Sask. government allowing remote witnessing of wills

Saskatchewan is allowing for remote witnessing of wills, due to the physical distancing rules of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New regulations came into effect on April 16 and allow for remote witnessing as long as one of two witnesses is a lawyer.

“With the current public health emergency, it is impractical and potentially risky for the required people to be in the same room during the signing of a will, particularly for those who may be more vulnerable to the virus,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said.

The changes allow an individual to sign their will, send the signed copy back to their lawyer and acknowledge their signature remotely via video before their lawyer and a second witness.

The creation of an electronic will or the use of electronic signatures is not allowed. 

Wills must be in writing and signed in ink by the person making the will and both witnesses.

The government has also enacted other emergency regulations, including remote witnessing, and commissioning by lawyers of other legal documents, such as powers of attorney and land titles documents.

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