Up until very recently, Power of Attorneys were required to be signed and witnessed in-person.
Due to the COVID outbreak, as of April 2020, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General is now permitting lawyers and notaries to virtually witness the physical signing of Powers of Attorney.
How does virtual witnessing of a Power of Attorney work?
- You are still required to physically ‘wet’ sign a paper copy of your Power of Attorney or Last Will and Testament.
- The notary and an additional witness will then physically sign a paper copy of your Power of Attorney or Will. This is considered the counterpart copy.
- The notary will then mail or courier you the original, physically signed counterpart copy of your Power of Attorney or Will.
- Book a virtual witnessing appointment here.
Can I electronically sign or digitally sign a Power of Attorney or Will online?
- No. Wills and Power of Attorneys must be physically ‘wet’ signed on paper. However this signing process can be virtually witnessing via online video.
What if I have a Power of Attorney already signed and only need it notarized?
- Simply book a remote online notarization appointment. You will be asked to upload the document, a copy of your ID, and provide the email addresses for any witnesses. When joining the appointment your Notary will guide you through the digital signing process.
How do I know this is legal?
- The Ministry of the Attorney General issued an emergency order under Ontario Regulation 129/20 (As amended: April 22, 2020).
- Please refer to the Law Society of Ontario’s guidance here.
So there you have it, with everyone adjusting to the new reality of social distancing, Notary Pro is here to ensure your Power of Attorney and overall estate planning needs are met conveniently, securely, and online. Simply book an online notarization appointment to get started.
Notary Pro: Your notary public. Online.
Last updated: April 30, 2020