38 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2009
Date Written: February 12, 2009
We are certainly in an electronic age. Society has made a definite transition from the use of paper to an overwhelming reliance on electronic transactions. This development has not escaped notice by the estate planning community, especially in the matters of advanced directives. This article examines whether the time has come to bring wills into the digital age, particularly in light of the necessity to preserve the physical representation of the testator's desires. The article outlines the historical development of the writing requirement beginning with the ancients to modern day. The authors then address the policies supporting the writing requirement, the expansion of what may constitute a "writing," and the barriers which must be surmounted before electronic wills are viable. The article concludes with an analysis of the question posed, whether, upon examination of the history and policies of the writing requirement, as well as the challenges faced by electronic wills, now really is the time for digital wills.
Keywords: wills, digital wills, electronic wills, estate planning
JEL Classification: K11, K19, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Beyer, Gerry W. and Hargrove, Claire G., Digital Wills: Has the Time Come for Wills to Join the Digital Revolution? (February 12, 2009). Ohio Northern University Law Review, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 865-902, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1341965