Legislation introduced today, March 27, adds funeral home directors to the list of professions who are Commissioners of Oaths.
The amendments to the Notaries and Commissioners Act will automatically give funeral home directors the legal authority to administer oaths and take affidavits, declarations and affirmations concerning any matter that comes before a court.
“Commissioners of Oath provide a valuable service to anyone going through a court process,” said Justice Minister Lena Diab. “Expanding the number of people who can provide this service will make it more convenient and accessible for everyone. This is especially important for Nova Scotians who are dealing with the loss of a loved one and the legal paperwork that goes along with that.”
Certain types of legal documents are considered evidence in court if the party who made them swore or affirmed their truth. The oath is taken by a Commissioner of Oaths appointed by the Minister of Justice.
Presently, licensed funeral home directors who want to become a Commissioner of Oaths have to go through an application process and pay a fee. Once their application is approved, the appointment is good for five years. These amendments give them the authority as long as they are licensed with the Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.
“As professional funeral directors we help families fill out their forms and documents for government and insurance companies,” said Charles Curry, chairman of the Nova Scotia Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. We can only go so far before we have to send them to a Commissioner of Oaths to finish the documentation. This is a service we could be providing to ease their troubles during a very difficult time.”
Other professions which are automatically Commissioners of Oaths include barristers of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, Canadian Armed Forces officers on active duty, MLAs, municipal chiefs of police and all RCMP members.