covid-19 changes to the way we sign documents
covid-19 contactless services
The response to Covid-19 lockdown has introduced new challenges for lawyers to work remotely and provide a contactless service, including signing legal documents. These restrictions will continue as we move into Level 3 this week. The process of signing documents and verification of identity must now be completed remotely in a secure and reliable way. For property law, that includes complying with the requirements of Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). With the tools of technology, we can complete remote signing for almost everything, in a safe way for both our team and our clients, allowing us to continue our service as normal.
The Law Society has continued to update lawyers on the guidance for complying with remote witnessing and signing of legal documentation. The guidelines state that audio-visual technology can be used for most matters. Signing electronically can be done two ways, either by signing in “wet ink” then scanning the signed document or signing electronically using a digital signature.
Video chat tools such as Zoom, or Skype can be used to identify the client and witness their electronic signing. During the video call, the client can hold up their ID next to their face so that we can satisfy it is the correct person, then the client can sign their printed document right in front of the camera for us to witness or use the digital signature. Video chat tools are available to everyone through their phone or computer and are very easy to use. Video chat features also allow recording, which can be used as proof for the client’s matter. Many households have a working printer/scanner to send through the signed document to us once complete.
what can we do for you?
Arnet Law have already had success with remote signing during the last 4 weeks of lockdown, with our services ticking on as usual. An example of remote signing for the Family Law team was the ability to sign a s.21 Agreement. In the property law team, some examples have been the signing of a Will, fulfilling A & I forms for LINZ and more.
If you have a question around remote signing and what we can do for you during the different Covid-19 alert levels, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you.