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WA Senate Bill 5787


State: Washington
Signed: March 19, 2024

Effective: June 05, 2024
Chapter: 188


Senate Bill 5787 enacts the Uniform Electronic Estate Planning Documents Act, authorizing a Notary or notarial officer to notarize a nontestamentary estate planning document.


Amends Section 1.80.020 of and adds a new as yet uncodified chapter to the Revised Code of Washington.

  1. Defines “nontestamentary estate planning document” to mean a record relating to estate planning that is readable as text at the time of signing and is not a will or contained in a will.
  2. Defines "nontestamentary estate planning document" to include several estate planning documents, as specified.
  3. Excludes from the definition of "nontestamentary estate planning document" a deed of real property or certificate of title for a motor vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft or a nonjudicial settlement agreement under RCW 11.96A.220.
  4. Applies to an electronic nontestamenary estate planning document and an electronic signature on an electronic nontestamenary estate planning document.
  5. Provides that a nontestamentary estate planning document or a signature on a nontestamentary estate planning document may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form.
  6. Provides that if other law of Washington requires a nontestamentary estate planning document to be in writing or signed, an electronic record of the document and an electronic signature satisfies the requirement.
  7. Provides if other Washington law requires a signature or record to be notarized, acknowledged, verified, or made under oath, the requirement is satisfied with respect to an electronic nontestamentary estate planning document if an individual authorized to perform the notarization, acknowledgment, verification, or oath attaches or logically associates the individual's electronic signature on the document together with all other information required to be included under the other law.
  8. Authorizes the individual making the statement or executing the signature to appear physically before the Notary or notarial officer or as provided in RCW 42.45.280, remotely.

Washington becomes the second state to enact the Uniform Electronic Estate Planning Documents Act (UEEPDA) adopted by the Uniform Law Commission in 2022. The UEEPDA plugs a hole in the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act that excludes from the scope of the UETA any electronic record that is not a “transaction” — defined as “an action or set of actions occurring between two or more persons relating to the conduct of business, commercial, or governmental affairs” (RCW 1.80.010[18]). UETA also excludes any record that is governed by a law “governing the creation and execution of wills, codicils, or testamentary trusts” (RCW 1.80.020[2][a]). Wills, codicils, and testamentary trusts are not considered “transactions” because they are not executed by at least two persons. The official comment on UETA Section 3 states, “The scope of this Act is inherently limited by the fact that it only applies to transactions related to business, commercial (including consumer) and governmental matters. Consequently, transactions with no relation to business, commercial or governmental transactions would not be subject to this Act. Unilaterally generated electronic records and signatures which are not part of a transaction also are not covered by this Act.” Senate Bill 5787 corrects this. It specifically covers estate documents which are “nontestamentary” — that is, documents which are not a will or contained in a will and include documents such as a certification of trust, a power of attorney, including for health care of the principal or of the principal's minor children, that is durable, a mental health advance directive, an intervivos trust, various trusts, and others.

Read Senate Bill 5787.