Electronic Wills, Mental Illness Real Talk, No Surprises in the New Issue of Bar News

Cover of Sept 2022 Bar News

Early in the pandemic, if you asked attorneys about the challenges they and their clients were facing, you would almost certainly hear that estate planning was in high demand and, significantly, anything involving physical documents was unprecedentedly complicated.

Today, Washington has joined only a handful of other states in the country to have adopted rules allowing for electronic wills.

“While electronic wills are unlikely to become the default testamentary document anytime soon, the number of Washingtonians executing them is likely to grow over time, as both clients and attorneys become more comfortable with the concept, and as more states enact versions of the [Uniform Electronic Wills Act] or similar statutes,” writes attorney Sherry Bosse Lueders in the latest issue of Washington State Bar News.

Ready or not, electronic wills have arrived in Washington with the Washington Uniform Electronic Wills Act (UEWA), which became effective Jan. 1. In this issue, you will learn all about the new rules and what they mean for estate planning attorneys.

Also in the new issue, attorney Aaron D. Parker shares his story of entering the legal profession as someone with mental illness.

“[T]raditional wisdom taught that you had to follow the rules by dressing and speaking professionally, being polite, talking about your strengths, hiding your weaknesses, and never sharing more than you had to unless it made you look better,” Parker explains. “To this I say: Horsesh*t! Traditional wisdom says that I should not be sharing the story of my journey with mental illness, that it will put a black mark on my record and no one will ever want to hire me or work with me again.”

Check out the rest of the issue to learn more about the No Surprises Act, find answers to some of the most common questions about amendments to Washington APR 11, and get tips for converting your law practice into a successful business.

And with the end of the WSBA’s fiscal year come a few goodbyes. Outgoing WSBA president Hon. Brian Tollefson (Ret.) says farewell for now, and WSBA Governor Bryn Peterson gives his final report as treasurer on the state of the WSBA’s fiscal year 2022.