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ELDER LAW UPDATE: Electronic Wills Have Arrived

Posted on Jun 9, 2020 - News by

Effective July 1, 2020, testamentary instruments such as Advanced Directives, Last Will and Testaments, and Trusts with testamentary aspects, may be executed in the presence of a Remote Online Notary and Witnesses. This massive shift in the Florida Probate Code was ushered in by the Notaries Public — Electronic Transactions Act. Given current restrictions and guidelines on in-person interactions due to the global health pandemic, the new Act allows individuals to finalize their Estate Plan in a safe way. Attorneys and clients with compromised immune systems are able to avoid the physical presence requirement found in Section 732.502, Florida Statutes, and execute the Estate Planning documents.  An individual seeking to execute testamentary documents who also falls within the definition of a “vulnerable adult,” as defined in Section 415.102(28), Florida Statutes, should consult with an attorney to ensure their documents are valid.  Aside from vulnerable adults, foreign nationals may have difficulties utilizing this Notary option to execute their Estate Planning documents at this time. Once an electronic testamentary document is executed in compliance with the statute, a remote online notary is required to store these testamentary instruments along with the visual and audio records of the execution.  If you have any questions regarding electronic wills please contact our Trusts + Estates Practice Group at info@mrtlaw.com or at 305.670.5000. 

Markowitz Ringel Trusty + Hartog concentrates on the representation of businesses, institutions, fiduciaries, and individuals across several practice groups, which include Restructuring + Insolvency, Litigation + Dispute Resolution, Real Estate + Business, Probate + Guardianship, and Trusts + Estates. Dedication to clients and service to the community are the principles upon which Markowitz Ringel Trusty + Hartog was founded in 1980, and upon which it still operates today.