COVID-19 INFORMATION: WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS AND KEEPING OUR CLIENTS AND STAFF SAFE
You can Depend on Us
- Protecting Our Clients and Staff
- Update on Signing Documents for Real Estate Closings (April 6, 2020)
- Update on Wills, Powers of Attorney and Personal Directives (April 17, 2020)
We’ve been serving Albertans for over 35 years – and we aren’t going to stop now!
KH|Dunkley Law Group understands that our clients have ongoing legal requirements which need to be addressed while we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, and for this reason, we have put in place contingency measures to ensure that we can maintain a full level of service throughout the crisis. Our clients can depend on us to remain open until it is 100% impossible to do so. We are able to ensure continuity of service because:
- Multiple Offices: All three of our offices remain open by appointment (see addresses below).
- Social Distancing: We are maintaining a skeleton staff at our offices to ensure we can provide essential support to our clients.
- Working Remotely: Our entire team is set up to work remotely which ensures work continues as usual.
- Many Options for Meetings: We can meet with clients at our offices, at a remote location, via video conference and via telephone conference (as the situation dictates).
- Technology: Many documents can be facilitated using electronic signatures. For those that cannot, we have many different options for getting documents signed.
- Clients can Sign from Home: We have the ability to facilitate the signing of closing documents for a real estate transaction via video conference, with the client at home (see below for further details).
Protecting our Clients and Staff
At KH|Dunkley Law Group we take the health and safety of our clients and staff very seriously. For this reason, we have implemented many COVID-19 procedures including the following:
- Any meeting that can be handled by video conference or telephone conference will be conducted accordingly.
- For any face-to-face meetings, appropriate physical distancing is maintained (two sets of documents are printed out so lawyers and clients can sit on opposite ends of the boardroom).
- Boardrooms, door handles, chairs, tables, etc. are sanitized after every meeting.
- All visitors are asked to sanitize their hands upon arrival and before leaving.
- Lawyers and staff sanitize before and after each meeting (and frequently throughout the day).
- We are only utilizing disposable cups for coffee.
- We provide new (individually wrapped) pens for clients, and we then ask the client to take their pen with them.
- Our team is encouraged to work from home as much as possible, and to be in the office only when needed.
- Couriers are not allowed into our office (we have set up a drop system for them outside our door).
Update on Signing Documents for Real Estate Closings (April 6, 2020)
The Minister of Service Alberta (the “Minister”) and the Land Titles Office of Alberta (the “LTO”) have implemented temporary procedures that will allow for the execution of documents on real estate transactions via video conference. This will assist in completing real estate transactions where our clients are unable to attend at our office, in certain circumstances.
KH|Dunkley Law Group is up to date on the new Ministerial Order and our technology is set up to allow us to conduct signing meetings via video conference, where the circumstances allow for it.
PLEASE NOTE that the procedures put in place by the Minister and the LTO are cumbersome and do not eliminate the need to receive original signatures, so clients will still need to return original documents to their lawyer’s office with sufficient time prior to closing. Video conferencing will only work if the client has adequate technology, access to a printer and the ability to return original documents to our office. As well, the mortgage lender must approve for signing via video conference. The Ministerial Order does not create a system of electronic signatures or filing.
For these reasons, while our office is fully equipped for the new procedures and signing via video conference, it will still be preferable to meet with clients in person in order to execute documents for real estate transactions, where possible. When meeting with clients in person, our office is taking all precautions we can to ensure the safety of our clients and staff, including meeting with distance, sanitizing before and after meetings and using only new pens. Our team is working with only a skeleton staff in the office and our office is sanitized very frequently throughout each day.
Update on Wills, Powers of Attorney and Personal Directives (April 17, 2020)
With increased health concerns right now, ensuring that you have prepared for possible hospitalization, death or incapacity is of paramount importance. Preparing your Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Personal Directive has become an increasingly important and time sensitive matter.
KH|Dunkley Law Group understands the urgency of these documents for our clients, so we can prepare your estate planning documents very quickly.
With our streamlined process, we can conduct initial meetings and consultations via telephone, email and/or video conferencing. We can also send draft documents via email so that our clients can review them from the comfort of their homes. Our clients do not need to come to our office at any time prior to the documents being finalized for signing.In Alberta, Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Personal Directives cannot be signed electronically. Original signatures are required. So, KH|Dunkley Law Group can offer clients various options for signing:
- Signing at our office – This is still the best option because its very important that these documents are executed correctly. When signing at our office we will follow all of the practices outlined above for protecting our clients and staff. Since the documents will have already been reviewed by our client, we are able to keep the signing appointment very short.
- Clients Sign Independently – We can prepare the final documents and deliver them to our client via email, so that our client can sign in front of their own witnesses.
- Clients sign at home – One of our lawyers can meet with clients at their home, in certain circumstances and as long as appropriate arrangements can be made for everyone’s safety.
- Assisted Living Facilities – We have already completed several signings with the assistance of care staff at assisted living facilities. While our lawyers cannot attend at assisted living facilities at this time, we have a good process in place to complete the documents with the help of their staff.
We will find the right solution for our clients, in order to complete these documents in a timely manner.