NORTH BRANCH - New York State on Pause and social distancing have changed how attorneys interact with their clients while preparing legal documents.
The Coronavirus pandemic has given greater urgency to the preparation of legal documents related to end-of-life issues, causing many people who delayed or avoided preparing such documents to suddenly seek attorneys' services.
However, the inability to conduct face-to-face meetings with clients who are sheltering at home or who are in facilities that do not permit visitors has led to new forms of meetings. The emerging socially distant meetings practiced by at least one creative elder law attorney, Annabel Bazante, Esq., include:
Annabel Bazante, a Nassau County-based elder law attorney who also practices out of her North Branch satellite office, has conducted drive-through and outdoor signings for her clients.
“Drive-through appointments are ideal for clients who simply have to sign documents. In the case of more complex matters that require witnesses, an outdoor setting with socially distant tables allows for the safe and legally enforceable execution of wills or other documents,” said Annabel Bazante.
As for the teleconferencing executive order, Annabel Bazante envisions many challenges, especially for an elderly person who is already partially or fully incapacitated by Covid-19. Additionally, the requirement for same-day transmission from a hospital or nursing home of a client's documents, to witnesses who are physically located outside of the hospital or nursing home, may be beyond the abilities of a facility's overburdened staff.
Annabel Bazante is available to discuss the complexities of attorneys' new socially distant practices and Gov. Cuomo's executive order regarding wills.