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Electronic Signatures for Estate Planning Documents

In today’s fast-paced world, it seems that most of us are short on time and looking to streamline our everyday lives. The Uniform Law Commission has recently approved two uniform acts, including the Uniform Electronic Wills Act (UEWA) and the Uniform Electronic Estate Planning Documents Act (UEEPDA) that allow for electronic execution of Wills and other estate planning documents, including trusts, powers of attorney and healthcare directives.   To date, only six states have enacted legislation based on the UEWA (for Wills) while a few others have enacted their own legislation to address the topic. Delaware is the only state that has developed its own legislation on electronic signing of trust documents.   One obstacle to electronic signing is the need to notarize and/or witness the documents.   Many states now offer remote notarization/witnessing but there are still some kinks to work out on how these should coincide with an electronic signature.

The majority of states have not yet passed legislation concerning electronic signatures for estate planning documents but it’s only a matter of time due to advances in technology and the yearning for convenience expected by consumers today. Stay tuned!