Chief Sponsor: V. Lowry Snow

Senate Sponsor: Lyle W. Hillyard


8     General Description:
9          This bill enacts the Uniform Electronic Wills Act.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     amends provisions related to disqualifying notarial acts;
13          ▸     creates definitions;
14          ▸     establishes the applicability of electronic wills;
15          ▸     addresses the effect of a will electronically executed in another jurisdiction;
16          ▸     sets requirements for executing and revoking an electronic will;
17          ▸     addresses records that are not executed in compliance with the requirements for an
18     electronic will;
19          ▸     provides requirements for an electronic will to be self-proving;
20          ▸     allows for certified paper copies of an electronic will;
21          ▸     addresses uniformity of the law; and
22          ▸     provides that the Uniform Electronic Wills Act applies to wills of decedents who
23     die on or after the effective date of this bill.
24     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
25          None
26     Other Special Clauses:
27          This bill provides a special effective date.

28     Utah Code Sections Affected:
29     AMENDS:
30          46-1-7, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2017, Chapter 259
31     ENACTS:
32          75-2-1401, Utah Code Annotated 1953
33          75-2-1402, Utah Code Annotated 1953
34          75-2-1403, Utah Code Annotated 1953
35          75-2-1404, Utah Code Annotated 1953
36          75-2-1405, Utah Code Annotated 1953
37          75-2-1406, Utah Code Annotated 1953
38          75-2-1407, Utah Code Annotated 1953
39          75-2-1408, Utah Code Annotated 1953
40          75-2-1409, Utah Code Annotated 1953
41          75-2-1410, Utah Code Annotated 1953
42          75-2-1411, Utah Code Annotated 1953

44     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
45          Section 1. Section 46-1-7 is amended to read:
46          46-1-7. Disqualifications.
47          A notary may not perform a notarial act if the notary:
48          (1) is a signer of the document that is to be notarized, except [in case of] for:
49          (a) a self-proved will as provided in Section 75-2-504; or
50          (b) a self-proved electronic will as provided in Section 75-2-1408;
51          (2) is named in the document that is to be notarized except [in the case of a] for:
52          (a) a self-proved will as provided in Section 75-2-504;
53          (b) a self-proved electronic will as provided in Section 75-2-1408;
54          [(b)] (c) a licensed attorney that is listed in the document only as representing a signer
55     or another person named in the document; or
56          [(c)] (d) a licensed escrow agent, as defined in Section 31A-1-301, that:
57          (i) acts as the title insurance producer in signing closing documents; and
58          (ii) is not named individually in the closing documents as a grantor, grantee,

59     mortgagor, mortgagee, trustor, trustee, vendor, vendee, lessor, lessee, buyer, or seller;
60          (3) will receive direct compensation from a transaction connected with a financial
61     transaction in which the notary is named individually as a principal; or
62          (4) will receive direct compensation from a real property transaction in which the
63     notary is named individually as a grantor, grantee, mortgagor, mortgagee, trustor, trustee,
64     beneficiary, vendor, vendee, lessor, lessee, buyer, or seller.
65          Section 2. Section 75-2-1401 is enacted to read:
Part 14. Uniform Electronic Wills Act

67          75-2-1401. Title.
68          This part is known as the "Uniform Electronic Wills Act."
69          Section 3. Section 75-2-1402 is enacted to read:
70          75-2-1402. Definitions.
71          As used in this part:
72          (1) "Electronic" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic,
73     wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.
74          (2) "Electronic presence" means the relationship of two or more individuals in different
75     locations communicating in real time to the same extent as if the individuals were physically
76     present in the same location.
77          (3) "Electronic will" means a will executed electronically in compliance with
78     Subsection 75-2-1405(1).
79          (4) "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored
80     in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
81          (5) "Sign" means, with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record:
82          (a) to execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or
83          (b) to affix to or logically associate with the record an electronic symbol or process.
84          (6) (a) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto
85     Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the
86     jurisdiction of the United States.
87          (b) "State" includes a federally recognized Indian tribe.
88          (7) "Will" includes a codicil and any testamentary instrument that merely appoints an
89     executor, revokes or revises another will, nominates a guardian, or expressly excludes or limits

90     the right of an individual or class to succeed to property of the decedent passing by intestate
91     succession.
92          Section 4. Section 75-2-1403 is enacted to read:
93          75-2-1403. Law applicable to electronic will -- Principles of equity.
94          (1) An electronic will is a will for all purposes of the law of this state.
95          (2) The law of this state applicable to wills and principles of equity apply to an
96     electronic will, except as modified by this part.
97          Section 5. Section 75-2-1404 is enacted to read:
98          75-2-1404. Choice of law regarding execution.
99          A will executed electronically but not in compliance with Subsection 75-2-1405(1) is
100     an electronic will under this part if executed in compliance with the law of the jurisdiction
101     where the testator is:
102          (1) physically located when the will is signed; or
103          (2) domiciled or resides when the will is signed or when the testator dies.
104          Section 6. Section 75-2-1405 is enacted to read:
105          75-2-1405. Execution of an electronic will.
106          (1) Subject to Subsection 75-2-1408(4) and except as provided in Section 75-2-1406,
107     an electronic will shall be:
108          (a) a record that is readable as text at the time of signing under Subsection (1)(b);
109          (b) signed:
110          (i) by the testator; or
111          (ii) in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence
112     and by the testator's direction; and
113          (c) signed in the physical or electronic presence of the testator by at least two
114     individuals within a reasonable time after witnessing:
115          (i) the signing of the will under Subsection (1)(b); or
116          (ii) the testator's acknowledgment of the signing of the will under Subsection (1)(b) or
117     the testator's acknowledgment of the will.
118          (2) Intent of a testator that the record under Subsection (1)(a) be the testator's electronic
119     will may be established by extrinsic evidence.
120          Section 7. Section 75-2-1406 is enacted to read:

121          75-2-1406. Harmless error.
122          Section 75-2-503 applies to a will executed electronically.
123          Section 8. Section 75-2-1407 is enacted to read:
124          75-2-1407. Revocation.
125          (1) An electronic will may revoke all or part of a previous will.
126          (2) All or part of an electronic will is revoked by:
127          (a) a subsequent will that revokes all or part of the electronic will expressly or by
128     inconsistency; or
129          (b) a physical act if it is established by a preponderance of the evidence that the
130     testator, with the intent of revoking all or part of the will, performed the act or directed another
131     individual who performed the act in the testator's physical presence.
132          Section 9. Section 75-2-1408 is enacted to read:
133          75-2-1408. Electronic will attested and made self-proving at time of execution.
134          (1) An electronic will may be simultaneously executed, attested, and made self-proving
135     by acknowledgment of the testator and affidavits of the witnesses.
136          (2) The acknowledgment and affidavits under Subsection (1) shall be:
137          (a) made before an officer authorized to administer oaths under law of the state in
138     which execution occurs, regardless of whether that officer is also a witness to the electronic
139     will; and
140          (b) evidenced by the officer's certificate under official seal affixed to or logically
141     associated with the electronic will.
142          (3) The acknowledgment and affidavits under Subsection (1) shall be in substantially
143     the following form:
144          I, ____________, the testator, and, being sworn, declare to the undersigned officer that
145     I sign this instrument as my electronic will, I willingly sign this instrument or willingly direct
146     another individual to sign this instrument for me, I execute it as my voluntary act for the
147     purposes expressed in this instrument, and I am 18 years old or older, of sound mind, and under
148     no constraint or undue influence.


151          We, ____________ and ____________, the witnesses, being sworn, declare to the

152     undersigned officer that the testator signed this instrument as the testator's electronic will, that
153     the testator willingly signed this instrument or willingly directed another individual to sign for
154     the testator, and that each of us, in the physical or electronic presence of the testator, signs this
155     instrument as witness to the testator's signing, and to the best of our knowledge the testator is
156     18 years old or older, of sound mind, and under no constraint or undue influence.




161     Certificate of officer:
162     State of ____________
163     County of ___________
164     Subscribed, sworn to, and acknowledged before me by ___________, the testator, and
165     subscribed and sworn to before me by ____________ and ____________, witnesses, this
166     _________ day of __________, ____.



Capacity of Officer

171          (4) A signature physically or electronically affixed to an affidavit that is affixed to or
172     logically associated with an electronic will under this part is deemed a signature of the
173     electronic will under Subsection 75-2-1405(1).
174          (5) To the extent that this section conflicts with Title 46, Chapter 1, Notaries Public
175     Reform Act, this section supersedes Title 46, Chapter 1, Notaries Public Reform Act.
176          Section 10. Section 75-2-1409 is enacted to read:
177          75-2-1409. Certification of paper copy.
178          (1) An individual may create a certified paper copy of an electronic will by affirming
179     under penalty of perjury that a paper copy of the electronic will is a complete, true, and
180     accurate copy of the electronic will.
181          (2) If the electronic will is made self-proving, the certified paper copy of the will shall
182     include the self-proving affidavits.

183          Section 11. Section 75-2-1410 is enacted to read:
184          75-2-1410. Uniformity of application and construction.
185          In applying and construing this part, consideration shall be given to the need to promote
186     uniformity of the law with respect to the subject matter of this uniform act among states that
187     enact this uniform act.
188          Section 12. Section 75-2-1411 is enacted to read:
189          75-2-1411. Transitional provision.
190          This part applies to the will of a decedent who dies on or after the effective date of this
191     part.
192          Section 13. Effective date.
193          If approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, this bill takes effect
194     upon approval by the governor, or the day following the constitutional time limit of Utah
195     Constitution, Article VII, Section 8, without the governor's signature, or in the case of a veto
196     override.