It seems like nearly every aspect of our lives is becoming digitized. Estate planning may be no different. In fact, some states are even making it legal to create electronic wills. Although it may sound like this process is convenient, it can actually present significant problems.
This is especially true for older individuals. While millennials may not see anything wrong with digitizing wills, older individuals are much more open to undue influence and coercion. These types of wrongdoing may be difficult to catch in the digital world. This means that an individual’s wishes for his or her estate may not be brought into the light and those who wish to contest a will may have more difficulty proving either the intent of the will’s creator or the wrongdoing of the person trying to influence him or her.
Digital wills may present problems for those with significant assets, too. Although a simple will might be easy enough to complete in a digital form, more extensive estate may require more documentation and more detailed legal instruments. In a digital context, this additional work invites error.
The same holds true for those who want to disinherit someone. Given the fact that a digital will may reshape the way a will signing is witnessed contentious litigation over a will’s validity may be pursued by those who feel that they have been cheated out of their fair share an estate’s assets.
Digital wills are not recognized in California at this point, but it’s probably a matter of time before they become a reality in our state. Regardless of the legality of these documents, though, individuals who wish to create a holistic, clear, and valid estate plan need to know how to confidently do so. This is where the assistance of a skilled legal team may prove of assistance.