In 2019, the 128th annual meeting was held by the Uniform Law Commission. It was in this meeting where the current state of e-wills was changed. The Uniform Electronic Wills Act (UEWA) was passed in this meeting. This means that estate planning lawyers and grantors will have an option to create, sign, stores their wills in the cloud – at least in some states.
Currently, four states are allowing some form an e-will. They have recognized their use in certain circumstances. THE UEWA will help in further defining their position within the state’s law.
It is expected that other states will follow suit and begin recognizing electronic wills as a legitimate form of estate planning. This will allow estate planning lawyers and courts to not just create but also transfer previously formed wills to be recorded and stored electronically.
Does this mean that it will completely do away with paper wills?
No, not really. People who created their wills on paper and have since passed away without transferring them to an electronic medium, the probate court will require the execution to be carried out in paper.
But as electronic wills become more ubiquitous, paper wills and associated procedures may start fading out of practice in courts.
Do electronic wills do away with other aspects of will formation?
Not at all! The requirements for a valid will are all still in place. They just have to be executed electronically instead of on paper. Your estate planning lawyer will still have the document in formal writing and witness the signatures electronically. Also, attestation from the witnesses will be done in an electronic format.
You can sit with an estate planning lawyer and create the will electronically with the notarization, signatures, and witnesses attesting its validity. It will be then stored on the cloud. With the millennials preferring these procedures over manual execution, what’s not good about e-wills?
To explain the case for e-will further, here are some of the main pros and cons explained: