The pandemic has prompted many Portuguese to make their Wills or take out Powers of Attorney.
But the Notaries association (Ordem dos Notários) is concerned. Says president Jorge Batista Silva, the situation has put his professionals in ‘difficult situations’ where they have to enter old people’s homes and expose themselves to risk.
Yes, some deeds and documents can be executed ‘virtually’ – but many require witnessing and signing in the presence of a notary, and therein lies the quandary.
The association wants to be brought much more into the digital age. It wants access to a data base, it wants financial support, its own online platform, and the ability to deal with demands ‘from a distance’.
Says Batista Silva, the association has approached the Justice ministry, but nothing yet has transpired in the way of progress.
“Steps must be taken quickly, but securely”, he tells Rádio Renascença.