The pandemic has led to an estate planning conundrum. While the devastating virus has helped people realize the importance of solid estate planning, the need for social distancing has made it difficult to get key estate planning documents legally notarized. Now, online notary services can provide Oregon residents with a solution to this dilemma.

State Law and Online Notary Services

Whether or not online notary services are allowed depends on the laws of the state in question. Before the pandemic, many states had laws banning online notary services. However, as stay-at-home orders made traditional notary services impractical or even unobtainable, states started to relax their rules.

As of June 30, with the passage of HB 4212A, Oregon has joined the growing list of states that allow online notarization during the pandemic.

Oregon’s Online Notarization Rules

Under the new law, Remote Online Notarization (RON) will be permitted in Oregon through July 2021. This will allow people to get important documents notarized safely during the pandemic.

People will be able to connect with a notary, verify their identities, upload documents and complete signing using a RON platform. RON platforms must meet the technology requirements established by state law, including the use of multi-factor identity authentication, secure recorded video conferencing and secure document upload and transmission.

Although the process may take some getting used to, RON technology is not exactly new. According to KTVZ, RON notarizations have been used safely since 2012, when Virginia began using the technology, and Oregon is the 48th state to allow RON.

Don’t Put off Your Estate Plan

People come up with a lot of reasons to put off estate planning. In recent months, the need to practice social distancing may have been used as an excuse for further delays, but this should no longer be the case.

The coronavirus may be with us for a long time, so we will need to find safe ways to conduct important business. With the legalization of online notarization in Oregon, we now have the tools we need to complete estate planning preparations remotely.

At the same time, the coronavirus has demonstrated the need for two key aspects of estate planning: determining how a person’s assets will be distributed and deciding how medical decisions will be made if a person becomes incapacitated. Nobody knows what the future will hold, but a solid estate plan can help you face it with confidence.

If you have been putting off your estate planning, seize this opportunity to take control. Ginger Skinner can guide you through the process. Contact us today.


9600 SW Barnes Road, Suite 125
Portland, OR 97225
Phone: (503) 719-6603