Remote estate planning during COVID-19
Executive order allows for electronic and remote signing, witnessing, and notary of trusts, wills, powers of attorney in Michigan
The spread of the coronavirus as caused many to want to make changes to their estate plans and powers of attorney, but at the same time the quarantine or social distancing guidelines have prevented them getting it done. What follows is some general information for both future and former clients about completing an estate plan remotely or electronically (e-signature, remote notary, etc).
Currently, this is only an available option through June 30, 2021, but will probably be here to stay even after that. The documents will be valid after June 30, 2021 (i.e., they do not expire when the state of emergency ends).
People without an existing estate plan
If you have no will or trust in place yet in place, it can be now be done remotely with affecting its validity. Essentially, the law currently allows a person to print their own document with paper and ink or using an electronic signature platform (we will provide this for those who desire it), while also using a video chat service that can be recorded which will allow us to verify your identity, converse with you, and see the signings happen (the free smartphone/PC app “Zoom” and Microsoft Teams are some of the best choices for this for now).
People with an existing estate plan
If you are a former or new client with an existing trust, your trust can likely easily be amended and updated without much effort or the need for witnesses, notaries, or video chat. If you have a will or financial or medical powers of attorney/patient advocate designations that need to be updated or a codicil drafted, the process will be similar or the same to that described above for current or prospective clients.
Fast and convenient scheduling, tangible paper plans!
Our clients have overwhelming appreciated the remote process! It greatly simplifies the scheduling of meetings and signings because it is easy to make appointments during days off, lunch breaks, and evenings and weekends. Every client will receive an original paper plan and binder, just as you would normally have received with a traditional in-office meeting and signing.
Contact us for an electronic estate plan!
If you are interested creating an electronic estate plan or updating your estate plan, please contact me by calling our office at 734-855-4999 and we’ll get you started with a link to our easy-to-use electronic estate planning questionnaire.
We also participate in MetLife Legal Plan (formerly called Hyatt Legal Plan) and ARAG Legal Plans for estate planning services offered through many Michigan employers.