Gov. Cuomo Orders Remote Notarization of Legal Documents

March 20, 2020 | Wendy Hoey Sheinberg | Trusts & Estates

The current health crisis has highlighted the need for many people to put their affairs in order. The New York State Government is doing its part to make this easier in this era of social distancing.

Governor Cuomo, by Executive Order dated March 19, 2020, has permitted documents to be notarized via remote video conferencing. This means that, despite social distancing requirements, you will still be able to sign a power of attorney or other documents which require a notary.

In order to have a notarial act performed using current audio/visual technology, the notary needs to either know the person who is signing the documents or that person must present a valid photo ID to be viewed during the video transmission. Additionally, the video conference must allow for the notary and the individual signing to interact with each other while the document is being signed. Also, the person signing the document must affirmatively state to the Notary that they are physically in the State of New York.

The document that is being notarized must then be faxed or sent by other electronic means to the notary on the same date that it is signed. The notary then notarizes the transmitted copy of the document and sends it back to the person who is signing it. Additionally, within 30 days of the document’s original signing, the notary can repeat the notarization on the original signed document as of the date the notary originally witnessed the document being signed.

The ability to utilize remote document signing and notarial services is extremely important. If an individual is in a nursing home or other isolated setting, they may need to have financial matters addressed for them and isolation may prevent them from otherwise tending to those matters.

We in Rivkin Radler’s Trusts & Estates Practice Group can advise our clients as to the signing of their documents outside of the office and to set up remote video livestreams so that your documents can be signed when you need them.

In light of the current workforce reduction order, we are able to answer your questions and conduct meetings remotely.

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