• 201 E Pine St #445 Orlando, FL 32801
  • (407) 647-7887
  • aducker@cplspa.com
April 1, 2020

Are Electronic Wills Coming To Florida In 2020?

Are Electronic Wills Coming To Florida In 2020?

In the current COVID-19 crisis, more Americans have been thinking about the future- specifically, their mortality. This pandemic has pushed many Americans to write or rewrite their wills. Due to concerns about social distancing, it looks like electronic wills are coming to Florida in 2020.

The reality is, “what if” scenarios are entirely possible in the age of COVID-19. The last thing you want is you or your loved one to not have a will or estate in order in the event of death. If you are to become incapacitated without the proper documents in place, you and your family could be at serious financial risk. At Aubrey Law, we understand that this is a trying time for all Americans. Fortunately, electronic wills are coming to Florida in 2020, which will streamline the process.

Electronic Wills Coming to Florida In 2020

Legal measures have already been taken to offer Florida residents the option to create electronic wills. On June 7, 2019, Florida Governor DeSantis signed the Florida Electronic Wills Act. This act allowed for the electronic signing, witnessing, and notarization of wills and other estate planning documents. This law already became effective on January 1 of this year. By this point, they have already developed specific procedures for implementation.

The process starts with a secure video link such as Skype or Zoom. Keep in mind that the signer, witness or notary do not have to be in the same physical location. However, the witness must hear the testator acknowledge their signature. The notary will ask the signer a specific set of questions. “Qualified Custodians” are authorized to store the video of the signing and of the will itself. Then, the electronic will can be admitted to probate if filed through the e-portal filing.

Benefits of the Florida Electronic Wills Act

This bill is a blessing in our time of self-quarantine. Now you can set up a will for you or you’re loved one entirely online. Florida residents are especially vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19. Over half of Florida’s population is over the age of 40.

In one survey, it was found that 40% of Baby Boomers do not have a will. Now that electronic wills are coming to Florida, you can set up a will from the comfort of your own home. The Florida Electronic Wills Act offers a variety of other benefits. In addition to wills, you can also sign notarize documents and even sell real estate.

How to Plan Your Will During the COVID-19 Era

In the era of COVID-19, many hospitalized or older Americans have been forced to address the possibility that they will need to create a will and plan their estate. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

A large part of the will and estate planning can be done from home. Attorneys will still be available via email, telephone, and video. Helping to answer questions and offer assistance. You don’t have to physically meet with an Attorney. Since electronic wills are coming to Florida in 2020, there is no need to even meet with an attorney at an office.

If you choose to go this route, your attorney will forward you the documents and instructions on how to sign them. You will need to have a witness present while you are signing the documents. Make sure they are practicing social distancing.

​ Some trusts have different notarization requirements. There are some states where notarization is not required. In that case, you can sign the trust. A notary can then acknowledge the signature later when it’s safe. You must speak with an attorney on how to proceed with your will and estate planning.

Do You Need A Durable Power of Attorney?

You or a loved one may get to the point where you are no longer capable of making decisions. These might include medical or financial decisions. A Durable Power of Attorney can protect you if you become incapacitated. They will be able to make medical or financial choices on your behalf. A Durable Power of Attorney may be responsible for managing bank accounts, signing contracts, making healthcare decisions or signing legal documents on your behalf.

If you are sick while in the hospital, a Durable Power of Attorney will have your best interests in mind. You may choose a trusted family member or partner to be your Power Of Attorney. However, if you do not choose an agent to be your Durable Power of Attorney, the court will select an individual for you. If the courts appoint one to you, it will cost your family $1,000+.

Probate Administration at Aubrey Law

Aubrey Law also handles probate administration cases when it comes to trust. When a loved one passes, their assets (as directed by their will) are not immediately released. This is a time-consuming and costly process called probate. Probate is used when an individual didn’t leave behind a trust. Probate is referred to as the process of officially proving the validity of a will in court.

Why You Need To Set Up A Will

If you have not created a will for you or your loved one, now is the time to start. If you do not create a will, the government will make one for you. You must make a will to protect your assets, your business and ensure that assets are left to the right individual. Now is the right time to set up an appointment with an attorney today.

Attorney Aubrey Ducker Jr – Orlando Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney

Getting guidance from an established attorney are invaluable during these times. Attorney Aubrey Harry Ducker Jr. has handled 20+ years’ worth of elder law cases.

For more information on wills and estate planning in Orlando Florida, Contact Lawyer Aubrey Harry Ducker Jr. Lawyer and Counselor. He is equipped to handle all legal representations ranging from family law to elder law. Call Aubrey Harry Ducker Jr. at (407) 647-7887 or send him a message. Aubrey Ducker Jr. serves Orlando and the surrounding areas of Central Florida.