There may come a time when it becomes necessary to think about the future life of an elderly relative when it becomes obvious that they are no longer able to live independently or provide for all of their own care needs. With most of Canada's population either social distancing, self-isolating, or quarantined, taking care of tasks that typically require an in-person or offline element have become increasingly difficult or even impossible, and it has highlighted the need for legal and regulatory change in order to support more online processes, primarily digital signatures.
According to the current laws in most jurisdictions, in order to be a legal document your Will must be signed in the presence of at least two make your own will canada witnesses, and the two witnesses must also sign the Will, in the presence of the "testator" (yourself) and in the presence of each other.
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While that goal is unlikely to be achieved, Willful has created an online platform that's affordable, easy to use, and removes the intimidation factor away from end-of-life planning, making it possible for more wide-spread adoption of wills and estate planning.
Jessica Feldman Chittley, an estates law partner at Bales Beall LLP in Toronto, says the formal requirements exist to give witnesses an opportunity to assess the mental capacity of the person making the will and ensure they are not under undue pressure or duress.
The Trustee may, in the Trustee's discretion, invest and reinvest trust funds in any kind of real or personal property and any kind of investment, provided that the Trustee acts with the care, skill, prudence and diligence, considering all financial and economic considerations, that a prudent person acting in a similar capacity and familiar with such matters would use.
Lawyers in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta, all provinces that have been hard-hit by the spread of COVID-19, say they have seen a spike in recent weeks in requests for new or updated wills, along with related documents such as powers of attorney.