Social Distancing and Notarization During the COVID-19 Pandemic

With most of the country under stay-at-home orders and practicing social distancing, COVID-19 has become a major disruptive force for the indefinite future. One of the many business areas severely hindered by COVID-19 is contractual relationships between parties. Consenting parties to a new contract may agree that a PDF signature page sent by email suffices in these times, but what about statutory requirements that have to be satisfied? Real estate deeds and mortgages generally need to be notarized to be accepted for recording and for title companies to insure them. A will or trust agreement drawn up during the pandemic may need to be notarized as well to be given effect. Usual notary requirements include in-person, physical presence before the notary. How does that work with social distancing?

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