Craig's Corner - Wealth Planning Insights

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Will Paperless Wills Change the Future of Estate Planning?

How might electronic wills change how we make an estate plan?

Fewer than half of all Americans have a written will, according to the most recent Gallup poll.  There are many reasons why people avoid estate planning, including an unwillingness to contemplate our eventual death.  Aside from a general avoidance of all things death related, Americans today are increasingly reliant on the computer and electronic tools, rather than printed documents.  Electronic wills may usher in a new era of estate planning, perhaps leading to more people having a will given the ease of electronic will creation. 

What is an Electronic Will?

Traditionally, most states have required that wills be physically printed and signed.  However, now Nevada and several other states are moving towards the acceptance of electronic wills.  Nevada has authorized the use of electronic wills.  Under the 2001 statute, a valid will can be signed electronically, but must be authenticated through a unique authentication process, such as a digital signature, retinal scan, or voice recognition.  Electronic wills can be stored in the cloud or on a hard drive.  With an electronic will, there is no need for the physical document to exist. 

Despite recognition of electronic wills back in 2001, electronic wills remain rare.  Most lawyers are heavily reliant on paper and the estate planning profession has continued to hold an air of suspicion for electronic wills.  However, as the entire world increasingly becomes paperless, it seems natural that electronic wills are the wave of the future.

Creating an Electronic Will

Everyone should have a will, whether it is on paper or on the computer.  A will is vital to the preservation of your legacy.  Without a will, you will not have control over who receives your assets and your assets could be subject to immense tax penalties.  If you do not have a will, now is the time to get started on your estate plan.  Contact an estate planning attorney who can assist you with making a paper or electronic will.  Your attorney can guide you through drafting and finalizing your electronic will so that your assets and legacy are secured. 

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S. Craig Stone II of Stone Law Offices, Ltd. serves clients throughout Clark County, Southern NV, Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, North Las Vegas, Summerlin, Carson City, Reno, Washoe County, and Nye County. Also serving clients with asset protection nationwide.

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