April 8, 2020

The Provincial Government has deemed Legal Services as an essential business. Accordingly, we continue to remain open for business.  However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, how we conduct our business has had to change. We have therefore instituted the following procedures for the foreseeable future:

Contacting Us and Our Employees:

All members of Nichols Law remain available by telephone and email correspondence. A number of our staff are working remotely. For those staff working remoting, all calls to our office will be forwarded to those staff working off-site.

We have suspended all in-office meetings, for the time being. Meetings with clients are to take place by telephone or video conferencing.  Our office is currently using the following apps for carrying out video conferencing: 1) Zoom app; 2) Skype; 3) Facetime; and 4) WebEx.

Nichols Law will also be providing future COVID-19 related messages on our website.

New Matters:

New matter intakes will be handled by our new receptionist and intake coordinator, Rachael Squire.  Rachael has replaced our long-time receptionist Stephanie Angheloni, who retired in February.  Rachael can be contacted at the following email address:(rachael@markhamlaw.com).

Corporate Matters:

Corporate matters have long used telephone and video to conduct business.  Electronic signatures are an acceptable procedure.  Other than not being able to meet with you in person, our corporate business will largely continue as it has been.  (lynn@markhamlaw.com)

Real Estate Matters:

The Land Registry Office remains open and real estate closings continue to be completed.  Video conferences will be the method used to review and sign closing documents. Arrangements will be made with clients prior to closing, to setup video conferencing. Closing documents will be emailed or couriered to clients prior to meeting over video. Clients will need to return signed closing documents to us, by either courier, email (scanned) or in-person drop-off at our office. With respect to purchases, funds may be dropped off at our office or directly transferred into our Trust Account.

Keys may have to be left at the property which is being sold, and we are working with real estate agents to make that happen.  Alternatively, keys may be left with us and picked up from our office when appropriate.  (mary@markhamlaw.com)

Wills & Estate Matters:

As of April 7, 2020, the requirement for Wills and Powers of Attorney to be signed in the presence of two witnesses has changed. The Province has passed an emergency order allowing for Wills and Powers of Attorney to be witnessed over audio-visual communication  (real-time video conferencing), provided one of the witnesses is a lawyer.

For the time being, all client meetings relating to the preparation of Wills and Powers of Attorney will be conducted by phone or video conference. Once prepared, Wills and Powers of Attorney will be witnessed and executed over video conference.

The Superior Court is still accepting probate applications. Meaning, we will continue to work with clients and prepare probate applications.  However, the timing for how long it will take the Courts to process applications is uncertain. (diane@markhamlaw.com)

Delivery & Pick-up of Documents

Our office remains open, however, clients and the general public are no longer permitted entry, without prior appointment. We have converted our front entrance into a courier depot.  Documents and packages are being delivered and picked up from the wood dry sink located in our entrance.  Your cooperation is needed until we can again meet face to face.

We ask for your patience and we promise to do our best for you.  As things evolve, we will update our messages, which you can find here.

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