We wanted to send you another update, as the situation with the COVID 19 continues to evolve. As always, your health and safety are of the utmost importance to us. We want you to be comfortable and confident during your interactions with us and so we have implemented some additional changes to our systems and processes so we can continue to conduct business with you while maintaining the CDC’s recommended physical distance to prevent any inadvertent exposure to the Coronavirus.
- Our hours continue to be 9 – 5 Monday through Thursday and 9 – 3 on Friday. We look forward to speaking with you anytime during those hours. We do have a reduced staff so please continue to be patient with us – if we don’t pick up, our answering service will get us the message and we’ll call you back as soon as we are able to.
- We are not cancelling any appointments – just changing the format a bit. We are holding meetings via phone or zoom video conferencing for both new and existing clients.
- We are using DocuSign e-signature online services, so that you may sign documents safely from the comfort of your home. It’s simple and works surprisingly well, however does not apply to all situations. The rules regarding original signatures for certain types of documents have not changed so some documents still need to be signed in person.
- For example, while estate planning matters are moving forward on the same timeline as always, we have become more creative about signing appointments. If you prefer to find a notary near your home, we will go through the document details with you by video or telephone conferencing, and then give you directions on how to have your documents witnessed and notarized at a place most convenient for you. Alternatively, we can meet you outside to sign.
- We have been in touch with our State Representative to seek a temporary waiver of the requirement that all estate planning documents be signed in the presence of an attorney or notary – Governor Cuomo signed such a waiver yesterday which seems to allow e-signings in some situations and we are cautiously optimistic that Governor Lamont will as well.
- There is a box in the lobby adjacent to the front door – you may drop documents off there anytime and we are checking the box frequently throughout the day.
- Most importantly, Attorney Vicente, Attorney Onusko and Attorney Beckett are continuing to work on your cases, with the same level of attention you have come to expect. Our standards haven’t changed.
- Most courts are cutting back their hours, and rescheduling some hearings, but are also increasing the use of telephonic means to go forward with other hearings. The Hartford Probate Court remains open. The Bankruptcy Courts remain open. The Superior Courts have essentially shut down and all foreclosures and evictions are on hold until at least May 17th.
- If your case involves court intervention, we will communicate with you every step of the way so that we can establish realistic goals and adjust our strategy as needed to accommodate the court’s calendar. Some bankruptcy courts have also begun to waive the requirement of in-person signings. Attorney Beckett forwarded 2 of yesterday’s orders from other jurisdictions to the Chief Bankruptcy Judge in Bridgeport, with a request that she consider entering a similar order. We will keep you advised.
- We’d like to hear from you. If we can be of help in any way, please let us know. If your situation changes due to layoff or otherwise, and you want us to put your case on hold, please let us know. We will be as flexible as we can be.
- We plan to continue to conduct business unless and until we hear of any Government imposed mandatory shutdown. At this time, Governor Lamont has not indicated he will be instituting a state-wide shutdown. However, if that changes and we must honor a shutdown order we will, of course, do so and notify you accordingly.
Beckett Law LLC, and its subsidiary firms CT Bankruptcy and Estate Planning Law Center will continue to stay abreast of all news, announcements, and policies that have developed as a result of this pandemic. We value your business and the relationship we have built with you over the years. We urge you to heed the CDC’s guidance about hand-washing and physical distancing and we are confident that we will be able to meet face-to-face and shake hands again soon.