Notwithstanding the difficulty of considering one’s estate at this time, it is important to respond to COVID-19 and the current state of uncertainty by being proactive and prepared. A key aspect of being prepared is ensuring that you have a valid will, personal directive and enduring power of attorney in place. A personal directive allows an appointed individual to make personal decisions (including medical decision) on your behalf in the event you become incapable. Whereas an enduring power of attorney gives authority to a named individual or entity over your financial affairs in the event you become incapable or are otherwise unable to attend to same, for example due to hospitalization.

In Alberta, there are strict requirements pertaining to the signing of estate planning documents. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting suggestion from officials to social distance, it is necessary to find practical solutions for the signing of estate planning documents, while ensuring compliance with public health recommendations.

In response to the obstacle of attending a law office to sign documents, McLennan Ross is willing and able to offer a number of practical and creative solutions for clients to sign wills, trusts, enduring powers of attorney and personal directives. Depending on the capability of the individual client, we can talk clients through the signing if they are signing at a distance and have access to individuals who are able to act as witnesses.

The signings can also be accomplished through the use of video call technologies such as FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom.

In an emergency situation, we can also sign in our offices using every necessary precaution to ensure the safety of clients and our staff.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.