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April 8th, 2020
Executive Order 202.14 Allows Audio-Video Witnessing for Execution of Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Proxies, and Appointments of Agent for Disposition of Remains
On April 7, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.14, which allows for audio-video witnessing of Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Proxies and Appointments of Agent for Disposition of Remains.
Typically under New York law, most important estate planning documents must be witnessed in person by at least two individuals and notarized. Executive Order 202.14 will greatly assist New Yorkers in properly executing their estate planning documents in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
In order to comply with the Executive Order, the following steps must be taken:
- The person requesting his or her signature be witnessed, if not personally known to the witnesses, must present valid photo ID to the witnesses during the video conference;
- The video conference must allow for direct interaction between the person and the witnesses, and supervising attorney, if applicable;
- The witnesses must receive a legible copy of the signed page(s), which may be transmitted by fax or electronic means, on the same date the pages are signed by the person;
- The witnesses may sign the transmitted copy of the signature page(s) and transmit back to the person; and
- The witnesses may repeat the witnessing of the original signature page(s) as of the date of execution, provided the witnesses receive the original signature pages together with the electronically witnessed copies within 30 days of the date of execution.
This Executive Order 202.14, in combination with Executive Order 202.7, which provides for the audio-video notarization of documents, will allow clients to fully execute their estate planning documents using audio-video technology.
These are temporary modifications of the law that are effective immediately and shall remain in place through May 7, 2020 (which may be extended by future Executive Order).
If you would like to discuss your estate planning or need assistance with the execution of your estate planning documents, please contact Barbara E. Shiers, Linda J. Wank, or any other member of the Frankfurt Kurnit Estate Planning & Administration Group.
Other Estate Planning Law Alerts
Remote Document Execution: Current Rules in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
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. Read more.
May 11 2020
Estate Planning Opportunities During the Pandemic
The pandemic’s effect on the economy has led to reduced valuations for many privately-owned and publicly-traded businesses, as well as reduced valuations for real estate and other assets. At the same time, interest rates remain at historically low levels. This unique economic environment can create estate planning opportunities for certain individuals and families. Read more.
May 4 2020
SECURE Act Signals Significant Changes for Estate and Retirement Planning
The SECURE Act (which stands for “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement”) was enacted at the end of last year and makes several significant changes to the laws governing retirement accounts. The changes will have consequences for both retirement and estate planning. Read more.
February 26 2020