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Government temporarily suspends in-person requirements for wills

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:04 PDT, Wed May 20, 2020

The government has issued two emergency orders that temporarily suspend in-person execution requirements for wills and personal planning instruments, including representation agreements and enduring powers of attorney.

These orders address concerns raised by the legal community and members of the public, regarding the requirement that such legal documents be executed and witnessed in person.

The new orders benefit both legal professionals and their clients, particularly seniors and immunocompromised people who may be hesitant to travel into more populated areas during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as British Columbians who live in rural and remote areas and are trying to limit travel outside of their communities.

Under the orders, which are effective as of yesterday, careful safeguards will be established to reduce fraud, including:

• ensuring legal professionals (lawyers and notaries public) are involved in remote execution

• prescribing the circumstances in which documents can be executed remotely

• providing strict parameters and requirements around remote execution

The emergency orders are tied to the provincial state of emergency and will expire when it is lifted.

Learn More:

Read the emergency orders here:

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