The Attorneys Of Stewart Sorice Farrell Finoli And Cavanaugh LLC

Remote notarization in 2020

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2020 | Estate Planning |

We may call it elder law, but it is prudent for anyone to consider planning their estate at any age. For elders, this precaution is particularly important. Preparing their estate can make their golden years brighter and less stressful.

In today’s particular climate, notarization and the importance of physical witnesses is more difficult to pull off. According to JDSupra, Pennsylvania governor has signed a new bill into law making it easier to establish wills and powers of attorney by allowing greater remote notarization.

Senate Bill 841

The bill now known as Act 15 expands the scope of an original order that temporarily suspended the in-person requirements for notarization. The temporary order helped processes like powers of attorney, self-executing wills and living wills by allowing notaries to notarize signatures via tamper-evident communication platforms. The new law opens up this ability to all documents like:

  • codicils
  • execute revocable trusts
  • beneficiary designations

There are restrictions and requirements to abide by in order to dissuade remote fraud. Caveats like disclaiming that parties used a remote notary as well as only using state-approved identity proofing tech like DocVerify or Safedocs that must include video/audio recording that the notary must keep for at least ten years.

Differences in the law

Cities like New York have also implemented their own remote notarization laws which require both notary and remote individual in-state. Only the notary must be in-state in Pennsylvania’s statutes. The state still requires witnesses physically present at signing.

These new allowances help ensure elder law processes go on with less hassle. It is unclear what holdovers and benefits from this law will remain after its set time limit lapses.