Legality
  • 23 Nov 2023
  • 1 Minute to read
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Legality

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Article Summary

Are LegalZoom eSignatures legally valid?

Yes. Electronic signatures are generally legally binding and recognized under the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). According to these acts, an electronic signature is defined as an “electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.”

Nevertheless, electronic signature laws contain exceptions for certain documents, like wills and trusts, that must be signed in person. If you have any questions about the legal effect of using electronic signatures to sign a particular document in your jurisdiction, you should consult with an attorney.

What kinds of documents should not be signed electronically?

While electronic signatures are valid for most types of business and personal transactions, U.S. laws do have exceptions. The federal ESIGN Act restricts the use of electronic signatures for the following categories of documents:

  • Wills, testamentary trusts, and codicils (including estate planning documents obtained through LegalZoom)

  • Adoption, divorce, and other family law papers (including such documents obtained through LegalZoom)

  • Contracts governed by the Uniform Commercial Code (e.g., negotiable instruments, letters of credit, investment securities, secured transactions) other than sections 1–107 and 1–206 and Articles 2 and 2A

  • Court orders, notices, or official court documents (including briefs, pleadings, and other writings) required to be executed in connection with court proceedings

  • Notice of the cancellation or termination of utility services (including water, heat, and power)

  • Notice of default, acceleration, repossession, foreclosure, or eviction, or the right to cure, under a credit agreement secured by, or a rental agreement for, a primary residence of an individual

  • Notice of the cancellation or termination of health insurance or benefits or life insurance benefits (excluding annuities)

  • Product recalls or notices of material failures that risk endangering health or safety

  • Documentation accompanying the transport of hazardous materials

Note that state electronic signature laws may contain additional exceptions to those listed above. If you have any questions regarding whether a document may be validly signed using eSignature in your jurisdiction, please seek advice from an attorney.


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