Generally, you must have two witnesses sign your Will in Ontario. There are certain restrictions about who can serve as a witness for a Will and Power of Attorney.
Witness Rules for a Will in Ontario:
- A typed Will has to be dated and signed in front of two witnesses.
- The two witnesses must also sign the Will. All three (you and your two witnesses) must be together when signing.
- The two witnesses cannot be a beneficiary of your estate. This means the witnesses cannot be people who will receive something (i.e. a benefit) from your estate when you die.
Witness rules for a Power of Attorney in Ontario:
Powers of attorney require execution by the grantor (the person giving the power of attorney) in the presence of two witnesses, each of whom must sign the document as witnesses (Substitute Decisions Act, s. 10(1)). Certain persons are disqualified as witnesses:
- the attorney or the attorney’s spouse or partner;
- the grantor’s spouse or partner;
- a child of the grantor or a person whom the grantor has demonstrated a settled intention to treat as his or her child;
- a person whose property is under guardianship or who has a guardian of the person; and
- a person under 18 years of age.
Virtual Witnessing - Witness Rules
Under the virtual witnessing process created by the Government of Ontario in April 2020, it is permitted that one of the witnesses be a lawyer/notary or paralegal licensed by the Law Society of Ontario. The second witness does not need to be physically present with the testator / grantor (the person signing the document).
We understand how hard it can be to find witnesses willing to travel to a notary office. That’s why Notary Pro offers Canada’s first virtual witnessing service – we provide BOTH of the witnesses for you and meet you via online video. Click here to learn more.
The process is safe, secure and simple.