Governor Puts a Stop to the Electronic Wills Act

Jessica Schultheis

by Jessica Schultheis

Jessica Schultheis is a former attorney with My Pink Lawyer®, now an Assistant State Attorney in Pensacola, Florida. Jessica graduated from the University of Florida for both her undergraduate studies and law school.


As explained in an earlier blog post here, the Florida Electronic Wills Act was recently enacted by the Florida Senate.  This Act would have authorized the creation of electronic wills, which could be witnessed and notarized through the use of remote technology.


However, Governor Rick Scott just vetoed the Act and published a letter explaining his reasons for the veto.


Governor Scott recognized the innovative nature of the Act but believes that it fails to strike the proper balance between competing concerns, mainly that the remote notarizing provisions do not properly ensure authentication of the identity of the parties to the transaction. 


It is a very important duty of a notary to verify the identity of a person signing a legal document to protect against fraud and exploitation, and the Governor did not believe the Act, as written, was cohesive with the notary provisions and duties. Additionally, Governor Scott was concerned that providing an additional Florida venue to probate out of state wills could burden the Florida court system.


Governor Scott did encourage the Legislature to continue to work on addressing these issues during the next legislative session. 


So, while there are no electronic wills in Florida for now, we may definitely see a revised Act come across Governor Scott’s desk again soon.


What are your thoughts on Electronic Wills?  Tell us in the comments below!

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