Virtually witness your Power of Attorney (POA): Traditionally, notarization of POA required a formal visit to a notary’s office, entailing appointments and waiting times. At All-Canada Notary, we’re making this process even more accessible by offering online witnessing of powers of attorney.
Can I legally have my POA witnessed online in Canada?
Absolutely, getting your Power of Attorney (POA) witnessed online in Canada is totally legal and just as valid as doing it in person. All-Canada Notary makes sure that every step of the process follows the law to the letter. Let’s break down the legal stuff so it’s easy to understand:
- Bill 245: This is the Accelerating Access to Justice Act, 2021, which got the official thumbs up (Royal Assent) on April 19, 2021. What this means for you is that the law now permanently allows for POAs to be witnessed over the internet. So, you’re all good to go with doing this from wherever you are.
- Since August 1, 2020, Ontario’s laws let notaries do their thing remotely. That means they can witness your POA without having to be in the same room as you.
- Notaries Act amendment with Bill 190: On May 12, 2020, Ontario updated the Notaries Act. The update made it clear that notaries don’t need to be in the same place as the person they’re helping. They can use their powers over a video call, just like if they were there in person.
So, in plain language, these changes to the law make sure that when you use All-Canada Notary for your POA, it’s completely legal and binding, just like it’s always been when done face-to-face.
What are the requirements for signing your POA online in Ontario?
In Ontario, when you’re setting up a power of attorney, the individual granting the authority, also known as the grantor, needs to put their signature on the document. But that’s not all – this has to be done while two witnesses are there to see it happen. These witnesses are more than just onlookers; they too need to sign the document, and they’ve got to do it with the grantor and the other witness right there with them. It’s a three-way process that ensures everything is on the up-and-up.
Who can serve as a witness for my POA in Canada?
The POA must be witnessed by TWO individuals whether they are friends, neighbors, or co-workers.
Who is ineligible to witness my POA?
The following individuals cannot witness your Will:
- A beneficiary
- The spouse of a beneficiary
- Anyone under 18 years of age
What is the step-by-step process for remote witnessing of POA?
Let’s break down the step-by-step process:
Step 1. Schedule your appointment with a Notary Public here
Step 2. Connect with the notary: Using platforms like Zoom or Google Meet, you’ll be face-to-face with your chosen notary. If you’ve picked someone from All-Canada Notary, they’ll guide you seamlessly.
Step 3. Document Verification: The notary will first verify the document you’re presenting. They’ll ensure it’s the correct POA.
Step 4. Identity Confirmation: Just like in a physical meeting, the notary will confirm it’s actually you! So, have your ID ready.
Step 5. Signing & Witnessing: Here comes the main event. You sign and initial each page of the POA, and your witness signs the POA.
Step 6. Send your documents to our Toronto location. Our Notary Public will complete your POA and mail your documents back to you.
Step 7. (Optional) Share your positive experience with a review.
Important: When you’re signing your Power of Attorney (POA), our preference is for your second witness to physically sign the exact same document you do. This means they should be right there with you when you have your online meeting with the Notary Public. That way, we will avoid the “In counterpart” process. The “In counterpart” means that if your witness isn’t with you and has to join the meeting online, they would sign a different copy of the POA, not the one you signed, and the separately signed copies would then be considered as one single document in legal terms. Having the witness physically present to sign the original POA simplifies the process, ensuring that there is only original executed POA.
Can a notary public witness a POA in Ontario?
Yes, a notary public can indeed witness a Power of Attorney (POA) in Ontario. The other witness, however, must be someone else who meets the legal requirements for witnessing a POA.
What benefits does remote POA witnessing offer?
- Convenient: Imagine notarizing your POA over a cup of coffee at your kitchen table. Enjoy the convenience of completing their POA notarization without leaving your home or office. This eliminates travel time and scheduling conflicts, offering a significant time-saving advantage for individuals with constrained schedules or mobility issues.
- Stay Safe: With everything that’s going on, it’s safer to avoid meeting people in person.
- Save Time: Set up appointments fast, and the whole thing can be done quicker than the old-school way.
- Anywhere, Anytime: It doesn’t matter where in the world you are. If you call Ontario home, you can use this service.
Are there any tips for online witnessing of POA?
- Real Signatures Needed: Everyone has to sign by hand (with a pen), not use a digital signature.
- Record Everything: It’s super helpful to have a video of the signing. It can help clear up any questions later on.
- Choose Wisely: Take your time to find the right online notary. Check out their reviews and talk to them first.
- Expertise Matters: Look for notaries with lots of experience in what you need, like the folks at All-Canada Notary who know their stuff both offline and online.
- Talk It Out: Before starting, have a conversation about how it all works, what it costs, and any other questions you have.
- Tech Ready: Make sure your tech is good to go. A solid internet connection is important – you don’t want to get cut off before you’re done!
- Find a Quiet Place: Choose a spot where you won’t be disturbed, just like you would in an actual office.
- Have Your Papers Handy: Get your POA and any other papers you need organized and ready before your meeting.
What are some key terms related to POA?
When discussing a Power of Attorney (POA), several key terms frequently come up. Here’s a list:
- Principal/Grantor: The person who creates the POA and authorizes another person to act on their behalf.
- Attorney: In the context of a POA, this refers to the person appointed by the grantor to make decisions on their behalf, not necessarily a lawyer.
- Enduring or Continuing POA: A POA that remains in effect even if the grantor becomes mentally incapacitated.
- Personal Care POA: A document that gives an attorney authority over decisions related to the grantor’s health and personal life.
- Property POA: A document that gives an attorney authority to handle the grantor’s financial affairs.
- Non-Durable Power of Attorney: A POA that is no longer valid if the principal becomes incapacitated.
- General Power of Attorney: Grants broad powers to the attorney to act on behalf of the principal in various matters.
- Specific or Limited POA: A POA that limits the attorney’s power to certain activities or for a certain period of time.
- Incapacity: A state where an individual is legally unable to make decisions for themselves.
- Revocation: The act of cancelling or voiding a POA, which the grantor can do at any time while mentally capable.
Does my POA need to be notarized?
In many cases across Canada, a POA does not need to be notarized to be legally valid. However, getting a POA notarized can add an extra layer of formality and assurance. For instance, a notarized POA might be requested by financial institutions or other organizations to confirm the authenticity of the document before they will accept it.
Having your power of attorney notarized serves as a trusted verification that the signatures on the document are authentic and that the document itself is legitimate. This process significantly reduces the chances of any disputes over the validity of your power of attorney.
Can I write my POA?
Creating a Power of Attorney (POA) on your own is definitely an option, and for residents of Ontario, the process is made more accessible with resources like the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Power of Attorney Kit. This kit is designed to be user-friendly and provides templates for both personal care and property management, suitable for the needs of many individuals.
Another option is to let All-Canada Notary draft your POA. Drafting a POA that accurately reflects your intentions and complies with legal standards can sometimes require more than a template. If your circumstances are complex or you seek to include detailed instructions, professional legal assistance is invaluable. Speaking with a lawyer ensures that your document is tailored to your specific situation. You can book an appointment online at your convenience, and our team will be ready to offer the dedicated support you need to create a robust and legally sound POA.
How Much Does Remote Witnessing of a POA Cost
Online/virtual witnessing of one POA: $99.95
- 1 (One) POA signing and witnessing
- 1 (One) Affidavit of Execution drafting & commissioning
- 1 (One) witness signing provided (you should have the 2nd witness)
- Regular mail within Canada included
Online witnessing of two POA (personal care and property): $129.95
- 2 (Two) POAs signing and witnessing
- 2 (Two) notarized affidavits of execution drafting & commissioning
- 1 (One) witness provided (you should have the 2nd witness)
- Regular mail within Canada included
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About POA Online Witnessing
- Is online POA witnessing legally recognized in Canada? Yes, online witnessing of a POA is legally recognized and valid in Canada, as per Bill 245, the Accelerating Access to Justice Act, 2021.
- Can I get my POA witnessed remotely in Ontario? Yes, since August 1, 2020, Ontario law permits the remote witnessing of POAs by notaries.
- What do I need for online POA signing in Ontario? You need a valid POA document, two witnesses present at the time of signing, and a live video call for remote witnessing.
- Are there restrictions on who can be a witness for my POA in Canada? Witnesses must be two individuals who are not beneficiaries, not the spouse of a beneficiary, and over 18 years of age.
- What is the process for remote POA witnessing with All-Canada Notary? The process includes scheduling an appointment, connecting via video call, verifying documents, confirming identity, signing, and mailing the documents for completion.
- Does the second witness need to be physically present during online notarization? For All-Canada Notary services, it is preferred that the second witness physically signs the same document during the online meeting to avoid the “In counterpart” process.
- Can any notary public in Ontario witness a POA? Yes, any notary public in Ontario can witness a POA, but the second witness must be someone else meeting the legal witnessing requirements.
- What are the advantages of remote POA witnessing? The main benefits include convenience, safety, time savings, and the ability to complete the process from anywhere if you reside in Ontario.
- Are electronic signatures acceptable for online POA witnessing? No, all parties must sign by hand with a pen during the video call; digital signatures are not accepted.
- How do I prepare for an online notary appointment? Ensure you have a stable internet connection, a quiet environment, and all necessary documents and identification ready.
- What key terms should I understand when discussing POA? Important terms include Principal/Grantor, Attorney, Enduring/Continuing POA, Personal Care POA, Property POA, and Revocation.
- Is notarization required for my POA to be valid? Notarization is not always required for a POA to be valid in Canada, but it provides an extra layer of verification.
- Can I draft my own POA? Yes, you can draft your own POA using resources like the Power of Attorney Kit provided by the Ministry of the Attorney General in Ontario.
- What is the cost of remote witnessing for a POA? Online witnessing for one POA typically costs $99.95, and witnessing for two POAs (personal care and property) costs $129.95 with All-Canada Notary.
- How can I ensure my POA is legally sound? Consider having All-Canada Notary draft your POA, especially if you have complex requirements or detailed instructions.