As of April 3rd, the Province of Alberta has temporarily started allowing real estate and land title transfer documents to be signed via video conferencing to minimize in-person meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. This replaces the previous requirement for a lawyer to be present in the room with their clients at the time of signing.
During this time, there are extra precautions that are required. A few of the steps, as outlined by the Law Society of Alberta, include:
- To ensure confidentiality, you should set up a time when you have sufficient time with only the signing parties.
- You must consent to be recorded during the video conference.
- You must send clear and legible copies of your current government issued IDs.
- The lawyer should be capturing screenshots of your photo and again your ID during the video conference.
- You will receive original documents (hard copy or electronic to print), and both you and your lawyer must be reviewing identical copies.
- Your lawyer and yourself must review, page by page, the entire document package and initial each page.
- The lawyer must witness, by video, the actual signing of the documents.
- Immediately after signing, you must send a PDF or photograph of the signed documents.
- The original “wet ink” documents must be returned to the lawyer for the lawyer to review and confirm there are no missing or substituted pages and that the signature matches that of the video signing.
The lawyer will complete additional steps to record the details of the meeting.
It is also important to note that if there is any reason to suspect fraud or signing under duress, a lack of understanding of the documents being signed, the lawyer will not complete the execution of the documents.
Your lawyer will provide specific details on the requirements for signing real estate documents.
There are likely several law firms in Calgary offering video conferencing or alternative signing methods during the COVID-19 pandemic, at the time of this article, we have been made aware of the following:
Corrine M. Fiesel of Realty One Legal Services will meet people in their homes, places of work etc –wherever is convenient for them –for real estate or corporate law matters to allow for minimal contact.
Click HERE all COVID-19 Calgary real estate updates.