On April 9, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott suspended certain statutes relating to the physical presence before a notary public to execute Estate Documents such as a Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Directive to Physician, or an Oath of an Executor, Administrator, or Guardian.
This is a major development for Estate Planning Attorneys, allowing for the signing of documents without the need of clients coming into law firm offices.
In the Press Release, Governor Abbott stated,
The State of Texas is taking any action necessary to enforce social distancing and reduce the need for in-person contact throughout the COVID-19 response. These temporary suspensions provide flexibility in the notarization process for certain documents and ensure Texans are able to stay home as much as possible to protect themselves and others from this virus.
This means that the Oxner Legha Law Firm’s notary publics can observe clients signing documents via video conference. Normally, we would need the clients to be in our office so that the notary can watch the client sign a document in person.
Now, under the temporary suspension of the statute, when a client signs a document they will prove their identity by holding up a government-issued identification card to a camera for the notary public to see. Once the document is signed by the client, they will then either fax, e-mail, or mail the document back to the law firm, at which point the notary public will then notarize the document.
The Oxner Legha Law Firm is very excited about this announcement by Governor Abbott as it allows us to finalize important documents without having to put our clients at risk by having them travel to our offices.
The suspension of the in-person requirement will remain in effect “until terminated by the Office of the Governor or until the March 13, 2020 disaster declaration is listed or expires.”
If you would like to discuss getting a Will done with the Oxner Legha Law Firm, give us a call at 346-327-9500.