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Law Maven
Law Maven, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer & Instructor at Algonquin Careers Academy
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I'm in Hong Kong, I need to sign property purchase documents,

Customer Question

I'm in Hong Kong, I need to sign property purchase documents, for residential detached property, in Surrey, BC. Can I get my Vancouver notary to witness, my signature via Skype video, then I scan, email the docs back to her. We have known each other for 20 years, over at least 6 property deals. She then prints the docs, and notarizes them. is this legally acceptable?...I can't stand the idea of paying Hong Kong notaries, $1600 HK dollars per signature.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Law Maven replied 1 year ago.
Hello – my name is***** am a Canadian lawyer, and I’ll be happy to help with your question today.
Expert:  Law Maven replied 1 year ago.
There are three acts that govern this area of law: The Notaries Act sets out what the powers of a Notary are.The Power of Attorney Act, RSBC 1996, c 370, <http://canlii.ca/t/52fhg>, which sets out what needs to be done to make a valid power of attorney, and specifically: that the person granting the power must sign the document in the presence of two witnesses, who also sign it.The Land Title Act, RSBC 1996, c 250, Part 5 &mdash; Attestation and Proof of Execution of Instruments, <http://canlii.ca/t/52cdj>, which says that if the power of attorney is to be used to buy or sell property, it has to be witnessed by at least one person who is an Officer who can take Affidavits.None of the acts specifically defines "witness" or "presence" in terms of whether the person can be witnesses an electronic presence, or whether it has to be a presence in body. I suspect the eventual decision will depend on your friend the Notary, and whether they feel that it's an ethically reasonable thing to do, and --as well-- whether they are willing to risk being part of a long, expensive, and potentially unpleasant case to determine whether or not they did something wrong. At some point in time it is a question that will be tested in the Courts, but as yet there is no definitive answer. I hope I have fully answered your question, but please do not hesitate to ask for more information if needed. When you are satisfied with the answer, kindly provide me a positive rating so I can receive credit for my answer. My answer here contains only general legal information and not legal advice. No solicitor/client relationship has been created by this communication.

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