When we wrote about NSW's new regulations allowing remote witnessing of documents (read the article here), we were waiting for Queensland to make its move. On 15 May 2020, the Queensland Parliament passed regulations allowing witnessing of wills, enduring powers of attorney and advance health directives via video conferencing.
Victoria has also recently introduced its own legislation and you can read more about the electronic execution changes in Victoria here.
Although this is not a green light to witness all documents via video conferencing, these regulations are a welcome change to assist vulnerable parties.
Queensland Wills, enduring powers of attorney and advance health directives can now be witnessed by a 'special witness' via video conference.
A 'special witness' includes an Australian Legal Practitioner, a specifically qualified Commissioner of Declarations and a Notary.
In order for documents to be validly signed and witnessed via video conferencing the special witness must identify the person executing the documents and must keep certain records including a certificate prepared in accordance with the regulations.
These regulations will expire on 31 December 2020.
This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.