On April 3, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed the New York State FY 2021 Budget (click here for our recent LEGALcurrents summary on the Budget) which included, among other things, amendments to the New York State Election Law.
New York Temporarily Allows Remote Witnessing of Wills and Other Documents in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
Update: On April 14, 2020, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) issued Interim Guidance on the Executive Order discussed below. A copy of that guidance can be found here. The LEGALcurrents article below has been updated to reflect certain aspects of the Interim Guidance.
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.
Organizations of all sizes are facing daunting technological and logistical challenges, as much of the country’s workforce adjusts to working remotely. Privacy and data security risks only add to these challenges.
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.