Remote Witnessing of Wills, Enduring Power of Attorneys, and Personal Directives Arrives in Alberta
May 2020 - 1 min read
Alberta’s Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General has announced a process for remote witnessing and signing of wills, enduring power of attorneys, and personal directives during this time of public emergency. Temporary amendments have been made to the Personal Directives Act, the Personal Directives (Ministerial) Regulation, the Powers of Attorney Act and the Wills and Succession Act to provide for signing and witnessing via videoconferencing, under narrow circumstances.
The amendments include the expansion of the requirement of signing/witnessing such documents in the ‘presence’ of others to include meeting by videoconferencing where such persons are able to see, hear and communicate with each other in real time by an electronic method of communication.
Importantly, this temporary flexibility in the signing formalities is only available to those who have retained a practicing Alberta lawyer to assist in preparing, making and witnessing the Will, Enduring Power of Attorney or Personal Directive.
This is a welcome development for Albertans, and we encourage you to consider moving forward to create legally-valid Wills, Enduring Power of Attorneys and Personal Directives. We will provide further updates in the days ahead as we review this development in further detail. In the meantime, if you would like to consider how this development can assist you and your family, please contact our Wills and Estates team to discuss.
The full Ministerial Order (39/2020) can be found here.