Hi ,

Here are some questions that we’ve been getting quite a bit lately:

With all of the concerns regarding Covid-19, I know that I should have my last will and health care documents in order. I heard that some legal documents can be signed remotely or electronically. Should I do that? Or, should I physically sign them at your office?

The State of Florida recently adopted a new law last year (Chapter 2019-71, Laws of Florida) allowing for the remote notarization of legal documents. The effective date of this law is of January 1, 2020 for most transactional documents. However, the effective date for estate planning documents was delayed until July 1, 2020. So, you can use remote notarization for transactional documents now, but you must wait until July 1, 2020 for a last will or designation of health care surrogate.

Does that mean that I should wait until July 1, 2020 to execute estate planning documents?

Well . . . maybe, but keep in mind that the new law suspends the physical presence requirements for notaries administering an oath. It does not suspend the requirement that there be two witnesses for a last will. So, even if you choose to use a remote notary, you are still required to sign a last will in the physical presence of two witnesses (who must also be in the presence of each other).

What precautions are you taking if I elect to sign my documents at your office?

You can elect to do one of two things:
  1. You can sign the documents indoors. We are scrubbing down our conference room before and after each visit. The witnesses and notary public must be present when you sign your documents, but they will stay 6 feet away from you. And, we will provide you with a new face mask and will have sterilized pens available for your use.
  2. You can sign the documents outdoors (weather permitting). We have two outdoor tables and portable chairs set up in a shaded area under an oak tree. You will sit at one table. The witnesses and notary public will be at the second table – which will be 6 feet away from your table.
Please feel free to call us at 407-661-1177 if you have any questions or concerns.