How transient life is! One can be here today and gone tomorrow. That is the point the coronavirus pandemic has driven home, and we cannot overlook that fact. You may have been procrastinating estate planning for one reason or the other, but if not now, when? To do estate planning is to secure the financial future of your loved ones should anything happen to you, especially when they depend on your income for quality living.
But then again, due to the coronavirus pandemic, doing estate planning in New Jersey has seemingly become more difficult. Social distancing measures will likely hinder you from visiting a law office and sitting with your lawyers for consultation or having witnesses with you when signing your will. But not to worry. Due to the death rate and growing need for estate planning at a time like this, the government of New Jersey has made estate planning all the easier.
Live-video conferencing for coronavirus estate planning New Jersey
The state governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, has made estate planning easier for NJ residents. Clients seeking estate planning documents and assistance can now get them from law firms via emails.
Our estate planning law firm offers live-chat and video-conferencing on zoom, so you can get all the friendly and professional help you need.
This is in line with curtailing the spread of the virus while observing social distancing measures. We can send you your estate planning documents via email or mail for you to fill and sign while we offer you expert assistance throughout the process. There is no time to waste. You can seize this opportunity to get your estate planning done with minimal stress.
However, there is one problem remaining. It is that of witnessing and notarization.
The signing of your estate planning documents such as will and powers of attorney need to be witnessed and/or notarized by external parties for the documents to be legally valid. But how can a witness be physically present with you amidst the coronavirus restrictions?
The state governor has signed the legislation for estate planning and estate administration to commence amidst the pandemic, and this is made possible through remote communication. The law signed allows your estate planning documents to be notarized via live video conferencing. What this means is you don’t need to have your notary public physically present with you. All you need to do is connect with the witnesses remotely through zoom or any other live-video app. This allows you to sign your will, trust, and other estate plan documents right from the comfort of your home, nursing facility, or hospital without having to meet physically with a notary public.
The notary must attest to the fact that the notarization was done remotely and must record the whole process.
While your healthcare instruction directive requires notarization to be valid, your will doesn’t necessarily have to be notarized. When you die, the court will examine your will, and the witnesses will be called upon to prove the will. Since this may take some time, you may want to skip it. To do that, you have to notarize the will to make it self-proving – that is, there will be no need to prove it again since it is already self-evident that the will is valid.
Aside from notarizing, every will must be witnessed by at least two persons. These persons usually have to be physically present, but in the same vein as the notarization, the governor has allowed remote witnessing. You can now have your document witnessed via live-chat without meeting physically with the witnesses.
Gone are those times when a coronavirus patient unlikely to survive will not be offered estate planning because they are at risk of spreading the disease. Patients that were in need of witnesses or notary for their documents were denied it because the witnesses did not want to get infected. But now, thanks to the new laws, you can do estate planning and ensure that your wishes will be honored.
In need of coronavirus estate planning assistance in NJ?
We’re here to help. For all your estate planning queries and consultation, call us today.