Jan 272016

Alberta Land Titles Online

Did you know that legislative changes were passed that allow for original electronic signatures to be used in land title transactions?

We were excited to connect with Curtis Woollard, from Land Titles North, last week about an add-on program to our 49th Annual Refresher that focuses on how these legislation changes will affect your practice.

The upcoming Alberta Land Titles Online program fills you in on the changes that allow practitioners to execute real estate purchase/sale contracts and other related documents with an electronic signature.

Today’s blog shares Curtis’ insights about the changes and offers you a sneak peek at what you’ll gain from the Alberta Land Titles Online program. Since Curtis expects practitioners to be able to use electronic signatures this fall, these are important changes to be aware of!

Participate in this program to explore how the document exchange process will look, how real estate transactions will happen without physical documents, and how the changes affect trust conditions and undertakings.

Key Changes to Understand

As Curtis explained, there are 5 key changes real estate practitioners should be aware of.

  1. The original document IS the electronic signature version.
  2. The wet ink signature is a COPY.
  3. The land titles system is NOT changing liabilities for parties involved.
  4. WHAT you need to submit is not changing; HOW you need to submit it is.
  5. Physical proximity to a Land Titles Office will be IRRELEVANT.

Why Electronic Signatures?

When speaking with LESA, Curtis identified 2 main things that an electronic signature does. First, an electronic signature identifies the individual who actually signed the document. Second, an electronic signature indicates assent to or agreement with the contents of the document to which the electronic signature is applied. The digital signature has a huge advantage because its forensic identification components are much stronger than an ink signature’s.

For Curtis, starting to use digital signatures for land titles transactions is exciting because this technology could affect the practice of law in other areas as well. It may impact on not only solicitors’ work, but also on barristers’ work. Curtis described a future where litigators may use the digital signature for filing pleadings at court or lawyers may use it for authorizing transfer of funds. The affordances of this technology can help develop practical solutions and create a level playing field.

As Curtis explained, one of the aims of digital signature adoption is a reduction of document rejections; currently, about 20% of documents submitted to Land Titles are rejected. These rejections included administrative errors that currently result in delay, because the documents must be physically corrected and returned to a Land Titles Office. Using an electronic signature to submit documents online will eliminate or decrease this error rate with real–time responses for correction on the submissions end.

Alberta Land Titles Online Program Topics

This Alberta Land Titles Online program is targeted to all real estate practitioners. Discussion at the program centers on several key areas:

  • Adoption of best practices from other jurisdictions
  • Implications for trust conditions
  • Collaborative environments
  • Virtual boardrooms

Engage in topics on eSignatures, collaborative real estate environments, trust conditions, and land titles, and learn about Virtual Boardrooms with a hands-on, interactive tutorial that demonstrates what working with electronic signatures entails!

This new system will create an environment where the legal profession is fundamentally doing business differently. Lawyers are going to be signing things digitally all the time and in fact that will be the new normal.

This is real. This is happening.” Curtis Woollard.

Feel free to contact Curtis Woollard at 780.427.4641 to discuss electronic signatures in more detail.

Register Online

To learn more about the fundamental procedural shift from paper-based to electronic documents, head over to our website and register online to attend Alberta Land Titles Online in Lake Louise on April 23.

If you’re coming to Lake Louise for Alberta Land Titles Online, why not also register for the 49th Annual Refresher ? Get up-to-date in your field, while connecting with top practitioners. Even the most senior practitioners benefit from the 49th Annual Refresher’s 6 half-day sessions.

View the brochure for program details.