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Important Legal Documents may now be signed with video

Important Legal Documents may now be signed with video

Published on April 24, 2020 by Brett FatchesBrett Fatches

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic the New South Wales Government has made regulations that allow some important legal documents to be witnessed by audio-visual link.[1]

Prior to the regulations being made it was mandatory for witnesses to be physically present when certain legal documents were being signed.

As a result of the regulations, the following documents may be signed using audio-visual technology during the Covid-19 pandemic:

  1. A Will.
  2. A Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney.
  3. A Deed or Agreement.
  4. An Enduring Guardianship Appointment.
  5. An Affidavit, including an annexure or exhibit to the Affidavit.
  6. A Statutory Declaration.

Further, the category of people who can witness a New South Wales Statutory Declaration has been extended beyond its present limitation of legal practitioners, notaries and Justices of the Peace.

New South Wales Statutory Declarations may now also be witnessed by those designated under the Commonwealth Statutory Declarations Act, which includes:

  • Financial Advisor or Financial Planner.
  • Legal Practitioner, with or without a practising certificate.
  • Medical Practitioner.
  • Migration Agent registered under the Migration Act, 1958.
  • Occupational Therapist.
  • Patent Attorney.
  • Physiotherapist
  • Trademarks Attorney.
  • Veterinary Surgeon.

At this stage, these changes are not permanent and only apply during the COVID 19 Pandemic.

These are important provisions that have been made in recognition of some of the difficulties that can be faced by people who require important legal documents to be property signed during this time.

As always, you should obtain legal advice when dealing with the preparation of these legal documents and arrangements for their execution and witnessing.

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