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You Can Now Sign your Will, Power of Attorney, and Health Care Advance Directive Remotely

May 18, 2020 | Estate Planning, Family Law

By Mary Ellen Flynn, Esq., 301.563.6685

During these unprecedented and scary times of this pandemic, we are reminded of our
mortality and the possibility of becoming seriously ill. It has always been important that
we have our affairs in proper order, including having a Will, Power of Attorney, and
Health Care Advance Directive. These documents are necessary so that our wishes are
followed for when we pass away or become seriously ill.

Having these documents in place will give you and your family peace of mind, especially
during this pandemic. However, before COVID-19, we were required to sign our Will,
Power of Attorney, and Health Care Advance Directive in the physical presence of your
witnesses. But with the necessity of social distancing and offices not admitting people
onto their premises, signing these documents has become difficult if not impossible.
Now, in light of the Coronavirus being so highly contagious and deadly for many persons,
the State of Maryland has suspended the requirement of in-person witnessing of these
necessary estate planning documents and now allows these documents to be remotely
witnessed.

The requirements of properly remotely witnessing documents include:

  • The witnesses must be in the electronic presence of the Signer;
  • The witnesses must be a resident of Maryland and physically located in the United States
    at the time of the execution of the document; and
  • The Signer and all witnesses must be in the physical presence or electronic presence of
    one another and a Supervising Attorney. The Supervising Attorney cannot be one of the
    Witnesses.

There are several mandatory steps that the Supervising Attorney must take. Therefore, the
Supervising Attorney should be familiar and experienced in complying with all the
statutory requirements.

This ability to sign these documents in the electronic presence of your witnesses is in
effect until the state of emergency is terminated and the proclamation of the catastrophic
health emergency is rescinded.

Andalman & Flynn has the experience and the necessary technology to facilitate and supervise
the proper remote signing of documents. Further, I have been certified by the State of
Maryland to be a remote notary. If you have any questions or need assistance with remote notaries, please contact us.

Andalman & Flynn, P.C. serves clients throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia, offering compassionate, quality service and results-driven representation across a broad range of legal areas. With a concentration on disability benefits law and family law, the firm focuses on cases that impact the rights of everyone, and they are there for clients when responsive legal help is most critical. For more information about Andalman & Flynn, please visit our website or call 301.563.6685.


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