April 8, 2020 – Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.14 temporarily allowing virtual witnessing of Wills, Health Care Proxies and the Gifting Rider to Powers of Attorney, until May 7, 2020. The order also extends the time allowing virtual notarizations of documents such as Deeds, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney until May 7, 2020. View the full guidance here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20214-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency.
All documents must be signed before May 7, 2020 to be valid under the electronic notarization procedures.
The use of audio and video technology for virtual witnessing is allowed under these conditions:
- The person requesting that his or her signature be witnessed, if not personally known to the witness(es), must present a valid photo ID to the witness(es) during the video conference, not merely transmit it prior to or after;
- The video conference must allow for direct interaction between the person and the witness(es), and the supervising attorney, if applicable (e.g. no pre-recorded videos of the person signing);
- The witnesses must receive a legible copy of the signature page(s), which may be transmitted via fax or electronic means, on the same date that the pages are signed by the person;
- The witness(es) may sign the transmitted copy of the signature page(s) and transmit the same back to the person; and
- The witness(es) may repeat the witnessing of the original signature page(s) as of the date of execution provided the witness(es) receive such original signature pages together with the electronically witnessed copies within thirty days after the date of execution. (https://nysba.org/coronavirus-daily-update-executive-order-addresses-concerns-about-remote-witnessing/)
If you have any questions, please contact DHC’s Trusts and Estates Senior Counsel Jennifer Abelaj