Puerto Rico Notarial Services during the COVID-19 State of Emergency
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Puerto Rico Notarial Services during the COVID-19 State of Emergency

By: Francisco Dox, Esq. & William Morales, Esq.

April 27, 2020

On April 24, 2020, the Puerto Rico Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) issued Resolution EM-2020-09 (the “Resolution”) allowing Puerto Rico attorneys who serve as notaries public to authorize transactions that would otherwise be permitted under the ordinary course of business. Under Puerto Rico laws and regulations, only attorneys can serve as notaries public; in addition to identifying parties to a transaction, they are also required to advise on public instruments they authorize. During the current emergency period, the Supreme Court had allowed notaries public to authorize only certain types of transactions which were deemed essential during the state of emergency declared by Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced on March 12, 2020, such as wills and powers.

Pursuant to the Resolution, notaries public are now able to authorize any type of public instrument, subject to any broader restrictions imposed by the Executive Branch as part of ongoing public health and safety measures. The Resolution requires notaries public to follow health and safety measures approved by the federal and local government and calls for exercising cautious professional discretion when rendering notarial services. Note that issues related to documents authorized by notaries public, such as authentication services provided by the Puerto Rico Department of State, are not within the scope of the Resolution. The Resolution does not authorize the use of remote connection software, including videoconferencing, for the actual execution of public instruments.

Do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions regarding notarial services in Puerto Rico. Our Firm will continue to remain available to all our clients. Our attorneys are monitoring actions by the Federal Government, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and local municipalities as additional measures are put into place to mitigate and lessen the extent of this crisis. At Goldman Antonetti & Cordova LLC, we look forward to providing client-focused assistance on how to respond to current events. We look forward to working with you and your business.

Goldman Antonetti & Córdova, LLC stands ready to assist you and your business to adjust to Puerto Rico’s regulatory and legal changes. If you need further assistance in this area, please contact any of the following members of our Corporate and Banking Department (note that during this emergency, it will be easier for you to communicate with us through electronic mail, as provided below):

Fransisco J. Dox-Millán [email protected] 787.759.4220
William E. Morales [email protected] 787.759.4103
Alicia Lamboy-Mombille [email protected] 787.759.4144
Myrna I. Lozada-Guzmán [email protected] 787.759.4149
Gretchen M. Méndez-Vilella [email protected] 787.759.4207
Arnaldo Villamil [email protected] 787.759.4148
Thelma Rivera Laboy [email protected] 787.759.4104

Disclaimer: Although the information included in this document may concern legal issues, it is not a legal opinion or professional advice and clients shall not use it as such. We assume no responsibility or liability of any kind for any information contained herein, and we expressly disclaim all liability for any claim for damages arising from the use, reference to, or reliance on, such information. If legal or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.