Florida has enacted a new law authorizing the use of Electronic Wills effective January 1, 2020.
The Electronic Will law isn’t just about signing a Will in the traditional way, scanning it in, and keeping a digital copy. No, the Florida Electronic Will law also provides for online signatures, witnessing, and notarization.
The testator and the notary do not even need to be in the same locations. The testator could be in Boca Raton, Florida and the notary could be sitting at home in Naples, Florida.
Florida is the fourth state to authorize the creation and storage of digital Wills.
However, in my opinion, there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the use of such Wills as part of a valid estate plan.
What remains to be seen is whether jurisdictions outside of Florida will accept these electronic Wills for probate.
you may live in Florida at the time you execute your Electronic Will, but die somewhere else.
Since some states and countries are notoriously strict with respect to their probate procedures, we do not plan on recommending to any of our Snowbird clients at this time.
Once we are convinced that all other states will respect the validity of an Electronic Will and we can be satisfied that the documents can be stored in a permanently safe manner, we will re-assess the issue.
Estate administration can be a complex process. There is no need to add unpredictability and potential probate litigation into the mix unnecessarily.
If you would like to meet with a Boca Raton Florida Estate Planning Attorney, we are still happy to have a conference call, online chat, or a traditional in-person meeting.