Newman Law Group

Are electronic wills coming to California?

As people reach the end of their lives, they often start to think about how to pass along their legacies and how they want to leave their mark on the world. For hundreds of years, the last chance for a person to make their mark on humanity has been through their last will and testament. Traditionally, wills have been recorded in writing, but with new technology comes new options. Currently, one startup company is trying to bring wills into the electronic age. Will people in California soon be making e-wills? 

The e-will startup company is located in Florida but has plans to expand out to other states in the near future. The company, Willing, wants to make wills more accessible by not only allowing the will to be created online, but by allowing it to be notarized and witnessed online as well. A recorded video chat session between the person making the will and a notary or attorney will serve in place of the usual in-person meeting. The wills can be created for a nominal sum and will be held in the cloud for an annual fee. 

The state governor did not authorize the process as it currently stands, citing concerns of fraud and exploitation, but the startup hasn't given up. They expect to have secure technology and acceptable processes in place soon, so that they can move forward with their project. States like California already accept wills from out-of-state, so it is anticipated that e-wills will be accepted practice soon. 

Will the e-will trend come to California next? Only time will tell, but it looks like the electronic wills concept is here to stay. Until then, individuals in California looking to create a will are able to utilize the services of an estate planning attorney for help with their end-of-life plans. 

Source: CBS News, "Get ready for your last e-will and testament", Ed Leefeldt, July 19, 2017

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