COVID-19 has opened up a new option for the official witnessing of various legal documents in Saskatchewan. Emergency regulations were enacted on March 26 so that lawyers could use audio-visual technology to enable land title registry, delegation of power of attorney and filing of wills in accordance with required public health protocols. Authority for this remote witnessing approach was made permanent last week.
“Continuing to allow these documents to be signed remotely will increase access to the justice system through the use of technology,” says Saskatchewan Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan.
For land registry applications, the new regulation also simplifies steps for lawyers, provided they are licensed to practice in Saskatchewan. Previously, they were required to submit a certificate of qualifications in situations where they had witnessed the signing from a physical distance, such as from the other side of a glass divider. Now they will simply have to check a box and sign the authorization form.