With everything going digital, it is reasonable to assume that sooner or later, you can fully execute your Last Will & Testament is a purely digital and remote manner. An electronic will is a digital document that is electronically signed by the testator, witnesses, and notaries. Being able to execute and sign documents electronically has proven to be very convenient and with new types of authenticating software available, including blockchain technology, we can put to rest some of the concerns of fraud.
The Uniform Law Commission has an Electronic Will Committee formed and they are diligently drafting a version of laws authorizing electronic wills, remote witness attestation and remote notarization. Remote meaning that the witnesses and notary are not all in the same physical location.
Before Maryland will adopt such legislation, lawmakers will ensure the proposed law ensures the authentication of the identity of the parties to the transaction and protects testators from fraud and exploitation. There must be adequate safeguards in place that show the digital signature verification does not allow for bad actors to compromise the integrity of what is being signed.
Technology is changing the legal landscape and electronic wills may be the future of Maryland laws; however, in the meantime, the best way to accomplish your testamentary goals is to meet with an attorney who knows the law and its formalities. Contact an experienced estate planning attorney in the Greater Baltimore area, Stouffer Legal.