woman signing document

When you are creating an estate plan, there are different requirements that must be met. For example, several documents must be witnessed or notarized before they are considered legally binding in New York. However, the strict social distancing laws that were put into place as a result of the Coronavirus can make these signings difficult to accomplish. While this is true, it is important to know that it is not impossible. Continue reading to learn more and retain the services of an experienced New York estate planning attorney to guide you through preparing your estate.

How Do I Notarize a Document?

Generally, documents must be notarized by physically appearing before the notary public or witnesses. While social distancing laws and the temporary closure of non-essential businesses may make it seem like this cannot currently be done, there are other ways that witnesses can come together during this time. According to recommendations by the National Notary Association, people can participate in “window-separated signings.” These singings can take place in various locations that allow the participating parties to keep a window between them, such as a parking lot in two cars. This allows them to communicate through sight and sound. 

When participating in these signings, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • Notaries must follow all federal, state, and local guidelines for social distancing, health protection, and sanitization
  • The signer must provide their identification to the Notary to view and inspect. It must be possessed by the Notary, not simply viewed through the window. 

Once you and your witnesses finish signing the documents, they can be exchanged while following social distancing guidelines. This can be done by leaving them in one place, like the hood of the car, and staying at least six feet away from each other while retrieving them. When the process is completed, it is crucial for all parties to thoroughly wash their hands and use hand sanitizer. 

Contact our Firm

Zimmet Law Group, P.C. is an experienced team of attorneys guiding clients through matters of estate planning and administration, divorce and family law, real estate, commercial litigation, business law, bankruptcy, and landlord-tenant law. If you require the services of an effective New York City attorney, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.