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Law

WA Senate Bill 5132

Notary Law Update: WA Senate Bill 5132

State: Washington

Summary:
Senate Bill 5123 allows a person to create their last will as an electronic will and to make the electronic will self-proving through notarizations by a Washington electronic records Notary Public.

Signed:  April 26, 2021

Effective:  January 01, 2022

Chapter: 140

Affects:
Adds Sections 1001 through 1016 to Chapter 11.12 of the Revised Code of Washington.

Changes:
  1. Enacts the Uniform Electronic Wills Act.
  2. Defines terms.
  3. Authorizes last wills to be electronically created and signed.
  4. Allows an electronic will to be simultaneously executed, attested, and made self-proving by acknowledgment of the testator and affidavits of the witnesses.
  5. Requires the acknowledgment and affidavits for a self-proving will to be made in the physical presence of an officer authorized to administer oaths, or if fewer than two witnesses are physically present in the same location as the testator at the time of signing the electronic will, before a Notary or other individual who is authorized by Washington law to notarize records under RCW 42.45.280 (Washington’s remote notarization statute).
  6. Requires a self-proving will to be evidenced by a Notary's or notarial officer’s certificate under official seal affixed to or logically associated with the electronic will.
  7. Provides a statutory form for the acknowledgment and affidavits of a self-proving electronic will.
  8. Provides that notarization of an electronic will and self-proving affidavits to an electronic will under the Uniform Electronic Wills act may be performed using remote online notarization.
  9. Provides that any will executed by a testator and witnesses who are not in the same physical location but in the electronic presence of one another may be executed, attested, or acknowledged in counterparts, and the counterparts together are to be considered a single document.
  10. Clarifies that a signature physically or electronically affixed to an affidavit that is affixed to or logically associated with an electronic will is deemed a signature of the electronic will.
Analysis:

Washington state has enacted the Uniform Electronic Wills Act. The Act allows an individual to create and sign their last will as an electronic will. The Act allows an electronic will to be made self-proving through the acknowledgment of the testator and affidavits of the witnesses, which of course must be notarized. These electronic documents may be notarized using remote online notarization if the Notary has qualified to perform those acts as an electronic records Notary Public under RCW 42.45.280.

Read the bill text.

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