While many digital legal documents have already been created, it seems that wills create a real challenge.
Despite the recent move to create digital legal documents, wills, which by the very nature of the deceased being unable to verify the document in court, have remained on the back burner. Perhaps, that is about to change, according to the New York Law Journal in “Wills in the Digital Age.”
The first thing that must be figured out is what counts as a digital signature for the purposes of a will. Digital signatures are allowed for things like contracts and taxes. However, the signer of those documents can be asked, if anyone needs to question whether the signature is valid.
That is not possible for a will, so it is likely witnesses are still necessary. That leads to the question – what constitutes witnessing a digital signature? If signing is the click of a button, must the witnesses just be present to see the button clicked?
Finally, it will need to be determined how the digital wills should be stored to make sure they are not altered after the fact.
It is likely technology will move forward, as different states find acceptable models.
Reference: New York Law Journal (March 6, 2018) “Wills in the Digital Age.”