-visual communication technology”. The Province has issued a new Emergency Order which extends the use of audio-visual communication technology for the signing and witnessing of Wills and Powers of Attorney. The new Emergency Order also now allows those Wills and Powers of Attorney to be signed and witnessed on separate documents, in counterpart.
Under the previous Order, all three signatures (that of the testator and each of the two witnesses) still had to be on the same document. Practically speaking, that meant that the testator and each witness would meet using video conference while the testator executed the documents, that the documents would then be couriered to the first witness and the three parties would meet again by video conference while the witness subscribed his or her signature, and that the documents would then be couriered to the second witness and a third video conference would be held where all three parties would be present while the second witness subscribed his or her signature.
Under the current Order, the Will and Powers of Attorney can be signed and subscribed by the witnesses on separate copies of the same document, in counterpart. This change reduces the number of times the parties need to be present on a video conference to execute and witness the Will and Powers of Attorney as that can now be done in one meeting. The testator’s valid Will and Powers of Attorney would then consist of:
a) one copy of the document with the testator’s original signature;
b) one copy of the document with the first witness’ original signature; and
c) one copy of the document with the second witness’ original signature.
The three counterpart documents should be brought together as soon as possible.
Carnegie Law Office has implemented updated procedures for the execution of Wills and Powers of Attorney in counterpart. Contact Sandra Carnegie for more information on how to complete your Wills during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carnegie Law Office is a boutique family law office with over 20 years’ experience empowering families to make choices for their children, their own lives, and their future.