Effective as of March 24 until at least April 3 (or when the Dallas County shelter in place is lifted), we will be working remotely. Because our practice is focused on Wills, medical and financial powers of attorney, and estate planning, we understand the concern for people to start getting this planning in place. We are equipped to meet with clients via conference calls and web-based appointments.
This is, in fact, an opportune time for people to start the process of getting this legal planning in place as there is a heightened awareness of medical issues and mortality, as well as due to social distancing and many people staying at home, there is more time to contemplate your decisions and get started.
If you have any questions for us during this time, please reach out to us: 972.385.0558, email@example.com. Also, if you want to sign-up for our e-newsletter where we will share updates as well as invites to live webinars with estate planning and probate updates: https://bit.ly/3beEoJc.
To stay up-to-date on developing news, please consult the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.htmlAdditional Statement on Signing Procedures
For a Will to be valid in Texas, it must be witnessed by two individuals who are at least 14 years of age, are not related to the person signing (testator), or named in the Will. A best practice would be to also have the Will notarized. Therefore, the testator and two witnesses MUST physically be in the same room together and sign at the same time. For the notarization, it appears that Texas may allow a virtual notary, but this is not certain.
For all other estate planning documents, such as the Medical Power of Attorney, Financial Power of Attorney, and Revocable Living Trust, a notary only is required. This is where a virtual notary could work.
Currently, we are suspending any in office signings. We are also looking into having members of our staff become virtual notaries, but we do not know how long that will take and there is mixed feedback on whether a virtual notary would be valid for these documents.
We can also provide instructions and guidance for clients who want to arrange their own witnesses and notary to appear in their home, however, we recommend coming into contact with as few individuals as possible.
If a home signing isn’t feasible or desired, then there are some limited, but not great alternatives we can provide, such as a holographic Will. Otherwise, we will have to wait until the dust settles before we can schedule a time to sign and finalize the paperwork.