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.