Can you sign a will virtually or electronically in Ontario?

As of September 1, 2021, the answer is yes, in certain circumstances, you can sign a will virtually or electronically in Ontario.

The Ontario government recently passed new legislation, called the Accelerating Access to Justice Act, 2021, that allows for virtual or electronic witnessing of wills and powers of attorney during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

To be valid, a virtual or electronic will signing must follow certain procedures outlined in the legislation. For example, the testator (the person making the will) must sign the will in the presence of two or more witnesses who are connected by audio-visual communication technology, such as a video conference. The witnesses must also sign the will in the presence of the testator.

There are also specific requirements for the signing and storage of electronic wills, which must be met in order for the will to be considered valid.

It is important to note that the new legislation is temporary and will expire on December 31, 2022, unless extended by the government. After that date, the usual rules for signing wills will apply.

If you are considering signing a will virtually or electronically, it is important to consult with a lawyer to ensure that you follow the proper procedures and that your will is legally valid. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@falconlawyers.ca or 1-877-892-7778.

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