For the past month, we have been supervising the execution of our clients' Wills and related estate planning documents through the use of audio-video technology, allowing for the completion of planning projects while maintaining appropriate social distancing. We conduct these signing conferences through the use of various technological platforms, depending on clients' preferences or limitations – and all coordinated with clients beforehand. Below is a brief update on the status of remote document execution procedures in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Further to our previous alert regarding audio-video execution of estate planning documents in New York, on May 7, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.28, which extends the effective period for Executive Orders 202.7 (audio-video notarization) and 202.14 (audio-video witnessing of estate planning documents) until June 6, 2020 (which may be further extended by future Executive Order).
On April 14, 2020, Governor Murphy of New Jersey signed a bill (A-3903) allowing for remote notarization of documents for the duration of New Jersey's declared state of emergency resulting from COVID-19. It should be noted, however, that this law does not address the remote execution of documents requiring witnesses, as is the case with most estate planning documents, including Wills and Trust Agreements.
In Connecticut, Governor Lamont issued Executive Order 7Q on March 30, 2020, which authorizes the use of audio-video technology for the execution of estate planning documents (provided that certain conditions are met) through June 23, 2020.
This alert provides general coverage of its subject area. We provide it with the understanding that Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz is not engaged herein in rendering legal advice, and shall not be liable for any damages resulting from any error, inaccuracy, or omission. Our attorneys practice law only in jurisdictions in which they are properly authorized to do so. We do not seek to represent clients in other jurisdictions.