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Remote Signing and Notarization for Estate Plans During COVID-19 Pandemic

April 10, 2020
Estate Planning Advisory

Update: On May 5, Gov. Whitmer signed an executive order extending the expiration date of the remote notary/witness provisions to June 30.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, estate planning documents may be notarized remotely effective immediately and continuing through May 6, 2020. Executive Order 2020-41 (Order), signed April 8, 2020 by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, allows for remote notarization and witnessing to take place via video conference.

Trusts, wills, durable powers of attorney, patient advocate designations, living wills and deeds are among the documents that can now be executed with a notary public and witnessed by video conference. For documents required to be notarized and/or witnessed in person, the Order allows for the continued availability of these important tools, while practicing social distancing and restricting in-person interactions to those that are strictly necessary.

Perhaps now more than ever, reviewing or implementing an estate plan, including wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney and, in particular, health care directives, can be a critical step to protecting yourself and your family. The Order ensures that crucial planning can continue uninterrupted and offers peace of mind during these unprecedented and uncertain times.

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