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Governor Abbott Temporarily Lifts Notary Limitations

Governor Abbott Temporarily Lifts Notary Limitations

EBT – Headshot

Emily Taylor

Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney

A press release announced April 8, 2020 by Governor Abbott’s office provides some relief for estate planning clients in this frequently changing landscape. Effective immediately and until the March 13, 2020 disaster declaration is lifted or expired, the otherwise necessary appearance in front of a notary public is suspended for the following documents:

  • Self-proving affidavits for wills;
  • Durable powers of attorney;
  • Medical powers of attorney;
  • Directives to physicians; and
  • Oaths of executors, administrators, and guardians

Instead of appearing in person, the signor is allowed appearance in front of a notary via videoconference. The notary still must verify the personal identity of the signor at the time the signature is taken. Further, the notary and signor will transmit the documents back and forth by fax or electronic means. This is effective specifically to the above referenced documents and does not alleviate the necessity for witnesses to appear in the presence of the signor when required. This temporary suspension of the appearance rules allows for Texans to continue to get the legal help they need to care for themselves and their estates, while maintaining safe social distancing.

From a practical perspective, there are additional safeguards to consider if executing a document this way to be discussed with your attorney. This temporary suspension of the appearance rules allows for Texans to continue to get the legal help they need to care for themselves and their estates, while maintaining safe social distancing.

Thank you to the hard working members of REPTL for bringing this to fruition!

DISCLAIMER

Rapp & Krock, PC presents the information in this article for general education purposes only. Although this article discusses legal issues, it is not legal advice. The law and the content of any linked website may have changed since this article was written, and Rapp & Krock, PC makes no warranty or guarantee about the continuing accuracy of the information presented. Use of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship, and Rapp & Krock, PC does not represent you unless and until we are expressly retained in writing.

Copyright © 2020 by Emily B. Taylor. All rights reserved.