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Remote Signatures and Zoom Court – The New Normal

Written by Marty Bodnar, Estate Planning Attorney

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unsettling time for all of us. It has placed many restrictions on getting business done, but as the old saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention”. 

Thanks to entrepreneurs, multiple platforms for getting work done remotely have emerged to help us stay engaged with each other. The legal profession has adapted quickly, too. Using zoom and other platforms, legal documents can be signed remotely, and courts are conducting business remotely, too.

The State of Michigan enacted laws allowing notarization and witnessing of estate planning until July 31, 2021 using remote, 2-way real-time, audiovisual technology. The following are the highlights of this new law:

•    The video conference must allow direct interaction between the parties by sight and sound;

•    A recording of the signing must be retained for a period of time;

•    The signer must

-    display photo ID on camera during the video conference to identify themselves,

-    affirmatively represent his or her physical location,

-    state what documents he or she wants to sign, 

-    show the documents to the witnesses clearly on the video conference, and

-    sign the documents during the video conference

•    Signer or his or her designee must transmit a legible copy of the signed documents by fax, mail, or email directly to:

a.    The notary on the same date it was signed to be notarized; or

b.    Witnesses within 72 hours of the documents being executed;

Michigan Courts have embraced Zoom to assist with public hearings. By simply signing into the correct courtroom, you can properly address the Court.  By helping to protect the health and safety of those most at risk, like the elderly and those in nursing and assisted living, the Courts have adapted to serve our community.  

We have also incorporated these new technologies into our everyday business. Virtual meetings can easily replace an in-person meeting. For those desiring an in-person meeting, temperatures are taken and plastic screens are present to ensure that all our clients are provided with exceptional services in a timely manner while keeping their health at the forefront.  

If you want to start your estate planning process and sign your documents remotely under these new procedures, please contact Marty Bodnar at 734-665-4441 or email him at

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