2018 Indiana Code
TITLE 29. Probate
ARTICLE 1. PROBATE CODE
CHAPTER 21. Electronic Wills
29-1-21-6. "Form vendor"; instructions to signatory

Universal Citation: IN Code § 29-1-21-6 (2018)
IC 29-1-21-6 "Form vendor"; instructions to signatory

     Sec. 6. (a) As used in this section, "form vendor" means any person who provides a testator with an electronic will form or a user interface for creating, completing, or executing an electronic will. The term includes:

(1) an attorney who prepares an electronic will for a testator; and

(2) any vendor or licensor of estate planning software of digital estate planning forms.

     (b) It is consistent with best practices to provide the following advisory instruction with each electronic will:

"IMPORTANT Instructions to the Signatory of an Electronic Will

A. The procedure for proper execution (electronic signing and witnessing) of your electronic will is as follows:

(1) You (the testator) and the two (2) attesting witnesses must be actually present in the same location throughout the execution process. Indiana law does not permit attesting witnesses to observe or participate in the signing process from a location that is apart or separate from the testator's location or act as an attesting witness through use of remote audio, remote visual, or remote audiovisual software or technology.

(2) Both attesting witnesses must be adults and should not be individuals who will be gifted money or other property under the terms of your electronic will. If a witness named in the electronic will is named as a beneficiary or legatee or entitled to money or property under the terms of the electronic will, the beneficiary or legatee named in the electronic will may only receive money, property, or shares reserved for them under state intestacy laws.

(3) You, as the testator, must inform the attesting witnesses that the document you will be signing is your will.

(4) You (the testator) and the two (2) attesting witnesses may use the same computer or device or different computers and devices to make your respective electronic signatures on the electronic will.

(5) The online user interface or software application for your will may require you and the attesting witnesses to use a password, validation code, token, or other security feature in order to prevent identity theft or impersonation and permanently link each of you, as individuals, to your respective electronic signatures.

(6) You (the testator) and the two (2) attesting witnesses should follow the instructions provided by the online user interface or software application when making your respective electronic signatures on your electronic will. You (the testator) should electronically sign the electronic will first followed by each of the attesting witnesses. If you (the testator) are physically unable to type, press keys, or otherwise enter commands on the computer or device being used to electronically sign the electronic will, you may instruct another adult who is not an attesting witness to enter your electronic signature on your electronic will for you. Any individual who enters your electronic signature on your electronic will on your behalf must do so in your actual presence.

(7) The software application or online user interface may create a date and time stamp for your electronic signature and for the electronic signature of each attesting witness.

(8) The execution of your electronic will is complete after you and the attesting witnesses have completed making your electronic signatures by clicking or executing a command that saves or submits your respective electronic signatures in the software application or online interface.

(9) You are strongly encouraged to save a complete copy of your electronic will in a portable and printable format. An electronic will preserved in this manner should include all information related to the execution process of your electronic will, including information that is compiled or stored by the software application or online user interface. The related information described in this subdivision should be viewable and printable as a self-contained and permanent part of the electronic record for your electronic will.

B. If you used a software application or an online user interface to generate, finalize, and sign your electronic will, the software or user interface may also offer you the ability to securely store the electronic record of your electronic will. You may be required to create or establish a user identification, password, or other security feature in order to store the electronic record of your electronic will in this way. You should carefully safeguard your user identification, password, security questions, and personal information used to securely save or store your electronic will. The information that you are being asked to safeguard will likely be required in order to:

(1) generate;

(2) replace;

(3) retrieve; or

(4) revoke;

your electronic will at a later date.

C. The only proper and valid way for you to revoke your electronic will is to:

(1) sign a new electronic will or a traditional paper will that revokes all previous wills executed by you; or

(2) permanently and irrevocably make unreadable and nonretrievable the electronic record for your electronic will.

If you are holding the electronic record for your electronic will on your own computer or digital storage device and not making use of a third party custodian or online storage or cloud based document storage service to store or safeguard your electronic will, you may personally delete permanently or make unreadable the electronic record associated with your electronic will. Before doing so, you are encouraged to make and save a printable, permanent copy of the complete electronic record associated with your electronic will, including any related information pertaining to the execution or signing process of your electronic will, so that the contents of your revoked electronic will may be discovered later by a probate court or any other interested persons in the event of a dispute concerning the validity of any later will that you decide to make.

     If you are making use of a third party custodian or online or cloud based document storage service to store or safeguard your electronic will, the valid revocation of your electronic will requires you to personally issue a written or electronic revocation document to each third party custodian who has custody of a copy of the electronic record associated with your electronic will. A valid revocation document must instruct the custodian to permanently delete or make unreadable and nonretrievable the electronic record associated with your electronic will. A valid revocation document must be signed by you and two (2) attesting witnesses while following the same procedures required for the execution of a new traditional paper will or new electronic will.".

     (c) A failure to provide the text of the advisory instruction in subsection (b) does not affect the validity of the electronic will if the electronic will is otherwise properly executed in the manner set forth in this chapter.

     (d) A failure to provide the advisory instruction described in subsection (b) may not be the predicate for any form of civil or other liability.

As added by P.L.40-2018, SEC.2.

 

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