Remote Notarization: What You Need to Know

February 19, 2021  |  Carole Clark Isakson

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted more states, including Minnesota, to pass legislation permitting online notarization services for legal documents that require a notary to be present to witness the signing. The practice is popular among notaries and signers alike. However, it raises questions about who offers such services and what technology is involved. Barna, Guzy & Steffen now offers these services to our clients. Read our blog as we discuss what you need to know about remote notarization. What is remote notarization? Remote notarization, also known as webcam notarization or virtual notarization, is the process of appearing before a notary at the time of the signing via the Internet instead of making a physical appearance. Remote notarization is not the same thing as electronic notarization or eNotarization. This involves documents that are notarized in electronic form but still require the signer to be physically present before a notary. What documents can be notarized remotely? Virtually all documents that transfer an interest in real estate require that the signer’s signature be notarized. Affidavits and court documents generally require this process as well as estate planning documents. This can mean making a special trip to an office to find a notary – and how to safely handle this in current times when in person meetings…

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Putting Children First: Co-Parenting Through a Pandemic

February 5, 2021  |  Elizabeth A. Schading, Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.

Co-parenting under normal circumstances presents many challenges for families of divorced or separated parents. Add a worldwide pandemic to a tenuous, oftentimes contentious, family dynamic and the results can be devastating for everyone involved. During COVID-19, many families are discovering that previous co-parenting arrangements may not withstand the demands associated with sheltering in place and remote/distance learning. This can amplify an already stressful situation. Read our blog as we discuss ways to help families cope with the challenges associated with co-parenting through a pandemic. Ensure safety when changing households Many parents wonder if it’s safe to have their children travel back and forth between two households, especially if the other parent is at a higher risk for exposure through work or contact with others like a stepparent or significant other. Some have even gone to court over such matters. Parents should make every effort to talk amongst themselves to discuss how to address safety concerns before getting the courts involved. Maintain open lines of communication Oftentimes separated or divorced parents are estranged from one another, making communication and planning quite challenging. However, parents should try to set aside their differences and focus on the heath and well-being of their children. Maintaining open and honest lines of communication is critical. If you find communicating…

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5 Top Questions for When a Car Accident Occurs

January 13, 2021  |  Adriel B. Villarreal

According to a report published by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of the Commissioner, 80,636 traffic crashes occurred in the state of Minnesota in 2019. These car accidents, involving 148,774 vehicles, resulted in 364 deaths; 27,260 people suffered injuries. Unfortunately, traffic crashes—ranging from minor spinouts and fender benders to multiple-vehicle events with numerous injuries and fatalities—occur daily. We’ve put together 5 top questions for when a car accident occurs. 1. What information do I need after a car accident occurs? With any motor vehicle incident, you’ll first want to ensure the safety of all involved, provide reasonable assistance to any injured parties, and seek medical treatment for yourself if necessary. After that point, it’s important to collect contact and insurance information from anyone else involved. This includes the driver’s full name and address, the name and address of vehicle owner (if different), driver’s license information, and insurance documentation. Collect names and contact information of any passengers or others involved in the crash. If there are any witnesses, gather their names and phone numbers as well. Once the police arrive, write down names and badge numbers. You should also document the following information for all vehicles: make, model, and year; license plate number with expiration date; and the vehicle identification number (VIN)….

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