Electronic Execution of Estate Planning Documents

Electronic Execution of Estate Planning Documents:

On March 31, 2020, the Indiana Supreme Court issued an order (Case No. 20S-MS-237) suspending the statutory requirement that a testator signing a Will must be physically present with the two attesting witnesses. 

During the period of the COVID-19 outbreak and public health emergency as declared by Governor Eric Holcomb on March 6, 2020, and by President Trump on March 13, 2020, the testator and witnesses do not need to be in the actual presence of one another, provided that the testator and witnesses can see each other and see the document execution through audio-video communication technology.

The following requirements must be satisfied to meet the terms of the Court’s Order:

    • Remote witnesses and remote testator must be able to positively identify one another and the parties must be able to see the execution of the document through simultaneous or contemporaneous remote appearance by audio-video communication technology.
  • The document must:
      • Reference the Order preceding the attestation or self-proving clause
      • Describe, within the attestation or self-proving clause the methods for remote appearance and for securing signatures by specifying the technology platform and electronic processes used
      • Contain a statement preceding the attestation or self-proving clause that acknowledges or confirms that the document shall be re-ratified or re-executed in compliance with regular statutory witness procedures within 90 days after the health emergency expires

The estate planning attorneys at Bunger & Robertson are equipped with the requisite technology to assist clients in executing Wills and other estate planning documents by remote means during this time, in compliance with the Court’s order. Please contact us to discuss.