New Laws in Colorado Due to COVID-19
COVID-19 has made the world an uncertain place, to say the least. It even has our lawmakers changing procedures and statutes that have been on the books for decades. At Althaus Law, we want to keep you up to speed on the latest changes, so you can make informed decisions when it comes to protecting your family and creating your will, trust, or other estate planning documents.
You can always contact our sophisticated lawyers if you have any planning questions during the pandemic around items like:
- How do I draft a will?
- Should I do my plan online?
- What’s the difference between a will and a trust?
- Do I need powers of attorney?
- Who makes decisions for me if I’m on a ventilator?
New Rule 91 and 92 in Colorado
Alright, this part is going to get technical, but I promise to summarize for you. Don’t fall asleep!
Rule 91 and Rule 92 under the Colorado Rules for Probate Procedure are now updated to allow remote witnessing of specific documents and remote attestation of wills. There are very specific rules that must be followed, however. It is not as simple as getting on a Zoom call or a Google Meet and signing while people on the same video conference watch. Some of these requirements include:
- There must still be ONE original will or estate planning document. This means it has to be mailed around to people.
- These rules are not permanent, so this will not be allowed in times where social distancing is not required.
- Remote witnessing of documents requires an attorney to be involved.
- If these wills are completed properly, they still cannot be submitted for an informal probate when the person making the will passes away. The process must be formal.
So What Does All This Mean?
To summarize things simply, Colorado is now allowing “remote notarization” and “remote witnessing” of certain documents. However, the rules are very specific and hard to complete successfully. These rules also require that an attorney be involved, so the do-it-yourself option is off the table.
Even if individuals do complete the process remotely, it is still recommended to complete the plan in person when things calm down since the old laws will go back into play eventually.
When in doubt, give us a call at 720-340-2783! We can setup a free initial consultation to go over your concerns and make sure you get the understanding you need.
Stay healthy out there.