Governor Greg Abbott on April 8 suspended certain statutes concerning appearance before a notary public. The order temporarily allows for appearance before a notary public via videoconference, avoiding the need for in-person appearance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The order applies to:
- self-proving affidavits for wills;
- durable powers of attorney;
- medical powers of attorney;
- directives to physicians; and
- oaths of executors, administrators, and guardians.
The State Bar of Texas Real Estate, Probate, and Trust Law Section of the State Bar of Texas reports that the notary must take appropriate steps to verify the signer’s identity; the signer must transmit a legible copy of the signed document to the notary by fax or electronic means; and the notary may then acknowledge the transmitted copy and transmit it back to the signer by fax or electronic means. The section notes that the order does not modify any physical presence requirements for a witness, only for a notary.
Read the governor’s news release on the order here.