COVID19 challenges our lives all over the world, the restrictions and its consequences have a serious impact on almost every aspect of our lives and managing legal issues is not an exception. As we all face difficult times, there is an ever growing need to replace meetings in person, physical presence necessary for concluding a sale and purchase contract, incorporating a company or giving a power of attorney. While in the past a personal meeting between an attorney and a client used to be inevitable, the current regulations allow our clients to sign any document quickly, conveniently, in the comfort of their own home.
By law attorneys have the possibility to identify a client and countersign documents remotely, without the client having to appear in person. To sign a contract with full legal effect all you need is a cell phone or computer with a camera, a printer and your ID card/passport nearby.
The process takes just a few minutes: clients are identified by a video call on Skype (or any similar app e.g. Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams). The remote identification process is recorded and stored by the attorney. It is possible to sign the documents with remote identification even if you never met the attorney before. The identification of the client is verified by signing an identificaiton data sheet, and showing their ID card/passport in front of the camera during the call. Then it is discussed whether the finalized documents are fully in line with the clients’ will, if so, the documents are signed in a paper form. Once the documents are signed by all the parties, they are returned to the lawyer by post or courier for countersigning.
During these difficult times it may be an ease for many, that there is no need to go to the Consulate or to a public notary in order to get a consular attestation or Apostille, as documents countersigned remotely are accepted by the Hungarian authorities as equivalent to those that were signed in the physical presence of the attorney.
Whether you would like to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus, you are not able to travel to Hungary because of the restrictions or you have to stay in quarantine, remote identification and countersigning may be a good alternative for you.