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New executive order lifts digital commerce and legal restrictions

| May 5, 2020 | Business Law, Firm News |

Coronavirus is changing the way Tennesseans do business. Even as the state slowly reopens, officials are still figuring out how to do so safely. To address this challenge, Governor Bill Lee issued an executive order. The order temporarily lifts specific commerce and legal barriers, which could help stimulate the state’s economy.

Executive Order 26 allows people and businesses to notarize and sign documents remotely. This can help them carry out transactions while abiding by social distancing guidelines. The order runs from April 9, 2020, to May 18, 2020.

The order defines a document as any instrument, trust, will, living will, durable health care power of attorney, durable power of attorney, deed or contract.

What rules are at play?

Notarization or other types of document signing must occur through visual communication with real-time audio. That means that document signings should happen live through a video conference app. Those can include, but are not limited to:

  • Skype
  • FaceTime
  • Zoom
  • WebEx

However, some document transactions still have to take place in person. For instance, lenders and title companies typically require non-electronic physical signatures. Some of these entities may see a wet signature as more legitimate than a digital one.

At Russ Cook & Associates, PC, we are dedicated to providing the effective legal services our clients have come to expect over the years. Our firm is now offering video consultations and document signings using Zoom to help clients resume business as quickly and painlessly as possible.

A temporary band-aid for economic activity

The pandemic is making it harder for Tennesseans to partake in business transactions. But the order from Governor Lee temporarily eases restrictions. Those wanting to understand this issue may wish to seek guidance from a trusted legal partner.