NEWS & UPDATES
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In this newly designed space we intend to share even more with our clients and colleagues, keeping you apprised of firm news, and updates or changes in the law that may affect you.
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Our Firm's Response to Covid-19
Since the COVID-19 pandemic sent the global community to a halt, people everywhere have had to adapt to a new normal. This has meant the closure of most businesses, stay at home orders, and therefore, an inability to do most things we may want or need to do. Luckily, attorneys have been deemed “essential” by our Governor allowing us to remain open and operating throughout this time. While it may sound a bit confusing at first that the legal profession is put in the same category as medical professionals, this exemption allows us to help our clients in the event of an emergency or a necessary transaction.
Right now, you may need to sell your home or refinance the home you own. You or a loved one may be in need of powers of attorney or estate planning documents. While much of the world has been put on pause, caring for a sick or aging relative, needing to relocate, or protecting yourself, your family, or your property has not.
So how has our office adapted to new safety protocols and working with clients with a stay at home order in place?
First, we can conduct almost any meeting via video or telephone conference. While we know many people like to sit down and talk with us, a Zoom conference is almost the same!
Maryland has even passed interim regulations allowing for remote notarization of documents and most recently, remote witnessing of Wills as well. The required two witnesses and a notary can now be in separate locations from the Testator as long as they abide by certain video conferencing rules that our attorneys have learned and practiced. DC has nearly identical rules in place now too.
Almost all paperwork and documents can be shared by email, and while the Courts are operating on a very limited capacity, they are accepting scanned versions of signatures, copies of documents, and mail filings. We recently assisted one client with completing the probate of her father’s estate without ever having met in person!
Second, we have structured necessary in-person interactions to abide by social distancing and other guidelines. Currently, we have implemented the following:
We all wear masks to enter the building and only remove those masks in our own offices.
We always wear masks with clients in the conference room. We coordinate scheduling and have no more than one client at a time. Clients are asked to only come in wearing a mask and not to remove it for the duration of the meeting. We sit 6 feet apart at the conference table.
We have Purell throughout the office, and handwashing soap at the sink. We encourage everyone to use these liberally and regularly.
We ask that you do not come into the office if you have been sick, feeling unwell, or have had a temperature.
All client meetings that can be done over the phone will continue to be done over the phone.
If you are coming to our office for a refinance or other signing, please email an image of your ID in advance if possible.
We have an abundance of pens, but if you are more comfortable using your own, please bring a blue pen with you as blue is the preferred color for signing original documents.
If you have any further questions about our current operations and services please contact our office by phone or email.
Thank you to all of you who are working in the most important roles right now, providing medical care and keeping food and other necessary items accessible to all of us.
Stay healthy, and we look forward to adapting to this new normal together.