March 26, 2020
Wyatt lawyers recommended this change to the legislature to simplify the process of executing wills and make doing so safer, especially during this difficult time, but it will have broader application. The provision reads as follows:
(11) For purposes of complying with any law, rule, order, or other requirement relating to the receipt of testimony or signature from any party or witness, or the acknowledgement or notarization of any document, for any legal purpose: (a) Individuals, whether acting for themselves or in a representative capacity, not in the same physical location shall be considered in the presence of one another if the individuals can communicate via a video teleconference in real time to the same extent as if they were physically present in the same location; and (b) Any document resulting from a video teleconference conducted in accordance with paragraph (a) of this subsection may be executed, acknowledged, or notarized in counterparts, which together shall be considered a single document;
Sen. Morgan McGarvey deserves an enormous amount of credit for carrying the laboring oar on this, and Sen. Stivers and Speaker Osborne for enabling the quick action. Please thank them when you have the opportunity.
The language is adapted from the Uniform Electronic Wills Act which the ULC passed last summer.
Traditionally for a will you want the testator and two witnesses all together, and add a notary if you don’t want to have to bring the witnesses to court when the will is probated. Our remote notary statute expands the notion of a notary being present, and now we have done the same for witnesses.