Electronic will laws do not eliminate current law regarding will execution or notary standards. Instead, they simply add another tool in a financial institution’s toolbox to help facilitate estate planning locally and globally. In addition to easier access for most Americans who otherwise would not undertake going to a lawyer’s office, physical presence is not always convenient or possible (e.g., your elderly client who is bed-bound in a hospital).
Just as our society has moved from the requirement that physical checks must be presented at a bank window, it is likely that this technology will move into the mainstream of our society and that one day creating or amending an estate planning document via the internet will become not just possible, but indeed commonplace for our clients.
Author: Sasha A. Klein, Esq., is a partner at Ward Damon, PL, in West Palm Beach. She previously served as fiduciary counsel for Bessemer Trust Company of Florida where she directed the fiduciary risk management group and chaired the Special Investments and Discretionary Distributions Committee. An active member of the FBA’s Trust & Wealth Management Division, Klein is chair of the Trust Legislative Committee and also serves on the Trust Executive Committee. She also lecturers nationally and is a frequent published author on a range of estate planning, wealth management, and tax law topics. Klein received her LLM in tax from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, a JD and Law and Business Certificate from Vanderbilt Law School, and a BSBA summa cum laude from the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business.
Author: Mark R. Parthemer, Esq., AEP, is managing director and senior fiduciary counsel, southeast region, overseeing estate and legacy planning services at Bessemer Trust, an exclusive wealth management firm. He is an ACTEC Fellow; a frequent national lecturer and published author; chair, ABA Non-Tax Issues Affecting Estates and Trusts Committee; member, Florida and Pennsylvania Bars, Synergy Summit, and the Florida Bankers Association Executive Council, and chair, Trust Legislation Committee. He has been part of the University of Miami’s Heckerling faculty and is a former adjunct professor, Widener University School of Law. Mark often has been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America and a Florida Legal Eagle.