Lake Michigan Law
Lake Michigan Law

Saunders Winter McNeil

Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Removing Barriers to Remote Transactions and Estate Planning


(Thursday, April 9, 2020) LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-41, which will protect the health and safety of Michiganders by reducing unnecessary in-person contact, through the use of electronic signatures, remote notarizations, remote witness attestations and acknowledgments, and remote visitations. Executive Order 2020-41 is effective immediately and continues through May 6, 2020 at 11:59 pm.

“It is important that Michiganders take every precaution to avoid person to person contact,” said GovWhitmer. “Encouraging the use of e-signatures and alternative means of notarization will protect more people and help us slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. I will continue to work around the clock to ensure we protect the most people we can from this virus.”

Executive Order 2020-41 will help ensure that necessary transactions and interactions may continue to occur during this time of crisis without putting Michiganders’ health and the health of their families at risk.

Unless the law specifically mandates a physical signature, Executive Order 2020-41 temporarily suspends the rules and procedures under the Uniform Electronic Act and permits the use of an electronic signature for a transaction whenever a signature is required under Michigan law. Additionally, the order specifics that any notarial act that is required under Michigan law may be performed utilizing two-way real-time audiovisual technology, provided that certain conditions within the order are met.

While Executive Order 2020-41 is in effect, financial institutions and registers of deeds cannot refuse to record a tangible copy of an electronic record if the notary before whom it was executed certifies that the tangible copy is an accurate copy of the electronic record.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at and

To view Executive Order 2020-41, click the link below:


(Monday, March 23, 2020) As the nation faces the pandemic of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the information we know about the virus is continuously changing.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends limiting personal contact in order to control the spread of the virus. Federal, State and Local Governments are recommending staying home when possible.  At those recommendations, Saunders Winter McNeil has decided for the health and safety of our staff, families and clients to close the office to clients and visitors.  

We are still available to serve our clients and respond to any legal needs you may have. However, in cooperation with the recommendation to limit personal contact, we encourage and would appreciate communication by phone or email.  Virtual meetings may also be scheduled to replace in office appointments when necessary.  

As a community, we must follow the recommended practices to help keep everyone safe during this crisis.

And in response to these extraordinary times, we can now offer the option of video conference meetings, which we’ve found work just as well as a face-to-face encounter in our offices (if you can live without the handshaking). Please contact us here to set up an appointment with Paul, Carly, or Doug. They’d love to talk (and will explain how the process works).


Saunders Winter McNeil is a full-service law firm located in Grand Haven, Michigan, which provides legal services to local, regional and national clients. Utilizing a practical approach aimed at solving clients’ problems, SWM delivers efficient, personal service in a cost-effective manner.