The NSW Government have temporarily suspended requirements for documents to be witnessed in person, in light of COVID-19.
Legislation passed last week (Electronic Transactions Amendment (Covid-19 Witnessing of Documents) Regulation 2020) allows certain legal documents to be witnessed by way of audio visual link. This means that NSW residents no longer need to leave their homes or come into contact with a lawyer in order to have their Wills, Powers of Attorneys, Enduring Guardianships, Deeds, Agreements, Affidavits or Statutory Declarations witnessed.
An ‘audio visual link’ is a form of technology that enables simultaneous audit and visual communication between persons at different places and is akin to video conferencing. The requirement for witnesses to be satisfied that the document the witness signs is the same document signed by the signatory remains and is able to be fulfilled through this technology.
Now more than ever, it is important that you have an updated Will and your affairs in order. If you’re a NSW resident, contact Griffin Legal today to enquire about how the new legislative change can ease the process of having your most important documents witnessed by one of our staff.
It will be interesting to see if any of these changes subsist beyond the COVID-19 period, and if this will be a future acceptable method for witnessing documents beyond the shut-downs.