Estate Planning Signing Protocols
Estate planning conferences, meetings, and executions during Covid 19 crisis will be held as follows:
a. New Estate Planning Clients – we can utilize Zoom or any other video conferencing for the initial office consultations to review and discuss your estate planning needs. Current documents, completed client questionnaires, copies of real estate deeds and tax bills should be sent via mail to our firm address or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com prior to the initial conference.
b. EXECUTION OF ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS:
1. You can take your documents and sign them before two witnesses and a notary if you wish on your own after you receive them, and they are finalized – that is always an option.
2. You can wait until you are comfortable meeting with our estate planning attorneys to execute your documents and then schedule one of the following:
a. EXECUTION OUTDOOR AT A CLIENT’S HOUSE – this must be done outside at a table – this is also weather permitting and limited to a ten (10) mile radius from our office in Nashua. The charge for this service is an additional $250 to cover the extra time it will take to provide a witness. Our attorney is able to bring one witness but you will need to provide at least one witness that is not named in your documents, who is not the spouse of a beneficiary and that is not related to you in anyway. This can be a friend or neighbor. Witnesses will stand six feet away and be able to witness you sign your documents and hear you make declarations. Attorney Polgrean is a NOTARY IN NEW HAMPSHIRE only.
b. Drive-up Will signings – weather permitting, clients can drive up to our firm’s back parking lot while remaining in their car, sign their Will(s) before two witnesses and an attorney. Again, for social distancing the witnesses will stand six feet away and be able to hear and watch clients sign documents. The signed documents will be placed in an envelope and handed to the attorney and the client will then leave. The Attorney will take them back to the office to notarize. Copies of the documents and further instructions will be mailed and/or emailed to the client.
c. OFFICE EXECUTIONS WITH ATTORNEY – This option is available in our downstairs conference room. Client(s) will call the office just before they arrive so they can be led into the building by Attorney Polgrean or Raudonis or a paralegal. The entry point is on the left-hand side of our building down the public stairway. Copies of the documents and further instructions will be mailed and/or emailed to the client. See information below for more signing protocols.
FOR ALL EXECUTIONS REQUIRING TWO WITNESSES AND A NOTARY PUBLIC:
1. No witness or client can participate if they are experiencing any cold symptoms whatsoever.
Client are required to wear face masks and gloves.
2. All witnesses and the Attorney will sign the documents immediately after the client leaves. Clients will not be staying or hanging around after a signing. Originals will be mailed to the client, or if the firm is storing the originals in the firm’s Will Vault then clients will receive a copy of their signed documents sometime after signing.
3. A telephone or other remote conference will be conducted prior to the execution of your documents to review the letter you have been sent explaining your estate planning documents and to review each document prior to the execution of your documents. This minimizes the time people are together and expedites the signing process. All edits will be made in advance and prior to a signing so it the client’s responsibility to inform your Attorney of changes and edits before the signing – not at the signing.
4. All documents will be tabbed showing clients where to sign, and, if applicable, with tabs where each separate witness signs to expedite the signing process.
5. The Attorney will also sit six feet away and will complete notary provisions on all the documents immediately following the execution but after the client leaves the premises.
6. Signings will be scheduling signings only one or two days per week, until the state of emergency is suspended or lifted by the state and federal government. Clients wishing to sign their estate planning documents will need to be flexible, take time off of work and accommodate the time slots allotted for the signing dates and times offered by the firm.