As a consequence of the results in the U.S. Senate runoff elections in Georgia, the Democrats are, at least in theory, in a position to pass legislation via the “reconciliation process.” Under reconciliation, 51 votes are all that is needed to pass tax legislation, such as Economic Growth and Tax Reconciliation Relief of 2001 and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
Governor Cuomo has signed legislation that will significantly change New York legislation regarding powers of attorney. The legislation, Chapter 323 of the 2020 Session Laws, will be effective 180 days from yesterday, December 15. The signing was accompanied by an agreement to amend the legislation (principally, to require that two disinterested witnesses sign the power in addition to the notarization). It is anticipated that the amendment will be enacted prior to the effective date of Chapter 323.
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, questions have arisen regarding how people can safely execute Wills and other documents that require witnesses. Yesterday, by Executive Order 202.14, Governor Cuomo expressly authorized Wills, Trusts, Health Care Proxies, and Statutory Gifts Riders for Powers of Attorney to be witnessed remotely by virtual means. The Executive Order is in effect until May 7, 2020. Before this Executive Order, New York generally did not allow remote witnessing.
As the implications of COVID-19 continue to evolve, we stand committed to providing insight from across the firm to help you respond to any legal and business issues that may arise during these uncertain times.
The COVID-19 pandemic (commonly referred to as the “Coronavirus”) has disrupted economic life. In an example of a response to the reality of social-distancing and closures, Governor Cuomo, by Executive Order No. 202.7 (“the Order”), will allow notarial acts required under New York State law to be performed using audio-video technology (while not mentioned in the Order, presumably, Skype, Zoom or other similar technology).