Governor signs executive order allowing remote transactions and estate planning

On April 20, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-41, which will protect Michiganders by reducing unnecessary in-person contact, through the use of electronic signatures, remote notarizations, remote witness attestations and acknowledgments, and remote visitations, effective immediately and continuing through May 6.

“It is important that Michiganders take every precaution to avoid person to person contact,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Encouraging the use of e-signatures and alternative means of notarization will protect more people and help us slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. I will continue to work around the clock to ensure we protect the most people we can from this virus.”

Executive Order 2020-41 will help ensure that necessary transactions and interactions may continue to occur during this crisis without putting Michiganders’ health and the health of their families at risk. 

Unless the law specifically mandates a physical signature, Executive Order 2020-41 temporarily suspends the rules and procedures under the Uniform Electronic Act and permits the use of an electronic signature for a transaction whenever a signature is required under Michigan law. The order also specifies that any notarial act that is required under Michigan law may be performed utilizing two-way real-time audiovisual technology, provided that certain conditions within the order are met. 

While Executive Order 2020-41 is in effect, financial institutions and registers of deeds cannot refuse to record a tangible copy of an electronic record if the notary before whom it was executed certifies that the tangible copy is an accurate copy of the electronic record.

To see the full order, visit https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/MIEOG/2020/04/08/file_attachments/1423158/EO%202020-41%20Emerg%20order%20-%20
notaries.pdf




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