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Law

MI House Bill 6294

Notary Law Update: MI House Bill 6294

State: Michigan

Summary:
House Bill 6294 provides temporary rules for notarizing estate planning documents by remote notarization.

Signed:  November 05, 2020

Effective:  November 05, 2020

Chapter: Public Act 246

Affects:
Amends Sections 700.2502, 700.3206, 700.5501 of and 700.5506 and adds Sections 700.1202 and 700.5108a to the Michigan Compiled Laws.

Changes:
  1. Provides that if certain estate planning documents, including a will, a disclaimer, a funeral representative designation, a parental appointment of a guardian of a minor, an appointment of a guardian of a legally incapacitated individual, a durable power of attorney, or a patient advocate designation require notarization, they may be signed and notarized by use of a 2-way real-time audiovisual technology.
  2. Requires the following rules to be met in order to perform a remote notarization of an estate document: (a) The 2-way real-time audiovisual technology must allow direct, contemporaneous interaction by sight and sound between the signatory and the witnesses; (b) The interaction between the signatory and the witnesses must be recorded and preserved by the signatory or the signatory's designee for a period of at least 3 years; (c) The signatory must affirm either that the signatory is physically situated in Michigan, or that the signatory is physically located outside the geographic boundaries of Michigan. (d) The document must be intended for filing with or relates to a matter before a court, governmental entity, public official, or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of Michigan, or the document must involve property located in the territorial jurisdiction of Michigan or a transaction substantially connected to Michigan; (e) The signatory must affirmatively state during his or her interaction with the witnesses on the 2-way real-time audiovisual technology what document they are executing; (f) Each title page and signature page of the document or instrument being witnessed must be shown to the witnesses on the 2-way real-time audiovisual technology in a manner clearly legible to the witnesses, and every page of the document or instrument must be numbered to reflect both the page number of the document or instrument and the total number of pages of the document or instrument; (g) Each act of signing the document or instrument must be captured sufficiently up close on the 2-way real-time audiovisual technology for the witnesses to observe; (h) The signatory or the signatory's designee must transmit by fax, mail, or electronic means a legible copy of the entire signed document directly to the witnesses within 72 hours after it is executed; (i) Within 72 hours after receipt, the witnesses must sign the transmitted copy of the document or instrument as a witness and return the signed copy of the document or instrument to the signatory or the signatory's designee by facsimile, mail, or electronic means; (j)The document is either in writing or a record that is readable as text at the time of signing.
  3. Clarifies that the rights or interests of a person that relies in good faith and without actual notice that a document or instrument described in the law was executed on or after April 30, 2020, and before January 1, 2021, but was not executed in accordance with subsection (1) are not impaired, challenged, or terminated on that basis alone.
  4. Clarifies that compliance with Section 700.1202 is presumed and that a person challenging a document or instrument described in and executed in accordance with Section 700.1202(1) may overcome the presumption by establishing, by clear and convincing evidence, that the signatory or a witness intentionally failed to comply with the requirements under Section 700.1202(1).
  5. Clarifies that this law applies to a document or instrument described in the law executed on or after April 30, 2020, and before January 1, 2021.
Analysis:
House Bill 6294 is another temporary remote notarization bill that is meant to apply during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like House Bill 6297, the Governor's prior executive orders were declared invalid by the Michigan Supreme Court. This legislation is meant to continue those provisions from the time that the Governor's orders were declared invalid (April 30, 2020) through to January 1, 2021.

Read the bill text.

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