Wills trusts and estates covered

Almost anything can be done digitally today. However, strict rules make it difficult for wills to follow suit.

Legal tradition calls for wills to follow strict procedures and be signed and witnessed to be accepted in probate court. However, the law is beginning to adapt in ways that will make electronic wills possible, according to the New Jersey Law Journal in “Electronic Wills: No Longer in A Galaxy Far, Far Away.”

In 2013, an electronic will was accepted into probate in Ohio. In that case, the person had digitally signed the will using a stylus and witnesses were present at the signing.

While Florida recently rejected an electronic wills law, Nevada has passed a law that allows them.

In other states, courts are rewriting the rules to allow more non-conforming wills to be accepted, which will eventually pave the way for electronic wills in those states.

For now, you probably do still need to make sure that your will is written on paper and that all of the formal procedures are followed correctly.

That might not be true in a decade.

An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that meets your needs in either an electronic or traditional form, according to the laws of your state of residence.

Reference: New Jersey Law Journal (Sep. 11, 2017) “Electronic Wills: No Longer in A Galaxy Far, Far Away.”

For more information on asset preservation and estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.