UPDATE on Virtual Notarization in Massachusetts
If you are unable to meet and sign in person ---
Now you can still sign remotely until June 18, 2021 until December 15, 2021
The ins and outs of Virtual Notarization
Can you have your estate planning documents notarized remotely in Massachusetts during the Covid 19 emergency?
Yes. On April 23, 2020, Governor Baker signed into law An Act Providing For
Virtual Notarization to Address Challenges Related to Covid 19. The law allows for remote witnessing and notarization of estate planning documents during the Covid 19 emergency. Now this law will stay in effect until June 18, 2021 until December 15, 2021.
For the recently signed extension of the law see Bill S.2475 (malegislature.gov)
Can the witnesses be in different locations than the signing party?
Yes… As long as the signer, the witnesses , and the notary public, are all on the same videoconference and located in Massachusetts. The signer and the witnesses must be seen on camera by each other and the notary public, and they must each provide identification to the notary public.
What are the record requirements for the notary public?
The Notary Public must obtain certain information during the videoconference including the names and locations of the parties; who is in the room with them; and the identification of the parties.
The notary public must execute an Affidavit of Virtual Notarization and keep the Affidavit, the video recording, and the parties’ forms of identification for ten years after the signing takes place. If the notary public is a paralegal, the affidavit and forms of identification must be retained by the paralegal's supervising attorney.
Does this law also apply to real estate documents?
Yes, but there are a few differences. A real estate document notarization requires two videoconferences --one for the initial signing by the signer—and a second videoconference where the notary public can confirm the signing upon receipt of the signed document from the signer.
For more information on the Virtual Notarization Law,
If you would like a free initial consultation to discuss creating your personalized estate plan, please contact the Law Offices of Martin I. Flax, P.C. at firstname.lastname@example.org.