Modified arrangements for wills and enduring documents to expire on 30 June

On 10 June, Executive Council made two regulations that will change the current requirements for wills, enduring powers of attorney and advance health directives.

These were the Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response—Documents and Oaths) Amendment Regulation (No.2) 2021 (the amendment regulation) and the Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response—Documents and Oaths) (Transitional) Regulation 2021 (the transitional regulation).

The Department of Justice and Attorney-General advises that the amendment regulation expires the modified arrangements in relation to the making, signing or witnessing of wills and enduring documents under the Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response—Documents and Oaths) Regulation 2020 (documents regulation) on 1 July 2021, except for the modified arrangements to enable nurse practitioners, in addition to doctors, to complete a certificate in an AHD stating that the signatory, at the time of making the AHD, appeared to have the capacity necessary to make it.

This means that:

  • a will signed by a signatory or substitute signatory on or after 1 July 2021 will need to be made, signed and witnessed under the ordinary law
  • an enduring power of attorney signed by a signatory or substitute signatory on or after 1 July 2021 will need to be made, signed and witnessed under the ordinary law, and
  • an AHD signed by a signatory or substitute signatory on or after 1 July 2021 will need to be made, signed and witnessed under the ordinary law (except for modified arrangements relating to nurse practitioners).

The amendment regulation does not affect the modified arrangements in relation to the making, signing and witnessing of affidavits, statutory declarations, oaths, deeds, particular mortgages and general powers of attorney under the documents regulation. The documents regulation is currently due to expire on 30 September 2021.

The transitional regulation will allow incomplete documents started under the documents regulation by 30 June 2021 to be finished after that date.

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