Did you know Alberta has now passed a law where many legal documents can now be signed virtually? At homeFree, not only do we take away the stress and hassle of dealing with a realtor through the transaction process, but if you choose, our legal partners can also assist you in closing your real state transaction virtually.
With all homeFree’s tools and support at your fingertips, we make real estate better. Sell Simple. Buy Better. In today’s rapidly evolving digital world, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant changes in conducting legal business. Alberta’s Initial Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, in May 2020, Alberta introduced temporary legislation allowing for some virtual signings.
On February 24, 2021, the Alberta Government extended the allowance for the use of video conferencing, providing a more permanent signing option that is particularly helpful for out-of-province buyers and sellers. The Law Society of
Alberta has established strict rules for remote signing, including client identification, verification, and oversight. Before initiating a Zoom meeting, your written consent will be obtained.
1. Lawyer Qualifications: Only active members of the Law Society of Alberta, who hold current valid insurance with the Alberta Lawyers Indemnity Association (ALIA), can witness, notarize, or commission documents. This ensures the qualifications and integrity of the legal professionals involved.
2. Document Verification: Both you and your lawyer must have the same document in front of you during the Zoom meeting. It is essential to cross-check and confirm that the document matches. Additionally, Land Titles require original “wet” signatures, meaning they will reject copies of signatures.
3. Precautions and Security: Lawyers must take precautions to prevent fraud, lack of capacity, duress, theft, or other risks. Specific notes or amended jurats regarding video conferencing are required in the documents to address the virtual signing process. The requirements for virtual execution remain unchanged since the temporary legislation. The involved parties must be connected through an electronic method of communication that enables real-time visual, auditory, and interactive capabilities. Additionally, legal advice from a lawyer is essential to ensure compliance with the rules governing estate planning documentation
While virtual real estate signings and electronic signatures offer convenience, it is crucial to exercise due diligence and seek expert advice. Engaging with knowledgeable lawyers ensures compliance with legal requirements and
proper execution of virtual transactions. Additionally, obtaining explicit or implicit consent from signing parties helps demonstrate their intentions and safeguards against potential fraud.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant changes in the legal landscape, allowing for virtual signings, witnessing, and electronic signatures in Alberta. Zoom real estate signings offer a convenient and efficient alternative to traditional in-person transactions. With the approval of video conferencing by the Alberta Government and adherence to strict rules and procedures, you can complete your real estate closing remotely. By following the necessary preparations and complying with the requirements, you can ensure a smooth and secure Zoom signing experience.
Seeking guidance from lawyers and having agreements reviewed can help ensure fairness, validity, and legal binding of virtual transactions. As we navigate through these challenging times, virtual solutions continue to play a crucial role in conducting legal business while prioritizing safety and adhering to regulations.
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