‘Electronic Wills Are Just Like Paper Wills, Except When They’re Not’

Adam J Hirsch, ‘Models of Electronic-Will Legislation’, San Diego Legal Studies Paper No 21-014 (June 20, 2021), available at SSRN. A conventional paper will must be in writing, signed by the testator, and signed by two witnesses. Statutes that authorize electronic wills (‘e-wills’), by contrast, largely replicate the conventional will execution formalities in a digital format by giving legal effect to electronic documents that ‘are never reduced to paper’ (p 164). As of June 30, 2021, nine American states have enacted validating statutes for e-wills, and seven more states are considering e-will legislation (pp 164, 165). Currently, only one state, Oregon, expressly invalidates e-wills (p 166). While American states are only recently beginning to address the validity of e-wills, certain foreign countries have had over two decades of experience with the concept (p 165) … (more)

[Michael Yu, JOTWELL, 27 October]

First posted 2021-10-28 16:00:49

Leave a Reply