Remote Signing in Alberta Announcement
Thanks to Ministerial Order No. SA:008/2020, the standard legal documentation used on a real estate transaction can be signed via two-way web conference with a lawyer rather than in person. This means that although a lawyer is still necessary to close most real estate transactions in Alberta, a trip to that lawyer’s office is not.
Remote signing is a glorious upgrade, but we should be equally clear about what it is not. The changes made by the Order are not permanent, they can be revoked at any time and unless extended they will expire on August 14th of this year at the latest. Also, although the lawyer and client no longer need to be in the same room (or even the same city) when signing, all other formalities remain. Paper documents must still be signed by the client with “wet ink” signatures. Digital signing of documents to be submitted to Land Titles is not permitted at this time. Finally, there is only a specific and finite number of documents whose requirements have been relaxed. There are many documents that were not relaxed and still need to be signed in the physical presence of witnesses, a big example being Wills. We aren’t in a world of sweet, end to end digital experience yet but we’ve been given an opportunity to test drive a major component of that experience. Here’s hoping we make good use of it.
Remote signing is something we have been preparing for for years. I’m pleased to announce MacKay Real Property Law has successfully conducted remote signings at all of our locations. Clients so far felt the online meeting was an upgrade and were extremely happy with the experience.
You’ve heard a lot on the news about all that COVID-19 has taken away. Thankfully, it’s finally given something back. If you prefer for health and safety reasons to sign from home, please give us a call us at 403-800-8000 to ask about remote signing.