Updated: Mar 30, 2021
Notarization in the time of Coronavirus
Social distancing orders by states have made it a necessity for many law firms to work remotely. To keep your job, or continue to keep your staff employed, finding solutions to continue practicing the law is crucial.
For many real estate and estate lawyers whose practice depends on notarized documents, it can be a challenge to figure out how to get documents notarized when it is against the law in some states to leave your house for anything non-essential. Fortunately, whether it’s for the codifying of a will, signing a sworn affidavit, or the signature of real estate closing documents, some states allow remote online notaries to execute a document.
What is remote online notarization?
Remote notarization allows a signer to appear before the notary via webcam or similar audio-visual technology.
As of March 1, 2020, 22 states have passed and/or enacted remote online notary laws. Out of those 22 states, seventeen of them have fully implemented the procedures, including:
States often require that you already be a commissioned public notary before you apply to perform remote online notarizations.
Five states have enacted remote online notarization laws, but they have not yet taken effect. These include:
Arizona - effective July 1, 2020
Iowa - effective July 1, 2020
Maryland - effective October 1, 2020
Nebraska - effective July 1, 2020
Washington - effective October 1, 2020
What does this mean for you?
To offer value to your clients, one of your paralegals or legal assistants should obtain authorization to perform remote online notarizations. Have your paralegal apply today to get the process started. It is unclear when state stay-at-home orders will be lifted, but in the future, remote notarization will mean clients will no longer have to be physically present for you to complete their documents. You will work more efficiently and better serve your client.
It is important that you have a true cloud practice management software which makes it simple to complete online notarizations. LawConnect is one cloud product that is specifically made for attorneys to collaborate on legally binding documents with their clients and opposing counsel. It is a totally secure, document sharing and e-signing software that is built only for lawyers and maintains attorney-client privilege by double encryption technology. LawConnect is a totally free integration for LEAP users.
LEAP is a true cloud legal practice management software, which includes document management, accounting and billing, and a court form library with document automation in one system for one price. LEAP also offers one-of-a-kind FaceTime integration, which allows lawyers to invite, schedule, and instantly time record virtual meetings via FaceTime with clients and opposing counsel. This service is provided at no extra cost through LEAP’s innovative mobile app.
By using e-notarizations and practice management software that facilitate the same, you will not lose out on important business and make sure you can perform electronic and remote notarizations, making in-person meetings unnecessary.
Do you have more questions about how to set up remote notarizations at your office? Talk to a legal practice management advisor for free.