The COVID-19 Public Health Orders have seen many solicitors and Justices of the Peace working remotely. In response, the NSW Government has implemented the Electronic Transactions Amendment (COVID-19 Witnessing of Documents) Regulation 2020 (NSW) which came into effect on 22 April 2020 and is expected to terminate on 22 October 2020. The Regulation can be accessed here: https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/regulations/2020-169
The Regulation allows for the use of audio-visual technology (such as Skye and Zoom) to witness and attest documents that are administered in New South Wales. Such documents include:
- Powers of Attorneys (including Enduring Power of Attorneys);
- Appointments of Enduring Guardianship;
- Deeds or Agreements;
- Affidavits (including an annexure or exhibit to an affidavit); and
- Statutory Declarations.
Although the Regulation allows for the person witnessing the document to not be physically present, various stringent formal requirements still need to be complied with for the document to be valid.
For more information about the requirements, contact Solicitor and Notary Public, Peter McNamara