Beware! E-wills aren’t legal in most states

| Nov 21, 2019 | wills & estates

Every few decades, there’s a new generation of millionaires that emerge. These young people often bring with them their nuanced ways of making money. New generations also bring with them ideas for changing how things have been historically done. One of the things that they’ve recently looked to modernize is how wills are traditionally drafted.

Currently, most every state recognizes attorney-prepared, typewritten wills signed by testators in front of witnesses. In many other jurisdictions, either handwritten or oral wills are legal.

An increasing number of young people have recently expressed interest in drafting electronic wills (e-wills) in recent years though. States like Indiana and Nevada have already passed laws allowing for the online storing a will. Many other states are considering passing similar legislation now that the Uniform Law Commission has passed its Uniform Electronic Wills Act.

The future of e-will drafting is clear. Testators will be able to draft their wills at home. The person writing the will can then send over the document to an online notary who verifies the testator’s identity and then affixes their seal to it.

Many legal analysts fear that an increase in the popularity of e-wills will lead to increased lawsuits in the future. They worry about how judges might determine if a testator was coerced or subjected to undue influence. These analysts also wonder about who will be able to confirm that the testator was of testamentary capacity to draft the will if it’s done electronically.

Some analysts also worry about how individuals with significant assets may be taken advantage of by their more tech-savvy caregivers with ulterior motives.

Drafting a will may seem easy, especially since there are plenty of examples to imitate out on the internet. All it takes is one or more poor choices of words or leaving a detail out, and you may end up with a different result from what you intended to occur in your case.

An attorney can guide you in drafting a will that has a stronger likelihood of being upheld here in Statesville or anywhere else in North Carolina. A well-written will that is drafted by a lawyer is likely to contain all the appropriate language needed for protecting your assets and your beneficiaries exactly as you intended.