State lawmakers are attempting to bring wills into the twenty first century.
Rep. James Grant (R-Tampa) wants Floridians to be able to sign wills electronically. Unlike technological advances in fields like telemedicine, Grant explains his measure requires all individuals be physically present to complete a will.
“The law of wills has not been updated since 1677. We’re going to try to make a very, very, very insignificant change,” Grant says as the committee members begin to laugh, “to simply say that if everybody’s in the same room you can sign it electronically members.”
He argues the change could help more Floridians plan ahead rather than settle estates in court.
“Probate court is a mess,” Grant says. “The reality is 60 percent of Americans—excuse me 70 percent of Americans die without a will. We have all written their will in the intestacy statute. That is what applies to them.”
Some lawmakers worry the measure is meant to allow a vendor to set up shop in Florida—noting no other state has similar provisions. But the committee approved the proposal, and it’s now on its way to the House floor.