Estate plans are very important to ensure that a deceased person’s assets are distributed accordingly to their wishes. Despite a person’s best effort while they are alive, however, many estate plans cannot be found by the surviving family of the deceased, which may place assets at risk or cause them to be distributed in a way that goes against the deceased wishes. Digital estate plans can be a wonderful way to ensure an estate plan can be found by all.

Are Digital Estate Plans Different From Traditional Estate Plans?

Not really.  When we speak about digital estate plans, we are referring to traditional plans that are being stored digitally.  A digital estate plan is a backup copy of a traditional estate plant.  For a digital estate plan to be valid, it must still meet all the requirements under the law.

What is Needed for an Estate Plan to be Valid?

For an estate plan to be legal in the State of Florida, it must meet the five following requirements:

  1. Must be in writing
  2. Must be signed by the person making the will
  3. The person making the will must sign the will
  4. The signature must have been signed-in front of two witnesses
  5. The two witnesses must also sign in front of the owner of the will and front of each other.

Can an Estate Plan be Done Digitally?

Although the writing of the will can be done via a computer and printed out for a hand signature, Florida law has yet to adopt e-signatures as a valid form of signature to meet the requirements of a valid will.

How Are Digital Estate Stored?

There are multiple options in storing an estate plan in a digital format.  The most recent way to store an estate plan digitally is through cloud technology.  Cloud technology allows the estate plan to be accessed at any time and anywhere.  Cloud technology is secure and you can choose who may or may not have access to the documents.

Another way of storing your estate plan in a digital form is through a USB thumb drive.  The risk of storing on a thumb drive, however, is the same in storing hard copies and that is if the thumb drive becomes lost or damaged, then it may be difficult for the survivors to find the estate plans.

Older methods of storing an estate plan digitally include saving the plans onto a DVD, CD, or disk drive.  Like the thumb drive, there is a risk of these digital methods becoming lost or damaged.

Should I Destroy Physical Copies of the Estate Plan?

Whether a person decided to digitally back up their estate plans, they should always keep the hard copy available.  The most common way to store a physical copy of the estate plans and ensure they remain safe is either in a safe deposit box or with estate lawyers.

Contact Dowd Law

If you have questions or concerns regarding your estate plans, contact us at Dowd Law.  We will not only make sure that your estate plans are valid but adhere to your wishes.  We will also take the extra step in ensuring that multiple copies of your estate plans are stored to ensure that your survivors will be able to know what to do after you are gone.