Today, we want to discuss whether your entire will should be electronic. Electronic wills have certain advantages and disadvantages. The ability to create, sign and store a will online is becoming a reality in some states, including Nevada. The Uniform Law Commission recently passed the Uniform Electronic Wills Act, which means that estate planning lawyers and grantors will have an option to create, sign, stores their wills in the cloud. This will also allow estate planning lawyers and courts to not just create but also transfer previously formed wills to be recorded and stored electronically. Additionally, given the recent events of the COVID-19 pandemic, an electronic will has become a popular choice due to the social distancing suggestions.
What are Benefits of an Electronic Will?
An electronic will allows a person to create and execute a will without leaving the comfort of home, and without the need for paper. In general, the process works like this – the user creates a will online and forwards it to an online notary who then has a video chat with the user. The notary asks the user some questions, notarizes the documents and sends it back. The will can then be stored online without a hard copy changing hands.
Why would someone want an electronic will? There are some advantages:
By getting an electronic will notarized electronically, a person never has to leave the home. This is a big benefit to someone in ill health who struggles to move about.
Are there Disadvantages to an Electronic Will?
Here are some considerations you must think through before you create an electronic will. For starters, some states might not recognize an electronic will as valid, which can have enormous consequences if you choose to move out of state at some point. As this article states, The Pros And Cons Of Electronic Wills, only 4 states have rules regarding executing and storing an electronic will.
If another state’s probate court does not find an electronic will valid, then your assets will be distributed according to that state’s intestacy laws, which could send property to people you never dreamed of receiving it. If you named guardians of children in the will, then problems can arise in that area as well.
Another concern stems from creating a will on your own. Though you might think you will save some money, many people make critical errors when drafting their own wills using software. They either forget significant pieces of property or think they are leaving property to someone when that property (like retirement accounts) goes to a beneficiary named on the policy.
Nothing replaces the security of having an experienced estate planning lawyer work with you to create a will or other legal document.
Contact Petroni Law Group for any questions regarding your estate planning, getting started, or revising your current plan. We can be reached at 775-420-4221 or firstname.lastname@example.org