On April 2, 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of State announced a temporary suspension of its statute requirement that notaries be physically present when witnessing signatures specifically in relation to certain estate planning documents. During this uncertain time, I personally have felt at a loss as to how I could help my clients and those that need estate planning documents executed in a safe environment. We have all had to adapt to these changing and challenging times. But finally, we have a solution, albeit a temporary one.
I am an extrovert, I love talking to people, visiting people, and engaging with them. My practice was built upon the concept of going to my clients. As I wrote in my last post, I can no longer physically go to my clients until we are safe to do so. However, I can still meet via video conferencing. The new order allows us to execute documents face to face via video with all of the parties (witnesses, testator, notary) there, everyone signs electronically and the notary puts their electronic seal on the documents and produces an original to send to the client. With this new order in place, we should be able to resume most estate planning services and the proper execution of documents.
If anyone has any questions or concerns about how this new process works, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.