February 6, 2023 - Two new uniform acts – the Uniform Electronic Estate Planning Documents Act and the 2022 Amendments to the Uniform Commercial Code – have been approved by the American Bar Association's House of Delegates as "appropriate Acts for those states desiring to adopt the specific substantive law suggested therein." The acts were approved at the ABA's 2023 Midyear Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 1-6, 2023. These acts were drafted and approved by the ULC in 2022.
Uniform Electronic Estate Planning Documents Act. The Uniform Electronic Estate Planning Documents Act will fill a gap in the law regarding the execution of certain estate planning documents, including trusts and powers of attorney. The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) authorizes the electronic execution of bilateral contracts if the parties to a transaction agree. The Uniform Electronic Wills Act (UEWA) authorizes the testator of a will and witnesses to execute a will in electronic form. However, trusts, powers of attorney, and some other types of estate planning documents fell into a legal grey area where the law governing electronic execution was ambiguous. The Uniform Electronic Estate Planning Documents Act clarifies that these documents may also be executed in electronic form. The new act was drafted to complement UEWA and could be adopted by a state simultaneously with that act to comprehensively authorize the electronic execution of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and several other types of common estate planning documents.
Uniform Commercial Code and Emerging Technologies. The 2022 Amendments to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) update and modernize the UCC to address emerging technologies. A new UCC Article 12 on Controllable Electronic Records governs transactions involving new types of digital assets (such as virtual currencies, electronic money, and nonfungible tokens), and corresponding changes to UCC Article 9 address security interests in digital assets. The 2022 amendments also update terminology to account for digital records, electronic signatures, and distributed ledger technology, provide rules for electronic negotiable instruments, and clarify the rules for UCC applicability to hybrid transactions involving both goods and services.
Information on each of these uniform acts is available at the ULC's website at www.uniformlaws.org.
The Uniform Law Commission, now in its 132nd year, provides states with non-partisan, well-conceived and well-drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law. The organization comprises more than 300 lawyers, judges, legislators, and law professors, appointed by the states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to research, draft and promote enactment of uniform state laws in areas of state law where uniformity is desirable and practical. Since its inception in 1892, the group has promulgated more than 200 acts, among them such bulwarks of state statutory law as the Uniform Commercial Code, the Uniform Probate Code, and the Uniform Partnership Act.
Contact: Katie Robinson, ULC Senior Director, Strategy & Communications, krobinson@...
Uniform Law Commission / 111 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 1010, Chicago, IL 60602 / 312-450-6600 www.uniformlaws.org
Senior Director for Strategy and Communications