PA Legislators Taking Steps Towards Virtual Signings

March 25, 2020

In our previous post, we asked five questions pertinent to reviewing your estate plan in the wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Click here to read this post. We asked, “When was the last time your documents were updated?”

Given the state of the world, it is important to be sure that your wishes are fulfilled should something happen to you.  But what if your Will does not reflect your current situation, or does not fulfill your wishes?

When updating your Will, there are specific requirements for how it should be signed. For a Will to be easily admitted to probate, it should be signed in front of two disinterested witnesses over the age of eighteen.  Additionally, the testator (the person signing the will) must sign an acknowledgment, and the witnesses must sign an affidavit. Both the acknowledgment and affidavit must be notarized in order to admit a Will to Probate without additional verifications.

By now you are thinking, “How will I be able to sign my Will in front of a notary while keeping myself safe from Coronavirus?”

Thankfully, members of the PA House of Representatives introduced House Bill 2370 that will allow notaries to electronically notarize documents when a signer appears via real-time audio-video communication.  This will allow PA notaries to video conference with clients who would like to sign new Wills, but also maintain a safe distance from others. Our sources tell us that HB2370 will be voted on in the coming days, and we will update this post as more information becomes available.

Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky is committed to serving our community through these hard times. We are fully equipped to assist current and new clients with updating their Wills, or other estate planning documents via electronic means. If HB2370 is passed, we will also be able to facilitate the final signing of client documents via video conferencing software.  Please contact Nicolas Sasso today to discuss your Will and Estate Planning needs at nsasso@smgglaw.com or (412) 227-0278.

*Drafted in conjunction with Matthew R. Cipriani, Paralegal.