Execution of Documents during COVID-19

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Due to the social distancing rules in place because of COVID-19, there is an obvious need for us to use electronic document signing when we can. Two documents which you must see a solicitor to sign in their presence, are Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardians. Concerned clients are asking Osborn Law to assist in preparing these documents to further ease their worries at this difficult time. Osborn Law is ensuring that our clients get their documents in place at this critical time.

Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardians are decision making documents for while you are living. Your attorney can make legal/financial decisions on your behalf and your guardian can make lifestyle/medical decisions on your behalf.

These are important documents, but they can also be dangerous documents (particularly the Power of Attorney). It is for this reason that you must have a solicitor sign off on your execution of these documents.

As it currently stands, a face to face conference is required for execution of Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardians. We have been advised by the NSW Law Society that they are in discussions with the Government to try and implement electronic measures for executing the documents.

Whilst Osborn Law is fortunate that we can operate our business remotely and with minimal face to face contact, we are meeting with people where it is essential to complete these documents under very strict sanitary and social distancing measures.

If you would like to put in place a Power of Attorney and/or Enduring Guardian we recommend you contact us as a matter of urgency. We have an estate planning team who specialise in this area and will assist you with this ASAP.

In respect to the other documents that require verification of identity, we are still required to take ‘reasonable steps’ to verify the identity of our clients. At Osborn Law we have been using video technology and apps to satisfy the verification requirements for some time now. As such, we are able to continue to offer this service in the current Covid-19 environment. This means that if we need to verify your identity for documents that are signed electronically, we can do this using technology that does not require you to leave the comfort of your own home.

Despite the changing environment we are committed to diversifying our services to meet the needs of our clients and will continue to do whatever we can to assist you and your business during this time.

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