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).
As we wrote here earlier this year, Governor Cuomo proposed to extend the “clawback law,” which had expired on January 1, 2019, in his fiscal year 2020 Executive Budget. As a reminder, the clawback law pulled the value of all taxable gifts made within three years of a New York resident taxpayer’s death back into the New York resident taxpayer’s estate for New York estate tax purposes.