The reality of COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to address the “what if” scenarios, maybe for the first time, that were previously unthinkable.
As a result, I am getting numerous calls a day from people reaching out to execute estate plans they have put off finalizing and signing. Others are calling to start estate plans they should have started years ago. While living under the current shelter-in-place orders, I am working to offer creative solutions to get estate planning documents signed and in place. Please note I am able to continue working with clients as I am an essential worker due to my ability to assist people with end of life planning.
Here are eight things you should know.
- Most estate planning work can be done at home. You may not be able to physically meet with me, but you can still create, update or finalize your estate plan. I have been set up to work remotely for over 8 years now and am attorneys available vihttps://uniqueestatelaw.com/team/about-chris/a email, telephone and video conferencing to advise you. I have an online intake and document delivery system. So, documents can be drafted and emailed, mailed or shared via our secure online system.
- There are many options for signing document. During this time of rapidly changes laws and rules, I am adapting my practice and approaching will signings on a case by case basis. I have done drive up will signings and remote signings via video meetings.
- Meeting in person is NOT necessary for document signing. In certain circumstances, people may be able to sign documents on their own. I have a set of instructions (with examples) ready to send on how to have an out of office signing. You may need witnesses so, if you don’t have them ready, I can come to your home and witness through a window or see-through door.
- Online notarization is still in its infancy. Minnesota does allow online notaries in some instances, but this only works if you are able to utilize the online program to handle it.
- Movement to push for online notarization during global health crisis could expand options. I am working with the legislature and Governor to push through emergency legislation/orders to ease some of the restrictions placed on notaries.
- Trusts may have different notarization requirements. Although my general practice is to include notarization if you are signing a trust, it is not required under Minnesota estate planning law. For the time being, you may be able to simply sign the trust on your own and a notary can acknowledge the signature later when it is safe.
Please note during this uncertain time in the pandemic crisis under COVID-19, I am offering reduced fees for simple planning. Contact an estate planning attorney now before it’s too late to safely execute your documents.