On 12 May 2020, the Victorian Government enacted the COVID–19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) (Electronic Signing and Witnessing) Regulations 2020 (“Regulations”) to facilitate the execution of certain documents electronically, and to allow the witnessing of the signing of documents to occur by audio-visual link, such as deeds, mortgages, statutory declarations, powers of attorney and wills.
The Regulations, which are temporary:
- modify the Electronic Transactions (Victoria) Act 2000 (“Act”) to permit deeds and mortgages to be executed electronically;
- permit splitting executions of transactions under the Act, by allowing signatures to appear on separate copies of the same document;
- make valid the use of an audio-visual link to enable:
- witnessing transactions under the Act;
- making statutory declarations, including the witnessing of and assisting with the making of a statutory declaration under the Oaths and Affirmations Act 2018 (Vic);
- executing and witnessing the execution of powers of attorney under the Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (Vic); and
- executing and witnessing a will the Wills Act 1997 (Vic).
The processes that are to be followed under the Regulations are very specific (particularly in relation to the process for statutory declarations, powers of attorney and wills). If you intend to adopt these modifications, you should seek legal advice from Madison Branson Lawyers to ensure that your documents are not invalidated.
To assist you, we’ve updated our price guide by discounting the prices for wills and powers of attorney:
|Single Will (one person)||$350.00|
|Mirror Will (two persons appointing each other)||$600.00|
|Power of Attorney (single)||$150.00|
|Powers of Attorney (General/Financial & Medical)||$250.00|
|Single Will & Powers of Attorney (General/Financial & Medical)||$500.00|
|Mirror Will & Powers of Attorney (General/Financial & Medical)||$900.00|
 The Regulations will expire on 24 October 2020
 For example, a witness can now observe a person sign a document or confirm a person’s identity over audio-visual link
 All prices are inclusive of GST