Need a Will, Deed, or Other Legal Document Requiring Notarization During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Like you, law firms around Michigan are keeping busy and conducting business remotely during this crisis. Your urgent legal problems and needs still need to be addressed during this emergency. If you have ever signed an important legal document, you may know that your signature often needs to be “sworn” or “notarized” before a proper official before it is complete.

Many folks simply take these documents to their lawyer’s office or to their local bank; but, but doing so in person right now may not be possible due to social distancing. Can you still accomplish your legal goals during this time?

Luckily, last week the governor signed an executive order (2020-14) making the use of remote, electronic signatures possible for all legal documents. What does that mean for you?

Executive Order 2020-14 At a Glance

Executive order No. 2020-41 encourages the use of electronic signatures and remote notarization, witnessing, and visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some brief details regarding this order:

  • You do not need to be in the physical presence of a notary to have a document notarized.
  • Real time audio-visual technology like Facetime, Zoom, or Google Hangouts can be used so long as it can be recorded.
  • You must still present your identification (such as a state-issued license) in real time, not before or after the electronic meeting.
  • You must still sign the document and email, fax, or mail it the same day.
  • Required witnesses can appear by Facetime, Zoom, etc. as well.
  • These electronic records must be accepted by financial institutions and registers of deeds.

What Can Be Notarized Electronically?

The new order signed by the governor encourages the use of electronic signatures for any legal document which requires signing. This includes but is not limited to the following:

Time Is Limited, So Act Now!

The governor’s executive order continues until at least May 6th, but may end at that time, so now is a great time to get started on your estate planning, real estate, or other legal needs. If you have any questions about wills, real estate transfers, or other documents requiring notarization, contact Kelly & Kelly P.C. today.