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Governor Scott says NO to Electronic Wills

As technology continues to advance in the area of Florida estate planning, Florida’s legislature is exploring ways to make drafting a will easier. With the increase in online companies offering these services, there are many problems arising out of these make your own wills, and their validity.

One recent proposal involved electronic signatures. The idea was that signatures may be signed electronically under certain, limited circumstances. That idea, while helping to make signing legal documents easier, presents many potential legal issues, including the potential for fraud.

Florida Governor Rick Scott vetoed the Florida Electronic Wills Act on June 26, 2017. This Act would have taken affect in 2018. The Act was designed to allow an individual to create and execute their own will through remote technology. The governor believed there were safety concerns such as fraud that would result from this Act. The Act would have allowed a properly executed electronic will to pass through the probate system, which could have been convenient in some cases when wills are lost or unavailable.

“As governor, I oversee the appointment of notaries public in the state of Florida and have a responsibility to ensure that notaries safeguard the most vulnerable Floridians against fraud and exploitation. While the concept of remote notarization is meant to provide increased access to legal services like estate planning, the remote-notarization provisions in the bill do not adequately ensure authentication of the identity of the parties to the transaction and are not cohesive with the notary provisions set forth in Chapter 117, Florida Statutes,” said Scott.

This veto shows the importance of a will being properly created by a probate attorney to avoid litigation or issues arising out of fraudulent estate planning documents. Our Florida probate attorney can help you create and execute your will or other estate planning documents properly and conveniently. Call our office at (954) 515-5000 for a free consultation.

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