10th Apr 2020

Texas Governor Greg Abbot suspended certain statutes to basically allow people to notarize important legal documents remotely by video conference. This allows important matters to move forward and important document to get completed – while allowing people to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and follow CDC and other guidelines.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Still and Oklahoma lawmakers and officials should consider something similar immediately. For the good and safety of the citizens of Oklahoma and its bar association. And also for the good of the economy, health care system, and many other important reasons.

Those of us in the Estate Planning , Probate, and Trust Section of the Oklahoma Bar have been discussing such issues in recent days. I am sure many of my colleagues disagree with this or have reservations. Here is my take on that: do not use if it you are not comfortable or have reasons to believe there could be abuse or undue influence or other issues. But let those who are comfortable using it and who are in situations where the parties are comfortable, have this flexibility.

I personally feel Oklahoma should consider something like this long term. Where attorneys can have this flexibility – without being beholden to third party providers. But that is another debate (or several!) for another day.

During this crisis, action is needed now by our leaders in this area.

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