Electronic Execution of Trust Documents
24 March 2021
It has become increasingly common for documents, particularly in a commercial context, to be executed electronically, and the trend has been accelerated by the distancing requirements of COVID-19. These factors have also impacted the private client world, notably in relation to wills, but the trend is relevant to the execution of all types of document.
At the same time, the topic is complicated by the fact that it encapsulates a number of different issues, including: the formal requirements for different types of document, for example, deeds and trust documents; delivery; the meaning of electronic signature and the differing rules across jurisdictions. The last of these is particularly relevant to international private client practitioners.
In this guide, the authors focus on trust instruments and supplemental trust documents (Trust Documents) and examine the rules in four jurisdictions: the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey.
All four jurisdictions have enacted legislation dealing with electronic execution but, with the exception of Guernsey, the legislation does not deal explicitly with Trust Documents. Consequently, the common-law position must be considered first. As shall be demonstrated, it may also be relevant to the position in Guernsey.
Fred Milner and Tony Pursall, 'Electronic execution of trust documents', Trust Quarterly Review (Vol19 Iss1), pp.23-30.