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Signing on the Dotted Line: A Guide to Electronic Signatures

electronic signatures for agreements

In today’s fast-paced world, time is precious. Getting agreements signed can often lead to delays, especially when parties are located in different places. But fear not, technology offers a solution: electronic signatures!

Can I Sign Electronically?

The good news is that many agreements can be signed electronically, as long as:

  • You’re clearly identified: The electronic signature should show who you are.
  • You agree to the content: Your signature indicates you understand and approve the agreement.
  • You (or someone authorized) signs: You or someone legally allowed to act on your behalf needs to sign.

Simple Electronic Signatures for Everyday Use

Many user-friendly options exist for creating your electronic signature:

  • Draw your signature: Use your finger or a stylus on a touchscreen device.
  • Copy and paste: Copy an image of your handwritten signature and paste it onto the document.
  • Digital signature: Create a digital image of your signature using specialized software.
  • Typed signature: Type your name in a font that resembles your signature (not ideal, but acceptable in some cases).

These methods are generally accepted unless the agreement specifies otherwise.

Advanced Electronic Signatures for Added Security

For some agreements, an advanced electronic signature might be required. These signatures use special security features to ensure only you can sign the document. Imagine a digital lock and key! Examples include agreements guaranteeing someone else’s debt (suretyship agreements) and documents requiring a sworn statement (Commissioner of Oaths).

Agreements Still Needing a Wet Ink Signature

While electronic signatures are convenient, some agreements still require a traditional handwritten signature. These often involve significant assets or legal processes:

  • Selling real estate (land or buildings)
  • Long-term land leases exceeding 20 years
  • Last wills and testaments

Unsure What Applies to Your Like-mindedness?

If you’re unsure whether an electronic signature is appropriate, contact us at BBP Law Attorneys! We’ll help you understand the agreement and ensure it’s signed correctly, protecting your interests. Remember, getting legal advice can save you time, money, and headaches in the long run.

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