Electronic wills raise a variety of questions.
You want to create an electronic will.
After all, this is the digital, internet age, right?
You believe it would save both time and money.
You also like the idea of it being kept digitally.
Surely, these are reasons enough to do so?
According to a recent The New York Law Journal article titled “Wills in the Digital Age,” electronic wills are not as simple as they seem.
These wills have questionable legality depending on where you live.
The governor of Florida vetoed a statute addressing electronic wills.
In fact, Nevada alone has a statute governing electronic wills.
However, the Tennessee Court of Appeals upheld the admittance of an electronic will into probate.
Most states have not addressed electronic wills specifically.
Still, the Uniform Laws Commission has created a committee to research and draft an act specifically relating to the legal standing and handling of electronic wills.
What makes electronic wills a legal concern?
The execution and witnessing raise specific questions.
Were the witnesses and testator both present at the signing?
Can the electronic signatures be verified?
It is significantly more difficult to ensure a wills validity without these basic formalities.
Many of these questions have yet to be answered and may take further electronic advancements to address.
Right now, electronic wills are too risky.
Instead, you should work with an experienced estate planning attorney who will help you make a legally recognized plan to meet your needs.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: New York Law Journal (March 6, 2018) “Wills in the Digital Age”