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Our Coronavirus Response

Safety Precautions for Signing Your Documents

Do not wait! During these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to have a Will (or Trust), powers of attorney, and other essential estate planning documents in place in case you need them. It is also important to take safety precautions to avoid the inadvertent transmission of infectious agents. To help you prepare the documents that you need quickly and safely, we have implanted the following safeguards.

Available Choices for Signing

For signing most of your documents, you will need the presence of two witnesses and a notary public to watch you sign. If you are comfortable with the relatively low risk of coming into our offices to sign, we will accommodate you here. However, we will maintain a safe distance of 6 feet, we will wear gloves and masks, and our witnesses will stand at the door to observe the signing so that we can limit the number of people in the conference room. Additionally, we wipe down surfaces in our conference room, doors, chairs, and tables before and after every visit.

If you are not comfortable with signing your documents in our office, we have other options. We are happy to arrange a "drive-by" signing where you will remain in your car, and we will pass documents to you through your window with gloved hands.

We can also arrange to meet at the gazebo in front of our office, being outside and maintaining a safe social distance.

If you are too concerned to leave your home, in most cases, we can come to you. We typically charge a home-visit fee of $100-$250 depending on your location. For April and May, we will reduce that charge by $50. Once at your house, we will not enter. We can stand outside of your door and pass documents in to you, or we can do the whole thing on your patio or porch or other outside location.

Safeguards We Use in Every Matter

Regardless of where we conduct the signing, we are taking a few of the same safety measures in every case. We wipe down the entry door several times every day, and we disinfect the conference room surfaces (table, doors, and chairs) before and after every visit. We wear masks and gloves during your visit. We handle your documents with gloves on the day of your visit and while making copies after you have signed.

We will print your documents at least 48 hours in advance of your appointment and arrange it so that no one touches your documents before your arrival. If any changes need to be made during your visit, we will make sure the pages are handled with gloved hands. We can then provide you with your clean, signed documents at the end of your visit. Or, upon request, we will provide them to you two or more days later so that you will not worry about having to handle documents that may have been recently handled by anyone here during copying and collation.

We have purchased new pens to provide to our new clients. We are disinfecting them with a bleach solution and placing them in clean plastic bags to be opened and used during your visit. The bags are dated so that you know how long it has been since anyone has touched the pens. This practice will minimize your exposure to anything touched by anyone in our office. You are then free to keep the pen upon your departure.

Virtual Meetings

For documents that we prepare, we typically have an initial meeting with our clients to review their wishes for their estate plans. We then prepare the documents, and meet a second time to review the estate plans and sign documents. We have always provided the option for the initial meeting to occur by telephone. We can still do that if you choose. However, we are also offering "Zoom" meetings for those clients who have computers with a camera and microphone. We can send you an appointment time by email with a link for you to join us on a virtual meeting.

Unfortunately, we cannot do a "virtual" signing. Under state law, we must meet with you personally to sign your documents. To properly complete a set of estate planning documents, we need to find two "disinterested" witnesses who are not related to you, are not beneficiaries under your Will, and are not involved in your medical care. In addition to these witnesses, we need a "disinterested" notary public. In short, we need three people from our office to be present during the signing of your documents.

We know that you are concerned about safety. We are, too. Our safety precautions for signing your documents have been implemented to protect our staff just as much as we protect you. Please do not put off signing your wills, trusts, and powers of attorney out of concern for exposure. Let us assist you to get the signing of these important documents completed safely, accurately, and swiftly so that they will be available when you need them most.

Contact Ms. Raxter
1505 South Main
P.O. Box 281
Lockhart, TX
(512) 398-6996

E-mail me at:
eraxter@tx-elderlaw.com