During the last few weeks our Toronto Wills Lawyers have had a large number of inquiries from many front-line workers and essential business operators and employees about drafting Last Will and Testaments and Powers of Attorney for Personal Care. Many of these front-line workers and essential workers are deemed to be at higher risk for contracting the Corona virus and are concerned about leaving their dependants without a Will which clearly sets out wishes related to how assets should be dealt with and more importantly, their intentions in relation to guardianship for their children and guardianship for their children’s property.
The question that arises most often is, how do we ensure the the Will is legally enforceable?
In order for a Will to be enforceable or legally finalized, two witnesses must subscribe to the Will. Meaning, two witness need to watch the testator (the person whom the Will belongs to), sign it. As part of this process the witnesses who signed off on it, must provide a sworn document called an “Affidavit of Execution”, indicating that they watched the testator sign the document, and they watched each other witness the Will. Under non-COVID-19 circumstances our Toronto Wills Lawyers would provide that affidavit when the Will is drafted and witnessed by our firm, but during COVID-19 and until recently we were unable to personally witness Wills.
A recent case has indicated however, that we may witness signatures on the original Will by video conference, and this is now standard practice during COVID-19.
The same process is available for a Power of Attorney for Personal Care which allows a person to make decisions for you on your behalf, if you are mentally and physically incapable of making those decisions for yourself.
If you are able to access video conferencing technology, our office would be able to witness the signing of the Will by video conference.
If you are unable to access video conferencing we have other means of ensuring your Will is prepared with utmost clarity and attention to detail.
Contact us today to speak to one of our Toronto Wills Lawyers to obtain more information preparing Last Will and Testaments to ensure your assets are protected and to ensure that your intentions in relation to your children are adequately noted and expressed under the law.
Written By: Ms. Solmaz Separy, Managing Lawyer