Remote Signing of Wills: Executing Your Will During the COVID-19 Pandemic by Brittney R. Mulvaney

On April 9, 2020, Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order No. 26 regarding remote witnessing and notarization of estate planning documents. The Executive Order sets out requirements for proper remote witnessing and notarization of legal documents, which will allow individuals to continue social distancing and/or sheltering in place during the pandemic. A couple of these requirements are set forth below:

  • Signing, witnessing, and notarization must occur via real-time audio and visual communication
  • Documents must include a provision stating that it was executed in compliance with Executive Order No. 26 by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, dated April 9, 2020

This Executive Order applies to trusts, wills, healthcare directives, powers of attorney, deeds, and other legal documents. Prior to this Executive Order, wills were required to be executed and witnessed in person and other estate planning documents needed to be notarized in person (with exceptions for online notaries).

Executive Order No. 26 is great news for individuals who are concerned that they do not have a proper estate plan in light of the coronavirus. Now, as long as certain formalities are followed, clients can execute their estate planning documents in the comfort of their own home. This Executive Order allows us to complete an estate plan remotely from start to finish.

Executive Order No. 26 is effective from 11:59pm on April 9, 2020 to 12:01am on May 18, 2020.

Lodestone Legal Group is here to help with all of your estate planning needs. If you have any questions about estate planning or if you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss creating your estate plan, please reach out to us at 615-807-1240 or contact our estate planning attorney, Brittney Mulvaney, directly at  We look forward to working (remotely) with you!

Post Authored by Brittney R. Mulvaney