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Florida Electronic Wills Soon To Be Legal

Florida Electronic Will

According to the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog, Florida has enacted a new law authorizing the use of Electronic Wills effective January 1, 2020.  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.  In particular, what remains to be seen is whether jurisdictions outside of Florida will accept these electronic Wills for probate.  In this day and age, many clients are very mobile.  You may live in Florida at the time you execute your Electronic Will, but die in another jurisdiction.  Some states and countries are notoriously strict with respect to their probate procedures.

It should also be noted that the new law maintains the need for a notary.  The Florida Electronic Will law has very exacting criteria for the creation of any document that requires a notary.  Accordingly, you should not plan on simply scanning an old Will thinking it would be recognized by the Courts.

Moreover, we do not plan on recommending to any of our clients that they become guinea pigs or beta testers with respect to the Florida Electronic Will law.  We do not intend to advocate the creation of an electronic Will until we are sure all other states will respect their validity.  Estate administration can be a complex process.  There is no need to add uncertainty and potential probate litigation into the mix unnecessarily.

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