Is i-estateplanning in our future?

07/16/2013

An probate judge in Ohio recently ruled that a Last Will and Testament written and signed using a stylus on a tablet computer is a valid under Ohio law.

The case involved an Ohio man who needed a blood transfusion, but due to religious reasons he refused the treatment. The man was not married and had no children.  With the help of his siblings, a , Last Will and Testament was drafted and then signed and witnessed on on a Samsung Galaxy tablet computer. The man died about a month after the "tablet will" was created.

According to the Ohio Probate Judge, if the "tablet will" was not found to be valid, then the man's estate would have passed to his parents, who are still living, as his intestate heirs instead of as he had specified in the "tablet will."  The Probate Judge ruled that the "tablet will" met all of the requirements for a valid Last Will and testament under Ohio law and admitted the will to probate. 

The Probate Judge noted in his opinion that Nevada appears to be the only state that specifically recognizes "electronic wills" by state statute. And while the judge found the man's "tablet will" to be valid, he recommended that the Ohio legislature take a look at "electronic wills" and update the laws governing wills so that Ohio probate judges will have some guidance on what to do in these situations.

My guess is in the future we will be seeing more electronic wills.