Florida Senate - 2017 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT Bill No. SB 206 Ì8678507Î867850 LEGISLATIVE ACTION Senate . House Comm: RCS . 01/24/2017 . . . . ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— The Committee on Judiciary (Passidomo) recommended the following: 1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment) 2 3 Delete lines 81 - 360 4 and insert: 5 732.521 Short title.—Sections 732.521-732.527 may be cited 6 as the “Florida Electronic Wills Act.” 7 Section 4. Section 732.522, Florida Statutes, is created to 8 read: 9 732.522 Definitions.—As used in ss. 732.521-732.527, the 10 term: 11 (1) “Electronic record” means a record created, generated, 12 sent, communicated, received, or stored by electronic means. 13 (2) “Electronic signature” means an electronic sound, 14 symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a 15 record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to 16 sign the record. 17 (3) “Electronic will” means a will, including a codicil, 18 executed in accordance with s. 732.523 by a person in the manner 19 prescribed by this act, which disposes of the person’s property 20 on or after his or her death and includes an instrument that 21 appoints a personal representative or revokes or revises another 22 will or electronic will. 23 (4) “Qualified custodian” means a person who meets the 24 requirements of s. 732.527(1). 25 Section 5. Section 732.523, Florida Statutes, is created to 26 read: 27 732.523 Electronic wills.—Notwithstanding s. 732.502: 28 (1) An electronic will must: 29 (a) Exist in an electronic record. 30 (b) Be electronically signed by the testator in the 31 presence of a notary public who is, or at least two attesting 32 witnesses who are, in the same room as the testator. 33 (c) Be electronically signed by the notary public and the 34 two attesting witnesses in the presence of the testator and, in 35 the case of the witnesses, in the presence of each other. The 36 notary public’s signature must be accompanied by a notary public 37 seal that meets the requirements of s. 117.021(3). 38 (2) Except as otherwise provided in this act, all questions 39 as to the force, effect, validity, and interpretation of an 40 electronic will that complies with this section must be 41 determined in the same manner as in the case of a will executed 42 in accordance with s. 732.502. 43 Section 6. Section 732.524, Florida Statutes, is created to 44 read: 45 732.524 Self-proof of electronic will.—An electronic will 46 is self-proved if all of the following requirements are met: 47 (1) The electronic will is executed in conformity with this 48 act. 49 (2) The acknowledgment of the electronic will by the 50 testator and the affidavits of the witnesses are made in 51 accordance with s. 732.503 and are part of the electronic record 52 containing the electronic will, or are attached to, or are 53 logically associated with, the electronic will. 54 (3)(a) The electronic will is deposited with the clerk 55 before the death of the testator in accordance with s. 732.901 56 with a certification signed by the testator confirming that the 57 electronic will is a valid will of the testator; or 58 (b)1. The electronic will designates a qualified custodian; 59 and 60 2. The qualified custodian certifies under oath that to its 61 best knowledge the electronic will was at all times under the 62 control of a qualified custodian before being offered to the 63 court and that the electronic will has not be altered in any way 64 since the date of its execution. 65 Section 7. Section 732.525, Florida Statutes, is created to 66 read: 67 732.525 Method and place of execution.—For purposes of this 68 act, the execution and filing of a document with the court as 69 provided in this act or the Florida Probate Rules, the execution 70 of a durable power of attorney under s. 709.2105, and the 71 execution of a living will under s. 765.302: 72 (1) An individual is deemed to be in the presence of 73 another individual if the individuals are either: 74 (a) In the same physical location; or 75 (b) In different physical locations, but can communicate 76 with each other by means of live video and audio conference, 77 provided that a video transcript of the execution of the 78 document is recorded and stored in, or attached to or logically 79 associated with, the electronic record of the document. 80 (2) Any requirement that a document be signed may be 81 satisfied by an electronic signature. 82 (3) A document that is signed electronically is deemed to 83 be executed in this state if any one of the following 84 requirements is met: 85 (a) The person creating the document states that he or she 86 intends to execute and understands that he or she is executing 87 the document in, and pursuant to the laws of, this state. 88 (b) The person creating the document is, or the attesting 89 witnesses or Florida notary public whose electronic signatures 90 are obtained in the execution of the document are, physically 91 located within this state at the time the document is executed. 92 (c) In the case of a self-proved electronic will, the 93 electronic will designates a qualified custodian who is 94 domiciled in and a resident of this state or incorporated or 95 organized in this state. 96 Section 8. Section 732.526, Florida Statutes, is created to 97 read: 98 732.526 Probate.—An electronic will that is executed or 99 deemed executed in another state in accordance with the laws of 100 that state or of this state may be offered for and admitted to 101 original probate in this state and is subject to the 102 jurisdiction of the courts of this state. The venue for the 103 probate of electronic wills is as provided in s. 733.101(1) or, 104 in the case of the electronic will of a nonresident, may be the 105 county in which the qualified custodian or attorney for the 106 petitioner or personal representative has his or her domicile or 107 registered office. 108 Section 9. Section 732.527, Florida Statutes, is created to 109 read: 110 732.527 Qualified custodians.— 111 (1) To serve as a qualified custodian of an electronic 112 will, a person must: 113 (a) Not be an heir or devisee, as defined in s. 731.201, of 114 the testator; 115 (b) Be domiciled in and a resident of this state or be 116 incorporated or organized in this state; 117 (c) Consistently employ a system for ensuring the 118 safekeeping of electronic records and store electronic records 119 containing electronic wills under such system; and 120 (d) Furnish for any court hearing involving an electronic 121 will that is currently or was previously stored by the qualified 122 custodian any information requested by the court pertaining to 123 the qualified custodian’s qualifications, policies, and 124 practices related to the creation, sending, communication, 125 receipt, maintenance, storage, and production of electronic 126 wills. 127 (2) The qualified custodian of an electronic will shall 128 provide access to or information concerning the electronic will, 129 or the electronic will and the electronic record containing the 130 electronic will, only to the testator and such other persons as 131 directed by the written instructions of the testator. A 132 qualified custodian may also deposit the electronic will with 133 the clerk by complying and in accordance with s. 732.901. 134 (3) The qualified custodian of the electronic record of an 135 electronic will may elect to destroy such record, including any 136 of the documentation required to be created and stored under 137 paragraph (1)(d), at any time after the 5th anniversary of the 138 admission of the will of the testator to probate. 139 (4) A qualified custodian who at any time controls the 140 electronic record of an electronic will may elect to cease 141 serving in such capacity by: 142 (a) Delivering the electronic will or the electronic record 143 containing the electronic will to the testator, if then living, 144 or, after the death of the testator, to the personal 145 representative; 146 (b) Depositing the electronic will, including an 147 acknowledgement of affidavits made in accordance with s. 148 732.503, with the clerk after complying with s. 732.901; or 149 (c)1. If the outgoing qualified custodian intends to 150 designate a successor qualified custodian, providing written 151 notice to the testator or, after the testator’s death, the 152 testator’s nominated personal representative of the name, 153 address, and qualifications of the proposed successor qualified 154 custodian. The testator or a testator’s nominated personal 155 representative must provide written consent before the 156 electronic record, including the electronic will, is delivered 157 to a successor qualified custodian; 158 2. Delivering the electronic record containing the 159 electronic will, to the successor qualified custodian; and 160 3. Delivering to the successor qualified custodian an 161 affidavit of the outgoing qualified custodian stating that: 162 a. The outgoing qualified custodian is eligible to act as a 163 qualified custodian in this state; 164 b. The outgoing qualified custodian is the qualified 165 custodian designated by the testator in the electronic will or 166 appointed to act in such capacity under paragraph (4)(c); 167 c. The electronic will has been in the control of one or 168 more qualified custodians since the time the electronic record 169 was created, and identifying such qualified custodians; and 170 d. To the best of the qualified custodian’s knowledge, the 171 electronic will has not been altered since the time it was 172 created. 173 174 For purposes of making this affidavit, the outgoing qualified 175 custodian may rely conclusively on any affidavits delivered by a 176 predecessor qualified custodian in connection with its 177 designation or appointment as qualified custodian; however, all 178 such affidavits must be delivered to the successor qualified 179 custodian. 180 (5) Upon the written request of the testator, a qualified 181 custodian who at any time controls the electronic record of the 182 testator’s electronic will must cease serving in such capacity 183 and must deliver to a successor qualified custodian designated 184 in writing by the testator the electronic will and the affidavit 185 required in this subparagraph (4)(c)3. 186 (6) A qualified custodian may not succeed to office as a 187 qualified custodian of an electronic will unless he or she 188 agrees in writing to serve in such capacity. 189 (7) If a qualified custodian is an entity, an affidavit of 190 a duly authorized officer or agent of such entity shall 191 constitute the affidavit of the qualified custodian. 192 (8) A qualified custodian must provide a paper copy of an 193 electronic will and the electronic record, including the 194 electronic will, to the testator immediately upon request. For 195 the first such request in any 365-day period, the testator may 196 not be charged a fee for being provided with these documents. 197 (9) The qualified custodian shall be liable for any damages 198 caused by the negligent loss or destruction of the electronic 199 record, including the electronic will, while it is in the 200 possession of the qualified custodian. A qualified custodian may 201 not limit liability for such damages. 202 (10) A qualified custodian may not terminate or suspend 203 access to the electronic will by the testator. 204 (11) Except as provided herein, a qualified custodian must 205 at all times keep information provided by the testator 206 confidential and may not disclose such information to any third 207 party. 208 Section 10. Section 733.201, Florida Statutes is amended to 209 read: 210 733.201 Proof of wills.— 211 (1) Self-proved wills executed in accordance with this code 212 may be admitted to probate without further proof. 213 (2) A will, other than an electronic will, may be admitted 214 to probate upon the oath of any attesting witness taken before 215 any circuit judge, commissioner appointed by the court, or 216 clerk. 217 (3) If it appears to the court that the attesting witnesses 218 cannot be found or that they have become incapacitated after the 219 execution of the will or their testimony cannot be obtained 220 within a reasonable time, a will, other than an electronic will, 221 may be admitted to probate upon the oath of the personal 222 representative nominated by the will as provided in subsection 223 (2), whether or not the nominated personal representative is 224 interested in the estate, or upon the oath of any person having 225 no interest in the estate under the will stating that the person 226 believes the writing exhibited to be the true last will of the 227 decedent. 228 (4) If an electronic will is not self-proved, an electronic 229 will may be admitted to probate upon the oath of the two 230 attesting witnesses for the electronic will taken before any 231 circuit judge, commissioner appointed by the court, or the 232 clerk. If it appears to the court that the attesting witnesses 233 cannot be found, that they have become incapacitated after the 234 execution of the electronic will, or that their testimony cannot 235 be obtained within a reasonable time, an electronic will may be 236 admitted to probate upon the oath of two disinterested witnesses 237 providing all of the following information: 238 (a) The date on which the electronic will was created, if 239 the date is not indicated in the electronic will itself. 240 (b) When and how the electronic will was discovered, and by 241 whom. 242 (c) All of the people who had access to the electronic 243 will. 244 (d) The method by which the electronic will was stored and 245 the safeguards that were in place to prevent alterations to the 246 electronic will. 247 (e) A statement as to whether the electronic will has been 248 altered since its creation. 249 (f) A statement that the electronic will is a true, 250 correct, and complete tangible manifestation of the testator’s 251 will. 252 (5) A paper copy of an electronic will which is a true and 253 correct copy of the electronic will may be offered for and 254 admitted to probate and shall constitute an “original” of the 255 electronic will. 256 Section 11. This act applies to electronic wills executed 257 on or after July 1, 2017. 258 Section 12. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017. 259 260 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================ 261 And the title is amended as follows: 262 Delete lines 8 - 53 263 and insert: 264 defining terms; creating s. 732.523, F.S.; specifying 265 requirements that must be satisfied in the execution 266 of electronic wills; creating s. 732.524, F.S.; 267 providing that electronic wills may be made self 268 proved at the time of execution; providing 269 requirements for self-proof of electronic wills; 270 creating s. 732.525, F.S.; specifying the 271 circumstances under which a person is deemed to be in 272 the presence of another; providing that an electronic 273 signature satisfies the requirement that a document be 274 signed; providing requirements for certain documents 275 to be deemed executed in this state; creating s. 276 732.526, F.S.; authorizing an electronic will that is 277 properly executed in this or another state to be 278 offered for and admitted to probate in this state; 279 providing the venue for the probate of such electronic 280 will; creating s. 732.527, F.S.; specifying 281 requirements for service as a qualified custodian; 282 requiring qualified custodians to provide access to or 283 information concerning the electronic will or the 284 electronic record containing the electronic will, only 285 to specified persons; authorizing the qualified 286 custodian to deposit an electronic will with the clerk 287 of court; authorizing a qualified custodian to destroy 288 the electronic record of an electronic will after a 289 certain date; providing for cessation of service of a 290 qualified custodian; requiring that a qualified 291 custodian who elects to cease serving in such capacity 292 provide written notice to the testator under certain 293 circumstances; requiring a qualified custodian to 294 deliver certain documents to specified persons when he 295 or she ceases to serve in such capacity; requiring a 296 qualified custodian to cease serving in such capacity 297 under certain circumstances; requiring that a 298 successor qualified custodian agree in writing to 299 serve in that capacity for an electronic will before 300 succeeding to office; specifying what constitutes an 301 affidavit of the qualified custodian; requiring a 302 qualified custodian to deliver certain documents upon 303 request from a testator; providing that a qualified is 304 liable for certain damages under certain 305 circumstances; requiring a qualified custodian to keep 306 certain information confidential; amending s. 733.201, 307 F.S.; providing for the proof of electronic wills; 308 providing requirements for admitting an electronic 309 will that is not self-proved into probate; providing 310 that a paper copy of an electronic will constitutes an 311 “original” of the electronic will subject to certain 312 conditions; providing applicability; providing an 313 effective date.