Supreme Court extends will-witnessing order due to COVID-19

An Indiana Supreme Court order relating to probate and estate planning documents executed during the health crisis posed by COVID-19 will remain in effect until the health emergency is over, the high court announced Friday.

In a March 31 orderthe Supreme Court established conditions under which simultaneous or contemporaneous remote appearances would temporarily be deemed as substantial compliance with provisions of Indiana Code chapters 29-1-5 and 29-1-21.

Those statutes, respectively, require physical presence of a testator and two attesting witnesses when executing a will and self-proving clause.

Additionally, the order required re-ratification or re-execution in compliance with regular statutory witness procedures “within 90 days after the health emergency expires.”

The high court announced the March 31 order would remain in effect until it declares that the “health emergency” has expired. That announcement comes after the Supreme Court found that the health emergency is ongoing, will likely affect judicial operations and impair in-person execution of wills even after any executive declaration of emergency is lifted.

The Friday order is In the Matter of Emergency Procedures for the Witnessing of Wills Relating to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), 20S-MS-237.

Click here for previous court orders and developments in the legal community related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}