There are many documents that make up an estate plan. In order for these to be legal, they must be notarized or witnessed by other parties. However, social distancing rules and stay-at-home orders during times of the Coronavirus can made this difficult to accomplish. While this is true, it is important to know that it can still be done. Continue reading to learn more and retain the services of an experienced New York estate planning attorney to guide you through the process of creating an estate plan.

How Do I Notarize a Document?

Documents can only be notarized when you physically appear in front of the notary public or witnesses. As a result of social distancing laws, stay-at-home orders, and temporary business closures, it can make this process difficult. While some states passed laws and issued regulations to allow remote online notarization, there are other creative ways this can be done as well. 

Witnesses and notaries who must sign documents for an estate plan can do so through the National Notary Association’s recommendation of “window-separated signings.” This can be done by meeting in various locations that allow parties to keep a window between them while they sign the documents in front of one another. Keep in mind, during this time, all parties must be able to communicate with one another through both sight and sound. The following is also important to know during this time:

  • Notaries must follow all federal, state, and local guidelines for social distancing, health protection, and sanitization
  • The signer must provide their identification to the Notary to view and inspect. It must be possessed by the Notary, not simply viewed through the window. 

Once the documents are signed, they can be exchanged still by complying with social distancing rules. For example, if you decide to sign the documents in a parking lot, the documents can be left on the hood of a car and retrieved while remaining at least six feet away from one another. Afterwards, it is important to thoroughly wash your hands and use hand sanitizer. 

Contact our Firm

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.