E-signing of certain legal documents allowed during state of emergency

Coronavirus

The state suspends in-person witnessing and notarization of legal documents

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — An amended Executive Order (EO) 20-03 is in place as of Tuesday, March 31, suspending in-person witnessing and notarization of legal documents in Arkansas.

The original order was signed on March 11, 2020, declaring a state emergency as a result of COVID-19; the emergency is on-going.

Governor Asa Hutchinson signed the amended proclamation that now allows electronic notary services to Arkansans. This amended EO is helpful to the state’s elderly and disabled residents.

CLICK to reach the full State Proclamation:

Paragraph 9 reads:

WHEREAS: The elderly and disabled populations of the state are among the most vulnerable to serious risk of harm to their health and finances because of COVID-19. These vulnerable populations are being deprived of the ability to obtain services and complete essential legal documents necessary to protect themselves, their property, and their loved ones;

This change allows skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and other residential facilities permission to use electronic notary services.

Also, the witnessing of legal documents, using real-time audio and visual, is allowed as long as each person involved in the electronic signing procedure is in Arkansas at the time of the signing.

In the past, in-person witnessing was done to protect Arkansans, but now with COVID-19 rules it prohibits “most vulnerable populations from receiving legal services in a time of great need,” the proclamation states.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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